16 December 2002

6. coldplay, "the scientist"
science: aside from one other number released this year -- on its way in this here countdown -- "the scientist" is the most meticulously crafted single of the year. the pieces are carefully measured and combined with cold precision: spare piano, melody, chorus, spare piano, full band, melody, chorus, break, wordless falsetto, coda, music drops out, voice. magic: despite its calculated origin, it works. it is reducible; it can be dissected and its parts analyzed, but its essence escapes the eye and entangles the heart. i shouldn't like this and yet it strikes the same chords as peak u2; it has the same ability to make me feel blithely blissful. some things science just can't explain.

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