Coldplay – Unreleased Demos Part I
Before Coldplay became the monolith of the music industry, in the Parachutes and A Rush Of Blood To The Head era they were famed for being “the nicest guys in rock”. They wrote memorable and affecting pop songs that held minimal instrumentation and production, and were delivered with the utmost sincerity by a heart-on-sleeve singer who exercised an unusual voice with an accomplished falsetto.
It’s exemplified in this great instalment of ‘Poptimist: Sonic Cathedrals’ by Tom Ewing for Pitchfork, where he explains:
“The Big Music is simply what happens when you have to fill a huge acoustic space and communicate to an awful lot of people at once: Things get louder and simpler, and the only way to restore nuance is to exaggerate the vulnerability of the frontperson.”
Here are a batch of unheard “Chris Martin” songs in their raw demo format from around December 2006, after the release of X&Y but prior to Viva La Vida. As you can hear quite clearly from Martin’s distinctively nasal singing, he isn’t about to win American Idol any time soon, but his vulnerability as a front person might perhaps be the most exaggerated in all of pop, and partly the reason Alan McGee defines them as “bedwetter music”. But as Mylo Xyloto so aptly illustrates, everything on it is conformist to current chart trends in size and simplicity, and Chris Martin’s vulnerability has vanished without a trace in amongst the synths.
The Fall Of Man
-James Godwin, November 9th, 2011