Saturday, 4 December 2010

Coldplay - Christmas Lights

"When you're still waiting for the snow to fall,
It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all"

...Chris Martin lazily croons.  We don't need more snow at the moment, but I'm still waiting for this song to deliver on its Christmas promise.  What else have Coldplay yet to achieve but a Christmas anthem?  Following on from the best (Wham, The Pogues) the song details yet another Christmas break-up, which is pretty standard, depressing, Coldplay affair.  What the song really needs is a kick up the arse from Santa's boot.

The start shows promise, a simple Christmas carol reminiscent of Til Kingdom Come.  But once the band proper enters, it becomes totally generic and uninspiring - exactly what you don't want from a Christmas song.  The second half turns to triple time as the song moves into a waltzing, anthemic sing-along.  At least, it would be if there was a decent singable hook - Hey Jude this isn't.  The change is jarring, as if Martin has suddenly discovered what a 'ritardando' is (it's where the music slows).  It all feels rather hollow.

Considering their hiatus from the music scene, I expected more from this.  Is a development in the band's tired sound too much to ask?  You can hear the cold, calculating, financial cogs turning but creativity is nowhere.  I think more effort was put into the violin playing Elvis impersonators in the video.  It's a nice enough song, but nice isn't good enough.  Christmas Lights is, ironically enough, crucially lacking in transporting Christmas magic.