As you grow older your lens gets softer. You gradually begin to appreciate the unimaginable. As a teenager I hated bands like U2 and Simple Minds for their extreme pathos and their appeal to girls. Now I know and accept both bands created some pretty fine music. I even have no problem anymore admitting ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’ is one of my favourite songs from the 80’s, although my liking of the song is heavily influenced by The Breakfast Club. I’m older, maybe wiser, and the years changed my perspective. By that logic I will like Coldplay by the time I’m 70, or would I?
Somehow I doubt it. I didn’t hate U2 and Simple Minds (but also artists like Joe Jackson) because they made overly emotional, girly music. I hated them because I was an angry and scared kid who needed something to hate and wanted his music flavoured with high doses of political activism and doom. Bands like U2 and Simple Minds offered me a world view didn’t believe in. Optimism…how could anyone be optimistic in the 80’s? Could anyone really believe in positive songs? It just didn’t make sense to me. Of course, it didn’t help that the girls I fancied were into that kind of music. Well…it should have made sense to me…but somehow I believed they would magically fall in love with me if I maximised the distance between us. So the more she loved a particular band, the more I would hate it.
Note to all teenagers: don’t make the same mistake, it doesn’t help, it’s a ridiculous self-defeating strategy…
So no, I will not like Coldplay. Not now and not at any time in the future. I’m older, wiser, in a stable relationship with a girl I love and adore. I don’t have to prove anything.
But…Coldplay…if you’re listening, prove me wrong and create music not designed for the masses, not following a simple rulebook of emotions. Tell me something about the world we live in. Teach me something. Make music that requires active attention.
Be condemned, don’t be afraid to lose half of your fan base like The Clash did with London Calling. Be something you never dreamed you could be.