AM­S­TER­DAM WARNINGSIGN FIX YOU

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

(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.

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