For all that, I've always liked Coldplay. I like Chris Martin's voice: I like a lot of their music, and I generally support their entire aesthetic. They have the courage to be positive, to sing about big things without irony or cynicism. Sometimes that makes them sound pretty vacuous, but on the other hand it also allows for moments of real spiritual beauty ("Yellow," for example, is a song I still find incredibly moving). Are they as emotionally or musically sophisticated as Radiohead? No. Can Chris Martin come off, as the Brits say, as something of a nob? Yes he can. Still, I always wince when someone starts slamming into Coldplay. It's just too easy. Why not burn a few disco records while you're at it?
And I really like the new album ("Vida La Vida"). It's definitely their best to date. Adding Brian Eno to produce was a great idea; there's a little more sonic complexity; the album tends to be faster and heavier than their previous work, and Martin keeps the falsetto to a minimum. It's got at least three great songs on it ("Yes" is my favorite of the moment) and it rewards relistening; a lot of the songs get better the more you hear them.
It's probably not the best album of the year (not that I would know) but it's definitely better than In Rainbows (Radiohead's newest album). So, you know, give it a listen. Let me know what you all think.... (Except you, Johannes)