Top 30 Songs for July 25-31, 2021

  1. WELCOME TO THE PARTY – Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions (1)
  2. WE ARE BETWEEN – Modest Mouse (2)
  3. CAN WE GO BACK – The Frontier (5)
  4. BED HEAD – Manchester Orchestra (3)
  5. MARTYR – Oli Barton & the Movement (7)
  6. SINNER – Young Decades (8)
  7. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X (30)
  8. DEVIL – Two Feet (N)
  9. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (6)
  10. ZITTI E BUONI – Måneskin (9)
  11. FLATLINE – Two Feet (4)
  12. CRAWLING KINGSNAKE – The Black Keys (13)
  13. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (14)
  14. LIKE I USED TO – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen (15)
  15. YOUR POWER – Billie Eilish (11)
  16. BETTER – Michigander (12)
  17. ALL YOU EVER WANTED – Rag’n’Bone Man (17)
  18. NOTHING2 – Strange Souvenirs (20)
  19. METRONOME – Polarizer (10)
  20. SOLAR POWER – Lorde (24)
  21. STOP MAKING IT HURT – Bleachers (22)
  22. STICKY – The Maine (23)
  23. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (25)
  24. EVERY WINDOW IS A MIRROR – Joywave (26)
  25. ENNUI – Dawning (27)
  26. HIGHER POWER – Coldplay (21)
  27. TYPHOONS – Royal Blood (16)
  28. SHY AWAY – twenty øne piløts (19)
  29. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (18) 20th week on list
  30. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (N)

Top 30 Songs for July 18-24, 2021

  1. WELCOME TO THE PARTY – Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions (2)
  2. WE ARE BETWEEN – Modest Mouse (1)
  3. BED HEAD – Manchester Orchestra (4)
  4. FLATLINE – Two Feet (3)
  5. CAN WE GO BACK – The Frontier (7)
  6. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (5)
  7. MARTYR – Oli Barton & the Movement (8)
  8. SINNER – Young Decades (9)
  9. ZITTI E BUONI – Måneskin (10)
  10. METRONOME – Polarizer (6)
  11. YOUR POWER – Billie Eilish (14)
  12. BETTER – Michigander (15)
  13. CRAWLING KINGSNAKE – The Black Keys (16)
  14. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (20)
  15. LIKE I USED TO – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen (21)
  16. TYPHOONS – Royal Blood (11)
  17. ALL YOU EVER WANTED – Rag’n’Bone Man (19)
  18. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (12)
  19. SHY AWAY – twenty øne piløts (13)
  20. NOTHING2 – Strange Souvenirs (23)
  21. HIGHER POWER – Coldplay (22)
  22. STOP MAKING THIS HURT – Bleachers (24)
  23. STICKY – The Maine (25)
  24. SOLAR POWER – Lorde (26)
  25. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (27)
  26. EVERY WINDOW IS A MIRROR – Joywave (28)
  27. ENNUI – Dawning (29)
  28. COME FIND ME BACK – Philip Morgan Lewis (17)
  29. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (18)
  30. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X (N)

Top 30 Songs for July 11-17, 2021

  1. WE ARE BETWEEN – Modest Mouse (1)
  2. WELCOME TO THE PARTY – Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions (5)
  3. FLATLINE – Two Feet (2)
  4. BED HEAD – Manchester Orchestra (6)
  5. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (4)
  6. METRONOME – Polarizer (3)
  7. CAN WE GO BACK – The Frontier (10)
  8. MARTYR – Oli Barton & the Movement (12)
  9. SINNER – Young Decades (13)
  10. ZITTI E BUONI – Måneskin (19)
  11. TYPHOONS – Royal Blood (11)
  12. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (7)
  13. SHY AWAY – twenty øne piløts (8)
  14. YOUR POWER – Billie Eilish (15)
  15. BETTER – Michigander (16)
  16. CRAWLING KINGSNAKE – The Black Keys (18)
  17. COME FIND ME BACK – Philip Morgan Lewis (14)
  18. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (9)
  19. ALL YOU EVER WANTED – Rag’n’Bone Man (20)
  20. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (22)
  21. LIKE I USED TO – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen (23)
  22. HIGHER POWER – Coldplay (21)
  23. NOTHING2 – Strange Souvenirs (24)
  24. STOP MAKING THIS HURT – Bleachers (25)
  25. STICKY – The Maine (26)
  26. SOLAR POWER – Lorde (27)
  27. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (28)
  28. EVERY WINDOW IS A MIRROR – Joywave (29)
  29. ENNUI – Dawning (30)
  30. BREAK MY BABY – KALEO (17)

Top 30 Songs for July 4-10, 2021

  1. WE ARE BETWEEN – Modest Mouse (2)
  2. FLATLINE – Two Feet (1)
  3. METRONOME – Polarizer (5)
  4. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (6)
  5. WELCOME TO THE PARTY – Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions (10)
  6. BED HEAD – Manchester Orchestra (8)
  7. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (3)
  8. SHY AWAY – twenty øne piløts (4)
  9. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (7)
  10. CAN WE GO BACK – The Frontier (11)
  11. TYPHOONS – Royal Blood (12)
  12. MARTYR – Oli Barton & the Movement (13)
  13. SINNER – Young Decades (14)
  14. COME FIND ME BACK – Philip Morgan Lewis (15)
  15. YOUR POWER – Billie Eilish (16)
  16. BETTER – Michigander (17)
  17. BREAK MY BABY – KALEO (9)
  18. CRAWLING KINGSNAKE – The Black Keys (20)
  19. ZITTI E BUONI – Måneskin (23)
  20. ALL YOU EVER WANTED – Rag’n’Bone Man (24)
  21. HIGHER POWER – Coldplay (25)
  22. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (28)
  23. LIKE I USED TO – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen (29)
  24. NOTHING2 – Strange Souvenirs (27)
  25. STOP MAKING THIS HURT – Bleachers (30)
  26. STICKY – The Maine (N)
  27. SOLAR POWER – Lorde (N)
  28. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (N)
  29. EVERY WINDOW IS A MIRROR – Joywave (N)
  30. ENNUI – Dawning (N)

Top 30 Songs for June 27-July 3, 2021

  1. FLATLINE – Two Feet (1)
  2. WE ARE BETWEEN – Modest Mouse (4)
  3. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (2)
  4. SHY AWAY – twenty øne piløts (3)
  5. METRONOME – Polarizer (5)
  6. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (6)
  7. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (7)
  8. BED HEAD – Manchester Orchestra (9)
  9. BREAK MY BABY – KALEO (8)
  10. WELCOME TO THE PARTY – Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions (12)
  11. CAN WE GO BACK – The Frontier (15)
  12. TYPHOONS – Royal Blood (16)
  13. MARTYR – Oli Barton & the Movement (18)
  14. SINNER – Young Decades (19)
  15. COME FIND ME BACK – Philip Morgan Lewis (17)
  16. YOUR POWER – Billie Eilish (20)
  17. BETTER – Michigander (21)
  18. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (10)
  19. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (11)
  20. CRAWLING KINGSNAKE – The Black Keys (24)
  21. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (13)
  22. HYPOTHETICALS – Lake Street Dive (14)
  23. ZITTI E BUONI – Måneskin (28)
  24. ALL YOU EVER WANTED – Rag’n’Bone Man (27)
  25. HIGHER POWER – Coldplay (29)
  26. WAY LESS SAD – AJR (23)
  27. NOTHING2 – Strange Souvenirs (30)
  28. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (N)
  29. LIKE I USED TO – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen (N)
  30. STOP MAKING THIS HURT – Bleachers (N)

Top 30 Songs for June 20-26, 2021

  1. FLATLINE – Two Feet (3)
  2. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (1)
  3. SHY AWAY – twenty øne piløts (2)
  4. WE ARE BETWEEN – Modest Mouse (9)
  5. METRONOME – Polarizer (6)
  6. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (7)
  7. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (8)
  8. BREAK MY BABY – KALEO (11)
  9. BED HEAD – Manchester Orchestra (12)
  10. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (4)
  11. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (5)
  12. WELCOME TO THE PARTY – Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions (19)
  13. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (10)
  14. HYPOTHETICALS – Lake Street Dive (13)
  15. CAN WE GO BACK – The Frontier (17)
  16. TYPHOONS – Royal Blood (18)
  17. COME FIND ME BACK – Philip Morgan Lewis (21)
  18. MARTYR – Oli Barton & the Movement (22)
  19. SINNER – Young Decades (23)
  20. YOUR POWER – Billie Eilish (24)
  21. BETTER – Michigander (25)
  22. BLACK DAYS – Amongst Liars (15)
  23. WAY LESS SAD – AJR (16)
  24. CRAWLING KINGSNAKE – The Black Keys (26)
  25. LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic (20)
  26. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (14)
  27. ALL YOU EVER WANTED – Rag’n’Bone Man (27)
  28. ZITTI E BUONI – Måneskin (29)
  29. HIGHER POWER – Coldplay (30)
  30. NOTHING2 – Strange Souvenirs (N)

Top 30 Songs for June 13-19, 2021

  1. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (1)
  2. SHY AWAY – twenty øne piløts (3)
  3. FLATLINE – Two Feet (5)
  4. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (4)
  5. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (2)
  6. METRONOME – Polarizer (7)
  7. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (8)
  8. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (10)
  9. WE ARE BETWEEN – Modest Mouse (21)
  10. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (9)
  11. BREAK MY BABY – KALEO (12)
  12. BED HEAD – Manchester Orchestra (13)
  13. HYPOTHETICALS – Lake Street Dive (11)
  14. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (6)
  15. BLACK DAYS – Amongst Liars (16)
  16. WAY LESS SAD – AJR (17)
  17. CAN WE GO BACK – The Frontier (18)
  18. TYPHOONS – Royal Blood (19)
  19. WELCOME TO THE PARTY – Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions (20)
  20. LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic (14)
  21. COME FIND ME BACK – Philip Morgan Lewis (23)
  22. MARTYR – Oli Barton & the Movement (24)
  23. SINNER – Young Decades (25)
  24. YOUR POWER – Billie Eilish (26)
  25. BETTER – Michigander (27)
  26. CRAWLING KINGSNAKE – The Black Keys (29)
  27. ALL YOU EVER WANTED – Rag’n’Bone Man (30)
  28. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (15)
  29. ZITTI E BUONI – Måneskin (N)
  30. HIGHER POWER – Coldplay (N)

100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #48: “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay

The song at #48 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay. They’re one of my favorite bands, and this is their second song on this list (the other being “Adventure of a Lifetime”, which ranks at #63). The beautiful, uplifting song was co-written and co-produced by the late Avicii, which accounts for its sweeping and lush piano and synth-driven EDM and progressive house sound. It was released in May 2014 as the third single from their sixth album Ghost Stories, a very good album that received mostly positive reviews, other than from the aptly-named Pitchfork, which tends to skewer everything that doesn’t ‘break new ground’. “A Sky Full of Stars” also received mainly positive reviews, though Josh Modell of The A.V. Club dismissed it as a “blatantly pandering, album-interrupting, mood-fucking-up [track] which is destined to be a hit and also instantly dated” – to which I say ‘fuck him and the horse he rode in on!’

“A Sky Full of Stars” is a jubilant celebration by someone for another person for whom their love shines brighter than the stars. A bit sappy, yes, but so darn exuberant and pretty that I can’t help but love it! The happy video for the song was directed by Mat Whitecross and filmed in Australia, on King Street in the inner Sydney suburb of Newtown. It shows lead singer Chris Martin and his fellow bandmates, each dressed as one-man-bands, walking the street amid throngs of people as they perform the song. The song itself was obviously dubbed over the video, but it still makes for an exhilarating experience, highlighted by the band entering a crowd of adoring fans at the end, accompanied by bursts of paper stars being shot into the air.

100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #63: “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay

The song at #63 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Adventure of a Lifetime” by British alternative pop-rock band Coldplay. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love Coldplay, who were my favorite band in the 2000s (six of their songs appear on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2000s, including “Clocks” which I ranked at #1). They continued to produce some great music in the 2010s, although some have criticized their later music as being too ‘pop’. I suppose that’s partly true, but I still love a lot of their songs from this decade.

Coldplay pulled out all the stops with “Adventure of a Lifetime”, which was released in November 2015 as the lead single from their seventh studio album A Head Full of Dreams. That album was a stylistic departure for the band, as they wanted to make something more colorful and uplifting than their previous works. And though they’d collaborated with other artists on some of their songs in the past (such as Rihanna on “Princess of China”), this album saw them collaborate with many more artists, including Beyonce, Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo, Khatia Buniatishvili and Merry Clayton.

It’s a beautiful, joyously upbeat track, featuring Jonny Buckland’s gorgeous swirling guitars, Will Champion’s thumping drums and Chris Martin’s signature soaring vocals that make for a truly great song. Guy Berryman’s strong bass gives the feel of a heart beating and the mandolin at song’s end is stunning.

The whimsical video. directed by the band’s long-time collaborator, Mat Whitecross, shows the band members transformed through the magic of CGI into gorillas cavorting about in the jungle. According to The Guardian, the video was shot at The Imaginarium, where the reboot series of Planet of the Apes and parts of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens were filmed. Hannah Clark, the producer of the video commented, “As creatures go, chimps are one of the more difficult to animate. Not only are they quite human in their movement, but they are covered in hair. Add to this that we had no backgrounds shot, and we were asking an awful lot of any post-collaborator.

The band’s faces were covered in a special, reflective and light-catching make-up that allowed the computers to appropriately interpret the video feed and create renders of the chimpanzees’ characters. The band members didn’t play real instruments, but instead held similarly-shaped objects that enabled creation of realistic body positions. The video took six months to complete, and has been viewed more than 1.1 billion times.

EML’s Favorite Albums – COLDPLAY: “A Rush of Blood to the Head”

Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head

I distinctly remember the first time I heard British band Coldplay’s magnificent song “Clocks” on the radio in the spring of 2003. Though they’d already released a number of singles over the previous three years or so, I had not yet heard any of them because I listened to crappy radio stations in St. Louis, where I lived at the time. I was blown away by the song and immediately fell in love with it’s haunting piano melody. Given my love for “Clocks”, I rushed out (pun intended) and purchased their CD A Rush of Blood to the Head. It was their second studio album, and is my personal favorite of all their albums. I also became a big fan of Coldplay, who to this day rank among my top ten favorite bands of all time (the Beatles, Stones and Fleetwood Mac will forever be my top three, but I digress). The band is comprised of four underrated musicians: front man and lead vocalist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion.

After the popularity and success of their first album Parachutes, the band was under tremendous pressure to deliver an album at least as good – something all artists and bands with successful debut albums have experienced. I’ve heard many say they liked Coldplay’s early music (“Yellow” from Parachutes is one of their most beloved songs), but don’t much care for their later stuff, which they claim sounds too polished, too over-produced, too sappy or too ‘pop’. A Rush of Blood to the Head, with its piano and guitar-driven sound, is generally considered more acceptable to those earlier fans.

The album was released on August 26, 2002 in the UK, debuting at #1, and a day later on August 27 (my birthday) in the U.S. Besides topping the chart in the UK (where it would become the 10th best-selling album of the 21st Century), the album also reached #1 in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. It won three Grammy Awards (one of them for “Clocks”, for 2003 Record of the Year), and the 2003 BRIT Award for Best British album.

Though every song on the album is excellent, there are a number of standouts, the two greatest being “Clocks” and “The Scientist”. With its repetitive piano progression, including a descending scale in the chord progression that creates such a hauntingly beautiful sound, “Clocks” is considered one of Coldplay’s finest achievements. That breathtaking piano melody is accompanied by a somewhat minimalist atmospheric soundscape of synths, guitar, bass and drums, yet the whole thing sounds incredibly powerful and compelling. The lyrics are rather ambiguous, but seem to address the conflicts of being in a relationship that causes pain, yet you cannot or do not want to escape it. Martin begins by singing about his situation: “The lights go out and I can’t be saved / Tides that I tried to swim against / You’ve put me down upon my knees / Oh, I beg, I beg and plead.” Then he ponders “Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?“, finally concluding “And nothing else compares / You are home, home, where I wanted to go.”

I think it’s a masterpiece, and one of the greatest songs ever recorded, and it boggles my mind that it wasn’t a bigger hit (it only peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, though it did reach #1 on the Adult Alternative chart). It’s my favorite song of the 2000s, and my fourth favorite song of all time. Surprisingly, “Clocks” was originally not intended for inclusion on A Rush of Blood to the Head. The band planned to use it on their third album, however, their manager Phil Harvey strongly pushed for its inclusion.

“The Scientist” is a gorgeous love song of apology, and another of Coldplay’s most beloved songs. The track starts off with just a melancholy piano riff and Martin’s sad vocals, then eventually a strummed acoustic guitar enters, followed by drums, bass and finally Buckland’s electric guitar. In an interview with VH1, Martin stated: “The song was a turning point. I don’t think we’ll ever top it. It was inspired by George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. We really wanted to do a piano ballad with loud guitars at the end, because we didn’t think many people had tried that, so Jon put this really distorted guitar on the end of it.” Well, I think it’s another masterpiece, and most definitely one of the band’s finest songs.

Though Coldplay has never been known for writing many political songs, they were inspired to write “Politik” a few days after the 9/11 attacks. The song touches on the then-current state of the world, where whole countries and religions were being vilified over the horrific actions of a relative few. Martin implores people to seek the truth and see the bigger picture: “Give me real, don’t give me fake / Give me strength, reserve, control / Give me heart and give me soul / Open up your eyes.” They decided to make “Politik” the first track on the album, and its bombastic opening consisting of an aggressive, banging piano riff and crashing cymbals all but demand that we pay attention.

The beautiful “In My Place” was the first song they wrote after finishing Parachutes, and the first single released from A Rush of Blood to the Head. Buckland’s gorgeous chiming guitar is a highlight of the song. Another favorite of mine is “A Whisper”, with its dramatic chord progressions, glittery synths and spectacular guitar work, especially the shimmery chiming guitar run in the final chorus. The title track “A Rush of Blood to the Head” is a darkly beautiful song about wanting to undo all one’s wrongs and start over anew: “He said I’m gonna buy this place and watch it fall / Stand here beside me baby in the crumbling walls / Said I’m gonna buy a gun and start a war / If you can tell me something worth fighting for / Blame it upon a rush of blood to the head.”

Some songs on the album have a pleasing guitar-driven folk-rock feel, namely “God Put a Smile on Your Face”, “Green Eyes” and “Warning Sign”. Closing out the album is the lovely and introspective piano ballad “Amsterdam”. Like a few of their other songs, the instrumentals build as the track progresses into a dramatic crescendo in the final chorus, before fading out at the end, a right proper finish to a phenomenal album.

I finally saw Coldplay perform live on their Head Full of Dreams Tour in August 2016, at the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Though it was a huge venue, with over 70,000 people in attendance, they still managed to make it feel intimate.