Montag, 16. Januar 2006

Copying Coldplay

Something I’ve noticed recently is that several bands seem to be stealing something from the excellent British band Coldplay (whose lead singer Chris Martin is Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow, of course): the piano intro. You can hear one, for example, in one of my favourite Coldplay songs, Clocks (from their 2nd album A Rush of Blood to the Head). Currently there are two songs where I’m like “Oh, great, Coldplay … no, wait a minute, it’s not them at all, or is it?” when I hear them on the radio. The first one is I Still by the Backstreet Boys. The other one is Celice (sp?) by A-ha. Both are good songs, but I just don’t like other bands ripping off one of Coldplay’s trademarks. It’s a cheap trick. (Hee, that’s a band name!)

Now you might say: “Wait, she’s talking about copying Coldplay! She can’t do that without mentioning Keane, who are the biggest Coldplay rip-offs (if that’s a word)!” Keane are a three-piece British band who do sound a bit like Coldplay because they use a lot of piano in their songs, too, but I like them, so I won’t hold that against them. Their singer Tom Chaplin always makes me smile because he’s got a cherub-face, i.e. he looks like one of those slightly fat angels you can see in old paintings. Or you could say he looks a little like a hobbit. And he makes strange moves on stage, which can look funny, too. Cute. Keane’s keyboard player Tim Rice-Oxley (very posh-sounding English name, BTW) is very attractive. But to my defense, I must say I didn’t know what any of them looked like when I first heard their music on the radio (at the end of 2004 that was, I think). I’d post a picture of Keane to illustrate what I’m talking about, but I don’t have one at the moment. So I’ll recommend this Austrian fan page instead. As to their songs, I can recommend all the songs they released as singles from their first album Hopes and Fears: Somewhere Only We Know, This Is The Last Time, and Everybody’s Changing. I love the lyrics of the latter one especially. Track 3 off the album, Bend and Break, is fantastic, too. I hope their second album will come out soon.

While I’m talking about music, I’d also like to mention someone else I like: Natasha Bedingfield. Her connection to Keane is that she did a great version of their song Somewhere Only We Know on an English radio station once (I think an MP3 file of that can be found at the Austrian site I mentioned). She’s from New Zealand (I think) and her brother Daniel is a singer, too. He had a song a couple of years ago that I love, If You’re Not the One. Haven’t heard much from him since, although I do think he has a new album out now. His sister had her break-through last year with her first album Unwritten. The title track is excellent and the video to it is beautiful, too. The song starts like this:

I am unwritten
Can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned

In other words, the song kind of looks at life as a book, and, being someone who loves books, I like that idea very much.

Another great song of hers is Wild Horses, the last track on the album (if you don’t count the hidden track that follows). I only really noticed that song recently when I was sitting on a train listening to music on my discman (no, I don’t have an iPod or any other kind of MP3-player, how very old-fashioned of me, right?). The song is about feeling stuck and wanting to change one’s life, but being scared to take risks. The lyrics totally hit a nerve with me and I almost started crying, but the train had just stopped so there was noise and people were walking past so I was distracted.

Um, yes, so much for that. Thank you and good night : )

ETA: the A-ha song I meant wasn't Celice, but the title track off their current album, Analogue.

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