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    Northern Star Magazine: Chris Martin not deserving of rock 'god' status

    chrisballoon1.jpgThe Northern Star, the all student-produced, independent media from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, has produced an article claiming that Coldplay's Chris Martin is not deserving of rock 'god' status. You can reply to the author here. The article reads as follows:


    Sure, Coldplay might dominate Billboard charts and receive wide-critical praise, but is front-man Chris Martin the rock and roll god he’s made out to be?


    If he is, I will gladly go to the rock and roll gallows as a heretic. Meanwhile, Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin could take Chris Martin any day—in a piano duel, or something. Jack’s Mannequin’s new album, “The Glass Passenger,” managed to sell a respectable 49,000 copies in its first week of release and also received critical acclaim. He’s no push-over, but his albums have not gone gold within a day of release like Coldplay’s albums have. Just keep in mind that Hootie and The Blowfish’s album “Cracked Rear View” went on to sell 16 million copies and to prove that majority musical taste has no correlation to talent.

    Coldplay has essentially made a career out of combining the influences of Radiohead and U2, while trying to save face by claiming more influences. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant idea that went on to make Martin a very, very rich man, but his work has done nothing to influence or change the direction and style of contemporary music. How many bands say they’re primarily influenced by Coldplay over Radiohead and U2? If they do, they really need to go get some pre-“Joshua Tree” U2 and “OK Computer” right now.


    McMahon is one of two chief songwriters in Something Corporate. Along with Josh Partington, the songs the two wrote spear-headed the rise of the Drive-Thru records bands that essentially shaped the face of the teen-through-young-adult targeted music of this decade. McMahon’s song “Konstantine” is a nearly ten-minute masterpiece that’s managed to build a reputation as one of the most loved songs of the past decade without ever being promoted as a single.


    Though it’s not really fair due to outside circumstances, when McMahon sings about the troubles in his life, it’s believable, whereas it’s hard to believe Martin has a lot to be upset about—he is married to Gwyneth Paltrow and is in one of the highest selling bands of the decade. He’s also going the route of Bono in trying to bring too many global issues in to his message, which tends to take away more than it adds to the music. Fewer, focused messages produce stronger music—see the 1960s.


    For Example: U2’s “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” is a masterpiece with a strong political message while U2’s “Vertigo” just served to confuse the non-Spanish speaking public on the proper way to count to four.


    At the age of 22, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Due to his illness, Jack’s Mannequin had to cancel all tour dates following the release of the band’s debut album “Everything in Transit.” When McMahon writes about being scared he could die, he means it.


    If Martin would actually talk about the lyrics to his music, he might actually be a bit more believable. That brings us to the next point: McMahon actually talks about his music.


    Martin famously walked out on an interview about the lyrics of a song on the band’s most recent album. McMahon kept a video blog about his treatment and recovery from leukemia. It’s very noble to let your fans in to the darkest moments of your life in such a personal fashion. Also, it’s a lot more effective at “raising awareness for a cause” than empty rhetoric at protest concerts.


    In the end, McMahon influenced the direction of contemporary music far more than Martin and rightfully deserves the title “rock god” any day over Martin.


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