I honestly think the best music memories I’ve experienced were during high school, a time that I often cite when describing my listening habits. Between that timeframe, my musical journey existed in phases; middle school being K-pop and freshman year being EDM (which we don’t talk about). Sophomore year actually happened to be the worst year of high school for me, and I found my listening habits aligned with my deteriorating mental health. In other words, I listened to Coldplay’s “The Scientist” on a loop for two months.
It’s not as bad as it sounds, considering it is a pretty good song and one that’s well-known for making anyone cry at 3:00 a.m. In fact, if you’ve never cried yourself to sleep while listening to Coldplay, I’d recommend giving it a try. It’s painful and cathartic at the same time.
So, sophomore year gained its new “Coldplay phase” title and the majority of that time was spent listening to Chris Martin sing about all things miserable. Lyrics about unrequited love and broken relationships became an outlet to relay all my inner woes, despite never having experienced any of that. It was more of a “he’s sad, I’m sad” scenario than anything.
Listening to old Coldplay when you’re sad has become a cliché, but there’s nothing wrong with avoiding originality once in a while. Depressing tunes help with depressing moods, a slogan that I would happily market to the band since it’s basically their trademark. As ajaxxxx on Urban Dictionary says, Coldplay fans “are usually as mellow as the music they listen to.” It sounds like a snub at first, but one I doubt any fans are offended by since it’s actually true, for the most part.
I also say old Coldplay because I think it’d be hard to vibe in sorrow with “Adventure of a Lifetime” playing in the background. Not that their more recent albums are bad, but I do agree with the common opinion that their earlier work is better. While high school sophomore-me originally had a soft spot for “Ghost Stories,” I think I had coined my favorite album as “X&Y” at the time (honorable mentions: “What If,” “White Shadows,” “A Message,” “Swallowed in the Sea” and “Til Kingdom Come”). Then my friend got me “A Rush of Blood to the Head” on vinyl and three years later, it’s still my favorite Coldplay album.
Inspiration stems from many different sources and for this week’s column, I got mine by listening to “Warning Sign” on repeat for the past couple days. As a song about realizing the mistakes of a ruined relationship, I surprisingly managed to connect that sentiment with the very negative image I have of my high school experience. Although the last thing I would want to say to sophomore year is “I miss you” and that “I crawl back into your open arms,” I think there are benefits of focusing on the good that comes from the bad.
High school was a rough time and sometimes with that attitude, I can’t help but think of the meme when everything turns black and white as the beginning of “Fix You” starts playing. But looking back at old coping mechanisms makes for a wholesome throwback to a time when sad songs seemed to encapsulate melancholy surroundings. I’m just glad Coldplay helped.
Thumbnail photo courtesy of @coldplay on Instagram.