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Coldplay goes experimental on “Midnight”

25 February 2014 7 Comments
This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

Coldplay2The art of damage control is one that very few music artists have a grasp of. Madonna excels at this. U2 has managed to have a successful career despite artistic misfires with very little damage control. One great way to stem a downward spiral besides featuring a new single on a reality television show (hello Maroon 5!) is to get a new single featured on the soundtrack of a high-profile movie. After the snoozefest that the album “Mylo Xyloto” was, Coldplay managed to execute on damage control last year with “Atlas” – a down-tempo track featured on the “Hunger Games” soundtrack. This did help revive Coldplay’s goodwill but what they do next is critical to their longevity as a commercial act. Hence, it is surprising that Coldplay would release something as experimental as “Midnight” at this point of their career.

The song’s entire “drowned out” vocal section is sung as a harmony (probably with lead singer Chris Martin’s voice layered over another sample of his own voice) – thus making the lyrics quite difficult to decipher. Like “Atlas“, “Midnight” is a very downbeat affair. Folks on youtube have already started to comment on this song sounding more like a Bon Iver track than a Coldplay track. At around the third minute of the song, it suddenly breaks into an ambient mid-tempo beat and then reverts to its original sonic template.

Given that the band has eschewed standard structure of a pop song on “Midnight“, one can only wonder if the new track is a statement indicating that they are in an experimental phase of their career and are not interested in continuing as the commercial and celebrated act that they have been for a little over a decade. The next album (slated for release later this year) might be the defining indication of what Coldplay has in mind commercially and artistically. Here is a full-length clip of Coldplay’s “Midnight”.

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7 Responses to "Coldplay goes experimental on “Midnight”"

  1. Frannie says:

    I think I like it a lot more than you do. It’s really beautiful. I’ve always loved downtempo electronic music. I’ve never followed Coldplay that closely, but I really like this.

  2. @Frannie: I think I wrote this review from the perspective of a radio DJ as opposed to a casual music listener. That might have a lot to do with my rating. That being said, I would not necessarily criticize a song that wasn’t created for radio – but this one just didn’t stick. The drowned out vocals were a bit off-putting but the production on it is actually quite beautiful. That being said, examples of GREAT songs that are NOT radio-friendly include “Cowboys And Angels”(George Michael) and “Hurting Time” by Annie Lennox.

  3. Sam says:

    Hi, RCB,

    I haven’t been able to visit your blog much recently, but a few weeks ago (in the “Kylie/Into the Blue” post, I believe), I promised you that I would try to give you my feedback on your station. You said that it would be best if I set aside a block of a whole hour. Well, tonight I finally found the time to do so!

    I think the music you play is far superior to what I’ve heard from any “land” radio stations. Of the songs I heard in that hour tonight, there were probably only one or two that I didn’t particularly care for–such the one by Survivor (“Search Is Over”?) that I think is overplayed. OTOH, I usually don’t like many songs played by regular radio stations. On the whole, I think your selection of tunes is very eclectic, and I’m glad there are stations like yours out there. It gives folks exposure to music that we might never hear otherwise.

    Anyway, I hope you find this bit of feedback to be helpful. :)

  4. @Sam: I am so glad you enjoyed most of what you heard on our radio station. Any new discoveries that you latched on to? I do have one more favor to ask of you. Would you be willing to take 5 minutes to fill out our online Listener Survey? Here is the link: http://kellogg.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3K7U5BE9TzTj6VC . Thanks so much for checking out the station AND providing your feedback. We truly appreciate it!

  5. Sam says:

    Hi, RCB,

    You’re very welcome. Any new discoveries? Yes, there was a song that I quite liked and went and played over at Grooveshark, but I don’t remember what it was now. I’m thinking that either the artist or the title perhaps contained the word “Gold” or “Painted”? LOL. I’m really not sure now–I wish I could remember it better. :)

    OK, I will try to fill out your Listener Survey later on tonight.

  6. Sam says:

    OK, I just went to Grooveshark and they have a way to indirectly search your listening history. It appears the song I liked was “Golden Train” by Penguin Prison. I thought perhaps maybe the word “Gold” was just popping into my head because of the recent Winter Olympics. LOL. ;) Hope this helps. I also checked out a song by Samantha James, “Rise,” which I thought was pretty good.

  7. @Sam: Thank you so much for your comment AND for filling out the Listener Survey. I sent you an e-mail to acknowledge the survey submission. “Golden Train” by Penguin Prison is a great song. “Rise” is the title track of Samantha James’ debut album. The stuff on her sophomore album was even better. Check out the following songs by her – “Subconscious”, “Wings of Faith”, and “Veil”. They are FAR superior to “Rise”.

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