AMSTERDAM WARNINGSIGN FIX YOU
(from A Rush of Blood to the Head, 2002) If there is one of several things that Chris Martin knows about the power and empathy of pop music, it is how to wring the most amount of melancholy from the fewest minor chords. He is also pretty good at playing ballad-pop piano, and Amsterdam – the final track on the album – is one of the best examples of the craft. A slow build, a crashing finale and a redemptive closing lyric (“you came along and you cut me loose”) seals the deal. the Head, 2002) Martin has been accused (perhaps too often) of writing songs that are more sentimental than anything else, but this gentle tune, drawn into a dramatic narrative about death and pivoting around lyrics as simple and simplistic as “yeah, the truth is I miss you” and “you were an island and I passed you by”, is really quite elegant. It is a deceptively melodic tune, driven by strummed acoustic guitar, rippling piano and a pirouetting guitar line. The band tends not to perform it in concert, but it remains a firm fan favourite nonetheless.
(from A Rush of Blood to
(from X&Y, 2005) The best and probably most well-known of Coldplay’s songs is from their weakest album, and is also a track derided by the haters, who point to the song as all that is wrong with the band. It’s a polarising, unashamedly sentimental tune, that’s for sure, and it has certainly soundtracked enough lachrymose scenes from TV shows to last a lifetime.
Chris Martin wrote it for his then-wife Gwyneth Paltrow following the death of her father, its theme of recovery from deep despair and/or grief creating an emotive ripple effect from which few people can escape.