Voices: Dear Twitter: hating Coldplay doesn’t make you quirky

·3-min read
Voices: Dear Twitter: hating Coldplay doesn’t make you quirky

I would like to start by asking everyone a simple question: why are you all pretending to dislike Coldplay? I’m being slightly mischievous, of course. I know that musical taste is both personal and varied. But the band’s music sales, worldwide sold-out shows and longevity simply don’t correlate with the vast numbers of people who apparently despise them. Shy Coldplay fans, like shy Tories, hide their affection in order to avoid public shame. Well, I don’t know who needs to hear this, but a fondness for “Fix You” isn’t some sort of character flaw – in fact, I think it might be evidence of having a soul.

On Wednesday, Coldplay announced they will stop recording music in 2025. Chris Martin made the announcement on Radio 2, stating: “Our last proper record will come out in 2025, and after that I think we will only tour. Maybe we’ll do some collaborative things, but the Coldplay catalogue, as it were, finishes then.” This is hardly revelatory, as Martin told NME in October that Coldplay’s time in the studio is coming to an end. His latest comments appear to be the first time a definitive date has been set.

Twitter wags quickly came out in force. One declared it “fantastic news”, another simply wrote “at last” and quite a few thanked God. As we all know, Twitter isn’t the real world. But it’s easy to see why Coldplay could be unpopular on there: Coldplay is often positive, distinctly uncontroversial and inoffensive. In the modern world (especially online), if you’re not causing outrage you may as well not exist. OK, so Chris Martin isn’t exactly as charismatic or compelling as some frontmen, but he’s certainly not unlikable. Like his band, he occupies the centre ground.

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Perhaps this mass disapproval of Coldplay is indicative of the age we’re living in, an age in which we’re bound together through aversion instead of love. It’s a strange phenomenon whereby not liking something is an important and expected character trait. Where at one point we would proudly discuss the music we love, many are now more inclined to divulge who they hate. Openly admitting to enjoying Coldplay’s music has become a cultural faux pas. There’s nothing wrong with standing out from the crowd, but professing to loathe something because it’s popular reveals a depressing touch of insecurity.

Essentially, Coldplay is punished for being good. We all adore and appreciate him now, but at one point Paul McCartney suffered a similar fate. We Brits seem to dislike Martin’s genuine passion and enthusiasm for music. We like to see one of our own doing well, but we want them to look miserable while they’re doing it, not bounding about the stage like Tigger on speed.

Coldplay is undoubtedly a brilliant band, and no amount of overexposure can change that. Granted, their latest material doesn’t excite me as much as their early work, but they’re still making great music. Needless to say, God needn’t be thanked for the imminent end of the band’s output. They’ve managed to move with the times, incorporating new sounds and experimental elements throughout their career while creating a visual experience on stage that simply didn’t exist before. Make no mistake: when they stop making music, it will create a noticeable void.

We all desperately want to appear unique, and sometimes that means convincing ourselves (and others) that we’re indifferent to popular music. You’re an individual. You want something that’s yours and don’t like sharing it with millions of others. Noted. Still, let’s refrain from denigrating the band that has been, for many of us, the soundtrack of youth. I urge you to rediscover Coldplay, and resist following the herd. Now go play “Politik” – and do it loudly.

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