So here’s a quick comparison for Sunday night ‘cos I am tired and its been a very long week. I picked Coldplay and Arcade Fire as recent 00 bands that are both rather low-key.To be honest, I stopped listening to Coldplay after two or three listens to A Rush of Blood to the Head and never really liked Funeral from Arcade Fire all that much. Both groups achieved meteoric fame – Coldplay going for more of the popstar image with supermodel girlfriends/wives and the like whereas Arcade Fire went the stadium rock route with touring around alongside U2, Bowie and David Byrne. I am just left wanting for both.
Admittedly, when I first heard Parachutes, I did like it but I think I was in a melancholy place in my life and that had a lot more to do with it than the music itself. I have the idea in the back of my head for a blog post about music and how it in a Proustian fashion is so linked in my mind to certain memories. Parachutes will always remind me of sitting in my car in Dallas in the parking lot of some corporate hotel not really wanting to go into the hotel and not wanting to go to work either. Just this limbo which Coldplay captured for me at the time. The followup album seemed to carry on the same sound with some more poppy elements and so they faded to the cobwebs of my iTunes collection. The one or two tracks I heard off of X&Y and Viva la Vida just turned me off.
My first visit to Montreal was in about 2005 and thus the Arcade Fire phenom was in full swing. They were what everyone was talking about and so I did try to listen but found it (a) poppy (b) depressing (c) sounded a lot like Shellyan Orphan (albeit less orchestrated) or Cocteau Twins. I just could never find my groove in their tangled melodies and wasn’t inspired to really try any harder to do so. Perhaps a reader will encourage me otherwise by selling me on Neon Bible or The Suburbs but I haven’t gotten up the courage for those since I can’t get through Funeral.
So I guess this time around its kind of a wash. Perhaps a slight edge to Coldplay for Parachutes which has the virtue of nostalgia going for it. Like I said, it seems like that is much better music out there to make an effort to listen to than these two but if I am wrong please comment.