“Dolby’s Rupees: ‘The Scientist’ by Coldplay”

In the early ’90’s, punk was big — Fugazi, Lagwagon, Strung Out. By the early ’00’s, it had become “punk” to put out a song that was actually inspired and substantial.
Coldplay had embarked upon this genuine mission with their debut. “Trouble” seemed like the sort of immediate catharsis so intense that it only comes around every so often, and so is to be celebrated. I remember hearing “Trouble” for the first time in the summer of ’03, and setting it to many a boozy sunset night.
The rich live rich, and die rich, a la Chris Martin, and in desperate times, desperation is beautiful. For Martin, in a phenomenon embodied only to a minor extent by Beck with Sea Change and then “Broken Drum” on Guero, he stretches the heartbreak out across two albums, and it fully comes to blossoming of expression only on the second. Where “Trouble” may have been more original, ultimately, it was a tight rope or trapeze act, briefly marvelous, to be subjugated in the coming season. “The Scientist,” apropos, was a stalwartly luminous reflector of unmitigated, dangerous emotion, and so must have taught the Beck a thing or two who sang on Sea Change‘s Paper Tiger: “There’s no road back to you.”
It sounds shallow, but I think that if you’re a white artist, you’ve fully reached a proud pinnacle if black people start feeling you. Call me juvenile, easily charmed, whatever. I went to a public school and was a member of the track team, and I remember being tickled when one black dude asked to burn my Smells Like Teen Spirit album, and another was always requesting my CD copy of Lit – A Place in the Sun. Coldplay rubbed shoulders with Kanye and Jay-Z, at seperate times. The stylistics of “The Scientist” are incredibly simple — piano, guitars and percussion (in this order, and not, so, without significance and effect, as certainly a view of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TwPgTjf7kk on youtube will indicate). Emotion is unviersal. “I was just guessing numbers and figures,” sings Chris Martin, tossing stones into the stream, seeking his reflection, and getting a big answer — it was all the passing of time.

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