Stream The Entire Album Of Coldplay -" X&Y" (Article 2005)
Let me start with this admonishment: I have nothing to lose and I don't give a fuck. The value of what can be taken from a person like me is decidedly unequal to that which has been taken from Coldplay. I don't even care whether or not you like Coldplay. It hardly matters whether you like them or not, does it? So I know you'll forgive me. I am not really going to talk much about the music on the new Coldplay album here. Ok, maybe just for a second. See, I like the new Coldplay album. I find it very listenable and progressive. It's not some earth-shattering kaboom, but it's very good. It's as good or better than what I would expect from Coldplay, coming off of two phenomenally-successful albums and so much time apart. From the first words out of Chris Martin's mouth, you get the sense that they've taken on a new direction while remaining focused on the original plan -- "You're in control, is there anywhere you wanna go? You're in control, is there anything you wanna know? The future's for discovering the space in which we're travelling" starts out track one on X&Y, the ephemeral "Square One". But I'm still going to call bullshit here. Mr. Martin, with all due deference to your talent and skill, are you playing the role of the artist in the name of commerce or are you cowtowing to the whims of commerce in order to maintain your position as an artist? What would happen if everyone who wanted to buy this album instead chose not to buy it?
Now here's where I point out that the whole notion of EMI manipulating a group of musicians, the listening public, the RIAA, and their stockholders by placing too much power in the hands of a single record is storybook. This release should, hopefully, mark a defining moment in the silent war against corporate major-label greed. It should be a warning shot to everyone out there that has ever held a grudge against the labels for pissing away multi-millions of dollars on artists whom never recouped one penny of what was spent by the label only to face bankruptcy as the price for chasing their dreams. Coldplay have been held hostage by a system that, at it's best, is only as good as its few commodities. The system itself has no taste and without being fed by artists willing to sign away their lives, that system would soon die off.
File sharing and trading is making "hardened criminals" out of 12 year olds, P2P networks have been shut down, individuals have been sent to jail (over your very record, in fact), and I'm sure even my own computer is monitored to determine how (or what) I fileshare. Yours too. That's assuming an awful lot -- is it as presumptuous to assume that everyone fileshares as that the future of your company's quarterly earnings rests on the revenues generated by a single album? I think back with sickening anger to the Sex Pistols vitriolic song "EMI" which, in 1977, told EMI exactly where they stood on this very self-same attachment to the money -- "And blind acceptance is a sign/Of stupid fools who stand in line/Like/E.M.I." sang Johnny Rotten. Did you ever think about that, Mr. Martin? I just wonder because it seems like Coldplay is so far above all of that sort of poppycock, yeah?
And what about the music? After all, when you were young, Mr. Martin, and you decided to write songs and play them for a living, did you imagine that you would ever have the power to flush a company's profits down the toilet? How fearful are you to speak out about that nonsense, to really tell people how you think beyond a soundbyte delivered to appease a clamoring public who, most of them, will not find themselves disappointed with anything you do, regardless of whether or not it's even any good?
Finally, your single "Speed of Sound" has debuted in the UK at the Number 2 spot behind, of all things, a ringtone for a fucking cell phone. You must be scratching your head over this one. You, who are one of the most successful bands in the world, have failed to crack even the most commercial of all entities -- and you've been beaten by a song which, in many cases, has actually been given away FOR FREE. You could hear it on the internet, on the P2P services, on free CD's, on websites. The Jamster people were not afraid to market their product and, as a result, reached audiences it never intended.
Is it then even more insulting to you how that ringtone, "Crazy Frog Axel F", not only beat you for the top spot on your single's debut week in the UK, it outsold your single 4 times to 1? Why, yes. It certainly is. "When you love someone but it goes to waste/Could it be worse?"
It really doesn't matter anymore whether or not the new Coldplay album is brilliant. It no longer matters whether or not you're a great songwriter, Mr. Martin. It no longer matters if your live show is brilliant, if you ever intended to have the power to sway corporations in your hands. None of that matters because, yes, all of it is true. All of it is quite true, and the public's attention has wavered. The pre-destined obsolescence of all things which exist on our planet has come home to meet you and the Board of Directors at the corporation. Will the shareholders be singing how "Nothing's really making any sense at all/It's talk/It's talk"?
EMI will argue that "without us around, you'd never hear of a band like Coldplay". But that argument is so fucking dated, we might as well tattoo it to the bones of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a symbol for what has already become of the major label machinery we once knew. The cream, my friends, always rises to the top eventually. Does it taste better if it happens more slowly or more quickly? I don't know. For Coldplay, it has been a short, meteoric rise that will continue onward in spite of what I write here. I'm going to do you the biggest favor a man like me can do for a man like you, Mr. Martin. I'm going to try and set you free for a second. Why? Because I know you're stuck. I know that if you could actually speak out more vehemently you would. All that sloganeering you've done, the whole "Keep Trade Fair" initiative, that stuff is what you actually mean it and I'm going to assume that you still believe in it. Being that you believe in Keeping Trade Fair, I'm going to make you and Coldplay continue to put your money where your mouth is here.
I know that if you had the wherewithal, you would be telling EMI six times a day to go and fuck themselves. You would tell all of us the truth of how they pressured you into creating a partially substandard product because of some graph or chart that proved how your previous records skewed in a certain market. You and your mates would release records on your own. You'd do whatever you had to do to go back to simply being who you are, a brilliant songwriter who has been put in an unenviable position. I hope you'd pick up the phone and call me, thank me for pointing out that "Speed of Sound" is nothing more than "Clocks, Pt. 2" which you recorded at the insistence of the board of directors. If the truth ever actually got out, I'd probably be killed for telling it. I know your checks have all cleared now, that you're going to be supported and taken care of no matter what happens. There is no contigency plan in place because, Mr. Martin, you are EMI's contingency plan. So I'm not afraid of what I'm about to ask people to do, and I hope you will forgive me for choosing to use my limited power to make an example out of you.
And really, who am I that I should know so much? I'm just a guy who likes music and who thinks I can fight the power and win. I might be wrong, you know? But see, I can accept that reality far more than you can accept being EMI's profit-loss margin for the third quarter of 2005.
I think you've been shortchanged and you've probably become more short-sighted and embittered as a result. Nobody told you it would come to this when you signed on. You're just as screwed as the little guy in the fledgling band who they are teeming to pull into the ranks. You and your mates, you've made a very good album. If people don't purchase it, then EMI's pie-in-the-sky dreams of treating artists like Coldplay as pawns in their scheme to manipulate a listening public already out of their control must finally dissipate. They're not fooling anyone. At least not anymore.
Now listen to the record, and feel free to write EMI Music Group to tell them how you people really feel. Tell them you're mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore. EMI does not control what you purchase and what you do not -- you do. SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. DON'T SUPPORT CORPORATE GREED. GO SEE COLDPLAY WHEN THEY PERFORM LIVE. BUT DO NOT BUY THIS ALBUM. Think about it -- it's going to be on the radio every 5 minutes for the next six months anyways. You can probably download it someplace if you really want to listen to it, and you'll have to do that anyways if you want it on your iPod. So why bother? Go see Coldplay in concert, they're amazing. But don't buy the record.
Because I know I'm not going to reach millions of people or even be taken seriously about this whole thing, I have nothing to lose by saying it. And I still don't give a fuck. At least, I don't give a fuck about anyone except for Chris Martin who, in spite of being brilliant, seems as if he's been driven into slavery by the white collar whip. He deserves better, and so do we.
On behalf of everyone who cares, HEY, EMI? Did it ever occur to you that the fans of music are not the criminals, that instead maybe you are? Go fuck yourselves.