Monday, October 24, 2011

How to Love Coldplay

I cannot help but be really excited about Coldplay's new album, Mylo Xyloto. It was just released today in London and the U.S. (I can't remember accurately but the point is that it's released today).

I'm honestly not a huge fan of male singers or male groups for that matter. All of the songs in my fave playlist are sung by females. Not that I'm being a sexist or anything. It could probably be that I can imagine myself singing the songs when girls sing it. Hence, it's just me being narcissistic. :)

So anyway, it all started with Yellow (as far as most non-Coldplay listeners have their first encounter of the band). I liked how it can make me imagine so much. It helped even more that they started the song with 'stars'. No girl could resist the mention of a 'star'. And for it to include 'for you I'll bleed myself dry' made it all the more addictive. So there, the stars and blood donation did me.


I wasn't instantly a Coldplay convert yet. I can't love a band based on a song alone. I need to know a couple more...

Next is The Scientist (again, among the more common ones that get into the mainstream radio). However, I didn't chance upon the song via radio. It was my roommate who coerced me into listening to The Scientist. Well.. Not really. But she plays the song every morning so the song sort of became our morning anthem.

Violet Hill is the third song that I loved. I think it means waaaay more than a lover-beloved dynamic coz it had some political messages embedded in the lyrics. Anyways, I liked the "If you love me, won't you let me know?" "If you love me, why'd you let me go?" part of the song. The melody has that unpolished beat to it reminiscent of the time before autotuning was invented. Or back when vinyl records were considered modern.

Whenever I hear Fix You, I feel comforted. I feel that someone is around to reassure me that things are going to be alright. For things that you have to deal with on your own (coz there are things that you just can't tell your friends about), the song Fix You is good company. Lights will guide you home... I will try to fix you... When you're too in love to let it go... But if you never try you'll never know...

Last is Viva La Vida. It ironically has a very lively beat to it despite the lyrics which for me tell of a has-been's tale. Nevertheless, I liked how happy it sounds. It strikes me as a song of a has-been who has accepted his/her fate and has already moved on.

It's not really difficult to love this band. Their songs are very simple with kick-ass imagery. They've somehow mastered that beautiful mix of poetic lyrics and pop-appeal. And for a populist like me (and admittedly with some penchant for poetry), it's always an amazing thing to be able to make a lot of people appreciate what for you is beautiful.

Friday, October 14, 2011


By the bench where my friend and I sat, we got into talking about the word 'nice' and how its meaning can be construed in various situations.

We talked about how it probably is just a word to use for lack of anything better to say. It connotes that lukewarm treatment and careful detachment. We came up with several situations to illustrate our point.

photo lifted from here

Case 1. A girl who is going out with a guy carefully planned her outfit for the night. As she descends the stairs and approaches the guy, the guy tells her 'you look nice'. It actually could be the worst thing in the world to hear. Nice is used to coat any unpleasant feeling without really overcoating it.

Case 2. When a professor says that an idea I just shared in class was nice, I feel queasy. It meant to me like it never really means anything. Something the professor says out of courtesy of my effort to participate in the class discussion. 

Case 3. That nice feeling. Nice feelings aren't the ones that make you blush. A nice feeling is that comfortable feeling you get when you think you have done something right but wished to do otherwise. 

Case 4. A nice poem. A nice poem is neither ugly nor beautiful. A nice poem neither wins a Palanca nor gets published in a legitimate literary journal. A nice poem is placed on something irrelevant to be talked about for a while then forgotten. That's a nice poem.

Case 5. A nice person. Same with the nice poem, a nice person doesn't become a despot or a Ramon Magsaysay awardee. A nice person is someone you hang out with sometimes to feel... nice. Nice person doesn't challenge your opinion. Nice person is just there when you need someone who would be... nice with you coz nice person always says nice things. The moment you figure things out, you hang out with nice person less. That's a nice person's fate. Oh... and you don't really fall headlessly in love with nice people, you just settle into that nice stability that only nice people can give. If it's a good thing or a bad thing, only time can tell.

I'm pretty sure nice isn't intended to mean this way but when used in certain situations, it certainly appears to be this distant. Like how little something is thought of. An absent regard for something one has done would get this remark. 

More often than not, nice is only just another way to say that a person (or an idea) is second-rate and... much as I hate to use this word...dispensable.