I had been experiencing the most excruciating pain in my knees for about two years. The swelling in both knees looked like someone had stuffed a soft ball under the skin. I had seen my doctor on several occasions and been given all the drugs.
I had been sent for physio.
I had scans.
One day the swelling was so bad, the pain so unbearable, that I couldn’t walk to the bathroom. I had to crawl. That happened the next day too. And then a third day.
I was signed off of work because of this.
My mental health crashed.
Then I was referred to see someone in rheumatology.
After a thorough examination he sat me down and informed me, very calmly, that he believed I had arthritis. He told me he was going to send me for some x-rays and blood work and that we would speak again in a few weeks.
I was a brave boy and just nodded.
As I sat in the little cubicle where I could get undressed and pop on the gown to have my x-rays taken, I started to weep. I slid off of the chair and curled up in a ball on the floor. I could see a hideous future. Never being able to play sport again. Never walking without pain again. Never being able to do things with my daughter that other dads could do. A walking stick. A wheelchair. I felt utterly hopeless.
I had never experienced a misery like it.
And then, today, I listened to “Music of the Spheres” by Coldplay and I realised that there are worse things in the world than what I experienced that day and in the months that followed. Because with help and the support of family and my medical team, I have found the right medication, the right way to live and I have a full life and one with hope in it. But “Music of the Spheres” offers no such possibility…it is a relentless, joyless, soulless, endless, sack of absolute fucking misery and hopelessness.
I’ll tell you what kind of a thing “Music of the Spheres” is…some of the songs don’t have titles, they have emojis. Just think about that for a second. A song that can be summed up in an emoji. Look here’s a planet…maybe the title of this song is “Planet”? Here is a love heart…is the title of this song, “Love”? Nobody knows.
I would rather relive that moment in the cubicle in radiology over and over and over again, forever, than listen to Chris Martin singing “I loved you to the moon and back again” even one more time. Oh, I know what you are thinking, you are thinking that I am jumping on the “Let’s all hate on Coldplay” bandwagon. That’s not it. There are several moments in the Coldplay catalogue that I find absolutely tolerable. I know people who have seen them live who have described it as being “really good”…you don’t garner reactions like from people unless you have some talent. So this isn’t me being mean for the sake of being mean. I am telling you, with absolute sincerity, that this album is worse than one of the worst moments of my life.
It is emotionless.
There are efforts to show human emotion but it’s like watching amateur dramatics…people rubbing onion on their eyes to make them “cry”. That’s what Coldplay are, they are fake crying.
You never really believe anything that is being said. It’s all so carefully put together to resemble real emotion that it always feels utterly without emotion. Sterile. Artificial. Cold without any play.
The song with the love heart emoji is an attempt to talk about men's emotional capacity…”Boys don’t cry…boys keep it all inside…I tired to hide it…underneath…still my heart…starts to beat”. Jesus wept. Somebody make it stop. They must have enough money now. It doesn’t even sound like they are enjoying themselves.
They are just painting by numbers.
I’m preaching to the converted.
The people who like Coldplay will buy it.
The people who require emotion, heart and soul from music will join me in reliving the worst days of their lives and then consoling themselves with the fact that, even then, they were truly living, truly feeling and truly connecting with something.