I just read Hot Press’ Irish exclusive review of Coldplay’s Prospekt’s March EP (Irish exclusive: Haven’t they heard of the internet?). In the review, Francis Jones says the EP has:
…everything from blustering rock riffs and crackling synths to Indian tablas and even a cameo performance from a hip-hop icon..
I had a sense of deja-vu and realised I had read something very similar recently. No matter, maybe it was a coincidence? While perusing my RSS feed earlier in the week, I came across a review from The Sun newspaper by Gordon Smart. Smart says Prospekt’s March EP has:
Thumping hip-hop jams, thundering metal workouts, Indian tablas and colliery brass bands all jostle for space..
There are a lot of similarities in that sentence and it could be down to the mind-numbingly boring music of Coldplay that elicits such parallel reviews, so I compared further..
From The Sun:
The EP kicks off in relatively conventional territory. Life In Technicolor ii is the opening instrumental from Viva La Vida with lyrics strapped on. ..Glass Of Water, meanwhile, showcases a pulverisingly heavy and never previously heard side of the band. It reminds me of MUSE at their most epic. Synths scream over thundering drum crashes and molten axe-riffage.
Easing us in with a lyrics-supplemented version of ‘Life In Technicolor ii’ and the piano interlude of ‘Postcards From Far Away’, Coldplay then proceed to blast our expectations to smithereens with the Muse-style bombast of ‘Glass Of Water’.
OK to recap the similar sentiments:
1. The EP starts with Coldplay by numbers from Viva La Vida but with lyrics. Check.
2. ‘Glass of Water’ is so loud it might shatter stuff and sounds like Muse. Check.
3. The only extra reference in the HP review is to the piano interlude of ‘Postcards From Far Away’ which The Sun review doesn’t mention. A cursory look on Youtube turns up loads of short videos of the song however so it wouldn’t take a genius to look at the tracklisting and look it up on Youtube. See?
Let us move on:
From The Sun:
Echoes of BECK’s landmark hip-hop album Odelay are writ large through Rainy Day. Chris confronts the pressures of life in the public eye while a funky Californian breakbeat and sweeping strings motor the track along.The title track is woozily psychedelic with guitars gently chiming and strings sweeping… Lost+ and Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun mix) are both just moderately tweaked versions of tracks on Viva La Vida. But it’s the final track, Now My Feet Won’t Touch The Ground, which is the most audacious thing the lads have ever recorded. It begins in standard Coldplay ballad territory with delicate guitars and mysterious lyrics…. Then Indian finger drums and a swelling array of trumpets and tubas arrive to take the track off into an extraordinary place.
‘Rainy Day’ pings pinball like between stylistic forms, beats and guitars clattering into a strings swathed chorus. Things become more recognisably Coldplay with the assured balladry of the title-track. Elsewhere Jay-Z adds an extra dimension to ‘Lost’ and ‘Lovers In Japan’ is refined a touch with the ‘Osaka Sun Mix’. With brass and Eastern embellishments, ‘Feet Won’t Touch My Ground’ brings a last chameleonic change.
1. ‘Rainy Day’ has lots of styles. Y’know much like Beck’s music. Check.
2. The title track sounds like you would expect Coldplay to sound. Check.
3. ‘Lost’ and ‘Lovers in Japan’ are slightly adjusted versions of those which appear on the album. Check.
4. ‘Feet Won’t Touch My Ground’ sounds different from all the other Coldplay stuff. And has brass and Indian elements. Check.
If you were to take Smart’s review and rewrite it, you would pretty much come up with Jones’ review. By that thinking, has Jones even heard it? On the other hand, the similarities could of course be a mere coincidence. Either way, I got a kick out of a Coldplay review, which is a feat in itself. What do you think?