by carl wilson

Last Nail in the Coffin of the Honesty Police

You think these girls are going to listen to your claim that Chris Martin's a cynical phony?

I can't believe I am still talking about Coldplay. But it's become a case study. I want to get this down. So I zapped last night's entry. (I realize that breaks some kind of blogging commandment but the hell with that - it was a waste of space.) Here's a better try:

The flaw of "sincere" or "honest" as a critical term is that any claim by the critic to be able to read the artist's mind should be laughed at. When we think we're hearing honesty, what we're usually hearing is precision and detail, or sometimes just raw simplicity, but none of those actually require veracity; what we identify with insincerity is bombast or pontification or sentimentality, none of which actually require heartlessness. If you want to praise a song as honest or sincere, you'll get by fine, but nobody's going to listen to a critic who accuses their favourite singer of being dishonest. You know how honest she is. Fuck that guy. What does he know? And you'll be right - I couldn't possibly know. (Neither can you, but that's academic.) (And nobody will ever know: Even if the singer later says she was insincere, she might just be covering up for her past gormlessness.)

So there is no ground to be gained on the ramparts of the sincerity wars. We'll all choose our own cherry-tree-axing idols of honesty, and for our own reasons. Honesty's overrated anyway - klansmen are being honest about their hatred for other races. Better they should pretend. In any case, I see no good option but to take it as a rule that every artist is being honest and sincere - so the stakes are real, everybody stands behind what they make and is willing to answer for it. It seems like the basic building block of civilization. That's me holding up my little lantern.

Aaron asked, "Wouldn't it be fair to say that if you found us to be cliche, crap and completely devoid of substance... you would think us... erm... insincere?" Nope. I could think you (if you were, say, Chris Martin) a boring, humourless, sluggish pratt, maybe; maybe a twit whose ego's been hyperinflated by boning a movie star; maybe a hack songwriter who can't tell redwoods of creative genius from witless twigs; but I wouldn't assume you don't even mean it. That's just rude.

Dave offers the crucial test: What could the Coldplay critic say that somebody who, say, likes but doesn't love Coldplay might actually hear? Not that they're fakers, for sure. Not even that the songs are cliched. But perhaps you'd catch their ears that Coldplay is wallowing in a pool nobody wants to be caught swimming in. "[Pareles] might have started by saying what's wrong with wanting songs that are soothing but don't go anywhere. He might have pointed out the fact that they aren't fundamentally different in function from the Yanni or Vangelis records their parents might have listened to." There's also the virtue of showing your work: "detailed, side-by-side comparisons of the Radiohead and U2 songs that Coldplay have ripped off. Had he written a diss so funny or so clever that nobody would want to be on the side of his opponents, he might have won over some converts."

Okay, enough of that now.

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Friday, June 10 at 5:38 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (27)



"klansmen are being honest about their hatred for other races."

No they're not.

Posted by jpath on July 7, 2005 9:21 PM



Preach it, Dave.

As for the "soul" thing - it's a subjective question - I'm definitely trying to use it as a term for something along the lines of "emotionally moving and distinctive in voice" and not something along the lines of "honestly felt." James Brown's music is full of soul but it's as artificial and showbizzy as anything in the world, too. So I don't think of it as having to do with sincerity and authenticity. Still I referred to it being a product of "talent," not "technical skill." There's no contradiction between the two but talent doesn't automatically mean technique. I agree there are perfectionist artists and producers who play the studio like an instrument and get great things out of it, but I think the pursuit of studio perfection is often taken too far by less sensitive producers etc. Nothing against the technology, just against its inevitable overuse - a lot of today's music is going to sound quaint soon because it's so marked by the Pro Tools sound, the way that synth drums make 80s music sound like 80s music. Which is both nice, and a bit limiting.

Posted by zoilus on June 13, 2005 12:27 PM



i was following this and wondering where to jump in, particularly since words like "soul" and "authenticity" (the latter being the "rockism" of 20th century litcrit) send me out onto the window ledge. but i did want to comment on Sean's posts:

the fact that X&Y; cops moves from Radiohead and U2 is not a smoking gun in itself, but mediocrity and undigested influence aren't exactly strange bedfellows. as for my "similar in function to Vangelis and Yanni" observation, it was intended to remind people that music that soothes and does little else is usually mocked and reviled in our society, and for good reason - it's mediocre. "who cares, if i like it" you say. but would you argue that it isn't mediocre? probably not, because what Pareles didn't address is that a lot of people who like Coldplay wouldn't deny their mediocrity, and i believe that's what he should have confronted head-on in his review.

people who genuinely love Coldplay don't really bother me. they probably can't be convinced otherwise, which is fine - Supertramp sold a lot of records too. but most people i know aren't fans, and yet they give them a free pass. it's telling that most of my friends who'll admit to enjoying Coldplay won't passionnately defend them. i hear a lot of "they're OK, they're fine for doing the dishes to" but no vigorous rebuttals of my charges. in fact, i would love to hear one, but all i get is "i like them", as if mild pleasure was validation in itself.

what's wrong with mild pleasure? a lot of things. if we switched off the TV or the radio when things we know are mediocre came on, stations might play them less. if we played records that were both soothing and interesting during our dinner parties and make-out sessions, we might actually notice and enjoy them, sparking more conversations and generally increasing the pleasure we get from art, which i consider a good thing. and we might encourage musicians to believe that we care about the hard work they put into their music, because we wouldn't just be treating our record collections like atmosphere enhancers, as though they were dispensing air freshener. we'd actually be listening to them and thinking about the ideas they contain, evaluating them, and perhaps even discarding the ones that don't hold up on close inspection, like X&Y.; and that's why i'm running for prime minister. thank you for reading.

Posted by Dave on June 12, 2005 8:22 PM



>> Everybody's got a soul,

Even Richard Nixon, or so I hear....

>> but only a talented musician, who usually has learned the tricks from other talented musicians, can get across *soul*.

That seems quite counterintuitive to me. Surely most listeners would define *soul* as the ineffable, non-technical aspect of writing/performing that CAN'T be taught, no?

And I don't claim to read your mind or anything, but isn't that closer to what you were thinking of in your original post about imperfections?

(I don't mean to be argumentative; I just find this debate endlessly fascinating...)

Posted by DW on June 12, 2005 2:21 PM



Whiff of the old Argumentum ad Nazium in the third paragraph there, sir!

I don't know where I pulled the quote from, maybe the Mojo Oasis interview in this month's issue (so it could be suspect), but Chris Martin said something to the effect that he hadn't met anyone in two years who liked his band, and didn't know if they were cool anymore. And then there was that Hitler/Marley quote...

Posted by Jay Watts III on June 12, 2005 1:01 PM



I knew I was going to regret saying that "soul" thing.

John - well, Gould's not such a good example, what with his humming and the fact that his interpretations were so disputed - hardly an example of extreme smoothness. But Usher is a good example - you're right that it's not always in the imperfections. It can be in the perfections too.

DW - I don't think soul and authenticity are the same thing - I think of soul as a performative quality, not an inherent one. Everybody's got a soul, but only a talented musician, who usually has learned the tricks from other talented musicians, can get across *soul*. I shouldn't have used the words "come through" - that was sloppy. More accurately, imperfections in a performance can help create the aura of soul, as humanizing touches. Doesn't matte if they're deliberate or accidental.

Posted by zoilus on June 12, 2005 12:50 PM



>> What I should have said is that your "academic avant-gardeist who sets out to 'dismantle the hegemony of traditional song structure,' or whatever" was totally a strawman.

Fair enough, though put to pretty mild purposes, I'd think.

>> And I do think there's a submerged moralism to it.

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

But something else has been rattling around in the back of my mind:

>> the modern studio elimination of all mistakes and errors makes it much more difficult for soul to come through, because soul is always partly in the imperfections.

You seem to suggest here that there's a property called "soul" that (a) exists, (b) can "come through" to varying degrees on a record, and (c) can affect one's enjoyment of said record.

I agree wholeheartedly, if I'm reading you right. But I'm wondering, wouldn't "soul" be at least some kind of cousin to more fraught labels like "authenticity" and "sincerity"?

Posted by DW on June 12, 2005 9:36 AM



'Cold' play.
Cold 'play'.

The name says it all.

Posted by alan on June 12, 2005 9:13 AM



" the modern studio elimination of all mistakes and errors makes it much more difficult for soul to come through, because soul is always partly in the imperfections."

Even though as a player I'm far too much a warts-and-all take-the-mistake guy, I gotta disagree with this.

Glenn Gould. Studio perfectionist, soulful eccentric, and all-round great Canadian.

Usher. Pushing those machines to squeeze every ounce of executional frailty out, while the soulful emotional frailty of his urgent song singing sings and zings and stings through.

"But what about sincerity?" asked the Method Actor of the Old Ham. "Ah, that's the secret," came the reply. "Once you can fake sincerity, you've got it."

Posted by John S. on June 12, 2005 12:05 AM



I didn't mean that to sound as negative as it did, DW.

What I should have said is that your "academic avant-gardeist who sets out to 'dismantle the hegemony of traditional song structure,' or whatever" was totally a strawman. And I do think there's a submerged moralism to it.

But I then went on to exaggerate it to make my point - sorry about that.

Posted by zoilus on June 11, 2005 5:38 PM



What I should have said before: while I agree there's nothing wrong with an onstage and offstage persona not matching, when you throw in the fact that Nick's onstage persona so perfectly corresponds to a typical A&R; exec's idea of what will appeal to a certain market segment, surely it's a little distasteful.

>> I think you're imputing cynical motives to the "subversive" artist - a smug superiority and contrarianism for its own sake -

Who's reading minds now? All I said was that I find the subversive approach less "charming," which applies to only the middle one of your "respect, affection, admiration" troika.

At most I was suggesting that the self-consciously subversive approach is more calculated aesthetically. Any moral judgment was imagined, not implied.

(As for perhaps-unfair judgments on Nick-of-Nick-and-Jessica-fame, I'll plead guilty to all of those.)

Posted by DW on June 11, 2005 4:13 PM



It's not that I think Nick's music is moving or great, just that I think he might feel some of the romantic emotions it expresses as much as anybody else does.

The Scene Is Now is a great example - the whole 1970s Cleveland scene, including Pere Ubu, in fact stands right on that instinctive-outsider-versus-conscious-avant-gardist border in a fascinating way.

Personally I don't have any less respect, affection or admiration for an artist who is doing what they're doing on purpose. I think you're imputing cynical motives to the "subversive" artist - a smug superiority and contrarianism for its own sake - where most of the ones worth talking about were driven by a passionate desire to do something new and beautiful and meaningful. I think the widespread tendency to assume artists are motivated by smarmy self-promotion betrays a real misunderstanding of how difficult and unlikely an artistic career is. I think it's that difficulty, unfortunately, that forces a lot of artists to become self-promoters, and then it's easy for them to get lost in it. But it's not the starting point. People motivated solely by ego don't last.

Posted by zoilus on June 11, 2005 3:33 PM



Good point about Nick & Jessica, theoretically, but when I hear him sing I sure don't "feel" any expression of real soul or emotion. Do you? (Maybe it's there and for whatever reason I'm not connecting, but I'm not sure I buy that...)

Re the Shaggs, you're right of course. I guess my point (poorly expressed) wasn't that the Shaggs and artists like them are operating in a vacuum or deliberately subverting the conventions of pop songcraft. The appeal, rather, is that we have access to their raw, unrefined, and idiosyncratic idea of what a pop song IS.

(That whole "window to the soul" trope is further complicated in the Shaggs' case, I realize, by the domineering-father backstory.)

To me, an artist whose stuff comes out sounding weird to everyone else but perfectly normal to them is usually more charming than an academic avant-gardeist who sets out to "dismantle the hegemony of traditional song structure," or whatever. But that's just me.

All of this is itself academic and tangential, of course. If you listen to The Scene Is Now's great compilation The Oily Years, there's no real way to tell whether they fall into the skewed-intuitionist camp or the academic-avant-garde camp. As it happens, they self-identify as the former, which makes me like them all the more. But really the sound on the record is the only important thing.

Posted by DW on June 11, 2005 3:14 PM



And meanwhile maybe the Shaggs - or a Shagg, or their dad, or whoever - thought My Pal Foot Foot was just going to be this rockin' Beach Boys-like hit that would make all the kids love them... but didn't have the ability to make it that way.

One place I do think Chusid's on to something is that the modern studio elimination of all mistakes and errors makes it much more difficult for soul to come through, because soul is always partly in the imperfections.

Posted by zoilus on June 11, 2005 2:45 PM



all interesting stuff. the only objection i want to make is to the nick & jessica stuff: there's nothing wrong with someone's stage persona and style being different than their off-stage persona (if we can call a reality show that). but i don't see any reason from his schlubby, bossy manner to conclude that he doesn't tenderly love jessica and intend to do so till the end of time. they're married, and you can sense their intimacy on that stupid show. part of the wonder of art - yep, even nick whatsisname's art - is that it allows people to express emotions passioantely and proudly that they would find too "fruity" or embarrassing ever to hint at through the mask of their normal social identity.

Posted by Zoilus on June 11, 2005 2:41 PM




Just wanted to weigh in on the authenticity debate, which I find fascinating irrespective of Coldplay (whom I don't like or care about, but also have no reason to suspect of less-than-genuine motives).

This is undoubtedly an absurd example, but here goes:

A couple years ago I was watching an episode of that "Nick and Jessica" show on TV, and I was struck by the incongruity between Nick's apparent personality and the music that he made. Nick seemed to be a beer-drinking, football-watching, farting schlub, who talked a lot about how spoiled his wife was and how he had to "cure her of her spoiledness."

Not that there’s anything wrong with all of that. (Well, with the schlubbiness, anyway. The marital dynamic seemed a bit creepy.)

But Nick's music, at least what I’ve heard of it, is definitely of the [cue simpering vocals] "And I will love you till the end of time..." school.

If that ain't "insincere," what is?

And yes, I'm well aware of the irony/folly of using a reality TV show as a yardstick of Nick’s "true" personality. But I guess my point is that there IS cynical, opportunistic art out there, and the attitude that "we can never know what's in the heart of another so we have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt," while admirable in theory, seems a little unworkable in practice to me.

I'm more inclined to go along (to a point, anyway) with the idea that sincerity is irrelevant whether it exists or not. After all, there are plenty of songs that strike me as cynical/opportunistic that still have me turning up the radio as soon as I hear them. And a world without all that stuff would be a bleak one indeed.

But with the stuff that means the most to me -- that I actually care about as opposed to just enjoy -- I usually have the sense that the artist is urgently trying to communicate something. Even if the something is hopelessly obscure or whimsical or confused or trivial or banal.

To tie into today's Globe column, I think part of the appeal of naive-rock icons like the Shaggs is the sense that we're glimpsing the raw churn of someone’s inner furnace, unregulated by commercial savvy or industry infrastructure or even talent. Not that a window to the soul is enough all on its own. (When I listen to "My Pal Foot Foot," it’s the sheer SOUND I love -- the opening spill of the drums, the mournful cluck of the guitar -- more than some sense of cosmic connection with the Wiggins sisters.) But let's just say it's a nice bonus.

I can feel more qualifications and backtracks already multiplying in my head. (Sure, we can all agree that Nick of "Nick and Jessica" fame is probably a phony, but after that it gets trickier. How DO you tell what's cynical and opportunistic from what's urgently communicative? You know it when you hear it? I’m sure there are plenty of songs you "care about" that were cynically made, and plenty that you only "enjoy" that were wholeheartedly sincere. And is there really such a wall between "care about" and "enjoy"? Probably a lot of overlap there, don't you think? And you should probably stay away from "phony," that's a little too Holden Caulfield.)

So for now I'll get out while the getting is good. In some ways I'm glad I don't really write about music anymore -- as a listener and not a "critic," you can like whatever you want for whatever reasons you want. (And again I'm arguing with myself -- "you don't really believe that.") And you don't have to come to terms with Coldplay.


Posted by DW on June 11, 2005 2:13 PM



I think it's clear that "sincerity" needs those quotation marks, that it's nebulous and constructed and subjective and (in fact) fake. I struggle with your questions about "purpose", though, because for me the value of a work of art has very little to do with what was intended, and everything to do with how I receive it. There's a value to criticising the intentions of an artist, but I don't think "[whether] the purpose is valuable" is very relevant to whether or not I'm going to like a song. If Avril Lavigne makes art to be famous, Bach makes it to sing god's complexity, Jay-Z makes it to prove how street he is, and Leonard Cohen makes it to understand his place in the world, I don't really care, so long as the song is good.

Posted by Sean on June 11, 2005 12:35 PM



The problem with talking about sincerity is that sincerity actually implies a style; it’s not just a guess about the artist’s intentions, it’s also a judgment about what sincere sounds like. And then when something comes along that “has brought unprecedented depth to a fresh body of concerns” that does not at the same time sound “sincere,” this new depth, truth, perspective, is more easily dismissed than if we weren’t looking for sincerity. But I'd be less concerned with people calling some vapid junk sincere, if that’s all there was to it, but no: it leads to people dismissing something difficult or unusual as cynical or insincere, because it doesn’t sound “sincere.” And when something is difficult or unusual or new, it needs the audience to suspend its disbelief, to trust the artist for a while, and no one’s going to begin to trust that artist if they’ve been told that he or she is being cynical or insincere.

Anyway, what does “meaning it” sound like?

And also, I don’t think “honesty” has anything much to do with art. People can be honest with each other, people can try to be honest with themselves, but art just is what it is.. Only creatures capable of duplicity can be said to be honest; art, once it exists in the world, can be complex, can give away more and more each time you encounter it, but in terms of honesty -- it’s like saying a chair is honest, the ceiling is honest. We don’t ask chairs and ceilings to be honest. We ask them to fulfill their purpose. So that’s really the question about art -- does it fulfill its purpose?

And then maybe the question becomes, What does Coldplay believe the purpose of its music to be, and is this purpose valuable, and how much does it have to do with what any one of us might imagine the purpose of art to be? Perhaps Chris Martin think it’s to prettily croon homilies to comfort forlorn teenager girls. He wouldn’t be the first.

Posted by Sheila on June 11, 2005 12:08 PM



Sorry, Carl - I didn't mean it to be "Ouch"; it was very late when I was writing!

I think I understand you, and I'm inclined to agree, but I'm still not sure that you haven't made the problems go away.

When I say "the guy really means it", surely I'm really saying "it SOUNDS like he really means it". I think there's a strong implication in this of what the music is "DOING". I'm not just suggesting that "the singer is being honest with us, which I like" -- I'm saying "[the singer is being honest with us and so] the music feels really honest".

Perhaps there's not much possible meat for this particular argument - like you say, it comes down to a matter of "Yes it does. / No it doesn't." But that's pretty much an attribute of all aesthetic debate. It made me laugh to see your explication of a better discourse because my reaction to that was just what you were trying to avoid.

"[Sigur Ros] doesn't leave you any different than you were before..."

Yes they do!


Ultimately, though, I think you're right.

This -

"He just refers to them, and the music too just refers in big sweeping strokes to feelings we're all familiar with rather than exploring them."

is better than this:

"It doesn't sound like he means it."

But only because our language gives us more ways to discuss the former, more metaphors and ways of putting it. (It's interesting that this is because we lack the real [precise] words to say it!)

Posted by Sean on June 11, 2005 5:55 AM



"Perspective" -- yes. You didn't mention cognition, but you did say "unprecedented depth," and "depth," in these (rockcrit) contexts, usually implies depth of *thought.* I seem to have mistaken you for making that implication. But whether I was arguing, teasing out the nuances of what "depth" means seems worthwhile, at least to me.

Cognition in song is really complex, because it does require depth of *thought* to make the emotional connections that Darnielle is making, and to communicate them.

I haven't listened to the record enough -- haven't noticed the death of the abuser. I love a bunch of the songs and don't like others, and I've been avoiding the ones I don't like.

"If" it weren't autobiographical, it might never have been written. No way of knowing.

I agree with you that the adult-survivor perspective is in the songs, not just the auto-bio context. But I don't remember how, just now!

Posted by John S. on June 11, 2005 2:20 AM



Did I use the word "cognitively"? I think I used the word "perspective."

And it doesn't end with the teenager still being abused. It ends with the death of the abuser, and I think it (and some other songs on the disc) would still read as coming from an adult survivor without the autobiographical context. (I don't disagree that that context is part of the work - it would be different without it, but it would still succeed.)

Posted by zoilus on June 11, 2005 12:46 AM



The Sunset Tree presents no new cognitive information about surviving child abuse. Its artistic vitality is its emotional electrification -- the simultaneous twin perspective of "in-the-moment" drama and decades-later-having-survived-it. Great dramatic songwriting and singing and story telling. I don't know that it would be as vital if we didn't know it was autobiographical. The story of survival is implicit in the context, and without that context, one wouldn't know how the story ends. A story that ends with the teen-ager still being abused -- well, that describes the reality of lots of people now, but it would be a *different* work of art.

Cognitively, none of this is surprising or original.
Abuse is horrible and terrifying.
People survive it anyway.
Music and fantasy can help someone survive.
Survivors can summon the feelings of terror decades later.
And the abused can learn to see the humanity of abuser, eventually.

One of the themes in Darnielle's story is the grandiosity of his teen fantasies. Given that bit of information (which isn't new either -- just check out Harry Potter's wild popularity), I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Coldplay might give some teenagers more fantasy help to survive abuse than The Sunset Tree. Wouldn't be surprised the other way either.

Posted by John S. on June 11, 2005 12:37 AM



PS - I don't care about the originality/unoriginality issue in terms of sounds-like-U2/doesn't-sound-like-U2 thing either. Pareles, however, does seem to care about that, and Dave was just suggesting a way you could go at that question that might be more vivid. But originality does matter in that "communicating something fiercely true" sense - there's no higher praise than to say that a songwriter has brought unprecedented depth to a fresh body of concerns. Think of the new Mountain Goats album, for instance: Contemporary songs about childhood abuse have tended to be howls of self-pity or arrested reproductions of trauma. Darnielle's treatment of the subject is an absolutely original and electrifying leap into another perspective. We happen to have his word that it's an honest portrayal of his own experience, and of course we're additionally affected by knowing that context, but if it were fiction, a deliberately chosen exercise, it would be just as vital.

Posted by zoilus on June 11, 2005 12:10 AM




The ad hominem stuff, by the way, was meant as comic relief.

But Sean, don't you think there's a difference between saying "it communicates something fiercely true," and "the guy really means it" - ? I think there's a huge difference. If it "communicates fiercely" then it is DOING something, not merely representing it. It's about what you get from it not what the singer gets from singing it.

I don't see HOW you could have a conversation with those girls (and no gender scorn is meant by this - I just mean fans, it so happens that the picture i googled had girls in it) in which you claimed Martin was insincere. "I don't think he really means what he's saying." "Well, we do." End of conversation. Whereas if you were to say, "My problem with it is that I don't find any insight in the big feelings he's expressing. He just refers to them, and the music too just refers in big sweeping strokes to feelings we're all familiar with rather than exploring them. It's pleasant when you're listening to it but it doesn't leave you any different than you were before. Like Sigur Ross and late Philip Glass (but NOT early Glass, or Copeland, or even Radiohead, even though I don't like them much either). Am I wrong? Tell me what else you hear in it. Maybe I'm missing something."

Posted by zoilus on June 10, 2005 11:16 PM



In summation, er -

"You think these girls are going to listen to your claim that Chris Martin's a cynical phony?"

YES. I think that a passionate look-her-in-the-eyes discussion of the sincerity you don't hear in Coldplay will go a hell of a lot further than "they're easy-listening bullshit", a pedantic influence rundown, or some disparaging ad hominem snark.

Posted by Sean on June 10, 2005 7:34 PM



I actually liked your earlier post much more.

All of the criticisms of Coldplay you (or Dave) offer in that last paragraph seem totally lame and uninteresting to me. X&Y; cops moves from Radiohead? Who cares, if I like it. (NB: I don't.) It isn't "fundamentally different in function from the Yanni or Vangelis records"? Well, ditto when it comes to Philip Glass, Sigur Ros (atlst on Agaetis Byrjun), Aaron Copland, and, yeah, Radiohead.

How is that compelling or interesting to think about?

I think that the tack Aaron's talking about -- extremely subjective reactions/readings (of sincerity, etc.) -- is much more in line with the way people interact with music, and is much more likely to reshape the way we hear something.

If someone tells me they like a song because it's "original", who really cares? But if they say it "communicates something fiercely true," well, where can I download it?

I totally agree that it's a FLAWED way of talking about music. But it's a much more interesting way of talking about it (for me, at least).

Posted by Sean on June 10, 2005 7:25 PM



You're "a boring, humourless, sluggish pratt, maybe; maybe a twit whose ego's been hyperinflated by boning a movie star; maybe a hack songwriter who can't tell redwoods of creative genius from witless twigs; but I wouldn't assume you don't even mean it. That's just rude."

Now THAT'S funny.

I do see your point, though, and agree. (About the un-knowability and irrelevance of sincerity. Not Coldplay.)

I only hear Coldplay in passing, and always enjoy them. I've never bothered to make out the words. I really like the singer's voice and the melodies and the "atmospheres."

I also like that Vangelis hit, that jogging soundtrack he did 20 years ago. Whenever I see someone jogging with headphones, I *know* they're listening to "Chariots of Fire" and imagining their strides bounding gazelle-like forward in succulent slow-motion.

Yanni, now, thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by John S. on June 10, 2005 7:23 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson