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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
X & Y
Capitol Records

Rating: 4/10 ?

July 11, 2005
In a world of honest music consumers, it is at times mind-boggling to figure out why the masses have fallen head over heels for Chris Martin and company. As far as overrated bands go, only the Dave Matthews Band surpasses Coldplay in this regard - only instead of clinging to Birkenstock-clad frat boys like white on rice, fans confident in their faux-sophisticated musical appreciation flock towards the languid, British darlings in droves.

Touted everywhere as the next U2 - complete with globally-minded frontman - the band and their new record are wholly deserving of such a distinctionů especially considering that once laudable group's recently trite offerings.

Martin claimed prior to the release of 2002's A Rush of Blood to the Head that it would be the band's crowning achievement. Although it, too, suffered from various moments of utter insipidness (leaving Parachutes out entirely), X & Y proves him right.

X & Y is uninspired adult pop that drops jaws only in its capacity to elicit yawns. Martin has never been known to go off like a firecracker, but, unlike his performance on Parachutes, Martin can't even compete with an ash snake.

"Fix You" and lead single "Speed of Sound" liven up the doldrums started at "Square One"; "Talk" is also worth a listen, but points out why X & Y ultimately fails. Martin croons about "something that's never been done," but by the last notes of "Twisted Logic," X & Y feels like having "Clocks" on repeat for an hour.

The group, despite their obsession with fair trade, manages to play it lyrically safe. Nearly every track rehashes the prototypical love-song agonies - I love you, you broke my heart, you don't realize who loves you etc. - with Martin's cryptic, often nebulous fragments.

The worst lyrics of all belong to "Swallowed in the Sea"; The AAAB rhyme scheme gives the song the childish feel of a high-school poetry class composition: "You cut me down a tree/And brought it back to me/And that's what made me see/Where I was going wrong." With incredulousness, I must smack my own forehead - If only I would've known sooner! The right path can be found if I only find somebody to cut down the national forests! It's hard to stifle eye rolls, giggles or sighs in the face of such insipid "wisdom"; if only it weren't so prevalently accepted.

All cynicism aside, if listening only to the pleasing surface sounds, repeat spins find X & Y almost enjoyable - but only almost.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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