May the Coldplay-U2 comparisons begin

The only band that could ever steal me away from U2 has a new album coming out in a couple months, a new single (“Speed of Sound”) now hitting radio, and a promotional machine that’s cranking up much like U2’s does for a new album and single.

And just like the days when A Rush of Blood to the Head was released, the Coldplay-U2 comparisons are starting to fly in full force. From this interesting article about the business side of things comes a quote from NME:

“Coldplay follow a tradition of great British bands,” said Julian Marshall, news editor of New Musical Express. “I have heard the full record. It is easily as strong as their last album. I think they are now up there with U2.”

No doubt there will be more of that. Much more.

14 Responses to May the Coldplay-U2 comparisons begin

  1. Keir April 19, 2005 at 9:37 am #

    Well, if Chris Martin gets his act together in terms of lyrics, then we’ll have something. I own both Coldplay albums and while the music is terrific, Martin really needs to grow up a bit. Come to think of it, so did some other band when they made their third album, too.

  2. Colin & Laura April 19, 2005 at 9:40 am #

    More power to them, the world could use some more world class bands like U2. I hope this album does incredibly well for them.

  3. wik73h April 19, 2005 at 10:43 am #

    Come on, they’ve made two albums. Did people start saying U2 was up there with the Rolling Stones after War, I don’t think so. I think they make good music, but i agree with Keir in that Martin needs to do a lot better to ever be considered any where close to as good a lyricist as Bono. Even asking the question I think is a disgrace to U2 and how hard they have worked to get to where they are. I’ll hold off on any real comparison until after a few more albums.

  4. Tassoula April 19, 2005 at 12:37 pm #

    I agree with Keir that I’d like Chris’s lyrics to grow a bit – Coldplay’s melodies are their strength in my opinion.

    But as a U2 purist, I have to argue that there were some lyrical gems in the first three albums.

    “I can’t believe the news today” has kind of stood the test of time, yes?

  5. m2 April 19, 2005 at 12:45 pm #

    It isn’t fair to compare U2 and Coldplay now, but comparing BOY and OCTOBER to PARACHUTES and RUSH seems fair … even though circumstances are certainly different. (Coldplay has much more money and support than U2 had between 1980-1983.)

    The thing for me is that Coldplay as a collective is light years ahead of U2 at this stage of their careers. I’d say BOY is better than PARACHUTES, but RUSH puts OCTOBER to shame.

    As for lyrics … jeez, doesn’t everyone write some losers throughout their career? “Intellectual tortoise”? “heavy, heavy as a truck?” The first verse of “Who’s Gonna Ride….”? 🙂 I’m sure Martin will grow and eventually have his share of hits and misses….

  6. Keir April 19, 2005 at 4:49 pm #

    Oh, I agree. Bono’s misses have been quite spectacular. Martin’s still a bit in the wet blanket category for me, is all, and I hope for his sake he grows as a person & artist, cause that’s what it takes. Still, he and I are roughly the same age, and I’ve written at least two lyrics that demolish any of his, if I do say so.

    What I’ve noticed about bands that are influenced by say U2 or REM or whomever, that sometimes they don’t seem to be going deeper than that, to maybe the artists that influenced their heroes. Not like they have to do this, of course, but for my money, that’s the reason that Travis and Starsailor and Keane and all those bands just sound so wimpy and relatively lightweight.

  7. John April 20, 2005 at 5:20 am #

    I think Coldplay is a really good band, and Martin is clearly inspired by Bono and U2. I think that they will always fall a bit short of the mark — in that they won’t resonate with people’s deepest parts — because Martin doesn’t share the bigger things that drive Bono. The loss of his two parents is obviously huge in Bono’s lyrics, but an arguably bigger influence is his faith.

  8. Beth April 20, 2005 at 8:38 am #

    I don’t “get” Coldplay, unfortunately, and the lyrics are maybe part of why not. Somehow I’m more willing to forgive Bono his inanities. However, I have to agree with M2 about the first verse of WGRYWH, which is one of the few times I find a U2 Biblical allusion so torturously awkward that it damages the lyric beyond repair.

  9. julie April 20, 2005 at 11:15 am #

    “Talk” is an amazing song. One of my favorites on my ipod right now.

  10. U2 Rules! April 21, 2005 at 12:49 am #

    dude… I wouldn’t put Travis in the wimpy band category, Keir!

    Have you listened to their last album “12 memories” ? I don’t think you can call it wimpy or lightweight.

    Just my thoughts though…

  11. Keir April 22, 2005 at 12:07 am #

    Actually yes, I have heard “12 Memories”, and for the life of me I can’t imagine why a band who recorded that record would go straight to the schmaltz on their next disc. Velveeta even. But they’re famous, and I’m not, so I guess that settles that.

  12. imkindofabigdeal April 23, 2005 at 7:47 pm #

    As of now Coldplay and U2 cannot be compared until after the release of Coldplay’s new album. I love Coldplay and think they have a great amount of potential to take U2’s spot when they have left us, but they stand in a very awkward position right now. Since their first two albums were amazing they have only to get better. And since this is Coldplay’s third album it lies in line with War and the breakthrough that album had for U2’s career. We can only sit and wait.

  13. Pinkerton April 26, 2005 at 7:44 am #

    This post has been removed by the author.

  14. Pinkerton April 26, 2005 at 7:46 am #

    Coldplay are a poor man’s U2…on their best day.
    Musically they sound alright but I think they assume that they are a lot more important and talented than they actually are.
    I’ll grant Christ Martin that “The Scientist” is amazing in every way.
    For them to be ranked with U2, Martin needs to stop whining about everything and they need a lot of work on their live show…what an absolute bore!