14 October 2005

morning runner - "be all you want me to be" (from the be all you want me to be single, import available for preorder here.)

in brief : coldplay are fans--and maybe also a little jealous.

yes, morning runner had landed an opening slot on the uk leg of the coldplay tour, a choice made out of admiration, but perhaps out of a little envy.

coldplay, to this day, still receives a number of comparisons to u2, comparisons based on front men, on global popularity, but still, at times, on their music. the major difference between the two bands and, indeed, between coldplay and morning runner is that coldplay is a piano-based band and, thus, rocks less comprehensively. when coldplay rock, it is in the fashion of elton john and billy joel and other piano men (and, yes, "saturday night's all right (for fighting)" is a great anomaly). pianos can rock--johnnie johnson, nicky hopkins, andrew w.k.--but martin isn't that kind of player.

morning runner, too, have a piano player in the band, but so have a lot of rock 'n' roll acts. there are also similarities between the vocals of chris martin and matt greener, but the latter sings so exuberantly that he could care less if a bit of "englishness" could impede widespread success. and while, like u2, both bands pursue the big themes and sentiments, morning runner do so on "be all you want me to be" at a tempo coldplay has eschewed since "don't panic." "you can make it! don't sigh!" greener exclaims on the chorus, as the band plays exclamation points behind him.

what is most auspicious about "be all you want me to be" are the band's sense of dynamics and its familiarity w/ restraint. the intro has the bass/guitar interplay of the wedding present and, though the chorus scrapes the sky, to be sure, it only does so after emerging from a pleasing section of dissonance. and as the song draws to a close, it ends in a brief "layla"-like reduction to solo piano which could v. easily fade-in to one final performance of the chorus. instead, they allow the last third of the song to wind down, believing that they've gotten all they can out of the chorus. it's not the kind of thing that, if repeated, will eventually lead to coldplay opening for them, but, really, when was the last time you listened to x&y anyway?

oh, and if you can stand a little more rain, matador has posted the title mp3 from the forthcoming cat power record, the greatest, to be released in january. on "the greatest," she's never sounded more like dusty springfield--that may have to do w/ the fact that she recorded it in memphis, w/ some of al green's old sidemen.

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