Tag Archives: Coldplay

What Are Your Favorite “Feel Good” Songs?

You know how there are certain songs that when you hear them, they just elevate your mood? I call them my “feel good” songs. Here are six of them that come to mind, although there are many more if I think about it. But these are by far the top ones. They are my “go to” songs when I need a certain lift.

Life in Technicolor II – Coldplay

I could just listen to “Viva La Vida” over and over; the album and the title song. But I don’t ever want to get sick of it, so I limit myself. I think this record is a Coldplay’s best, a total masterpiece. “Technicolor” opens the record and sets it up so nicely. Love, love, love the hammered dulcimer!!

Rainy Day Parade – Jill Sobule

I first heard this song serendipitously sometime back in 2003 on one of those early internet radio stations, the name of which I forget, but it was sort of a precursor to Pandora. Jill’s music includes a lot of droll humor, especially with lyrics like “We’ll have a celebration. Getting back on my medication.” set to music clearly inspired by the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme. I actually met Jill Sobule a couple of years ago–well sort of–long enough to thank her for this song and give her one of my CD’s. Unfortunately, this is only one of two videos on YouTube I could find, a static image of a traffic light; the other video is a powerpoint poking fun at Michelle Bachman which I felt was a bit inappropriate.

Duke’s Intro – Genesis

This is simply a wonderful piece of music. Powerful, positive, soaring. This video features a live performance from their “Live Over Europe 2007” tour, the last time they played together as a band. I consider “Duke” to be one of their best albums–in fact, keyboardist Tony Banks considers it his favorite. What I find interesting from this video is that Daryl Stuermer is playing the guitar instead of Mike Rutherford. What up with that? Maybe Mike has gotten rusty on the guitar.

Getting Better – The Beatles

I was a wee lad of eight when the groundbreaking “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released in 1967, truly an album with no equal. My brother had taped a portion of the album from a friend’s LP–only the first three and last three songs–so I didn’t hear the rest of the record, including “Getting Better” until a couple years later. Given how primitive record technology was by today’s standards, the Beatles’ tracks still sound wonderful.

Brass in Pocket – The Pretenders

I must say that I like songs with a certain bounce and swing to them. Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders put out a lot of bouncy numbers that give me a lift, including “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, “Back On the Chain Gang”, and “Middle of the Road”. Fortunately, the original music video of “Brass in Pocket” is on YouTube, so here you are:

You Make My Dreams Come True – Daryl Hall & John Oates

And what collection would be complete without this toe-tapper from 1980? Here is a clip from the 2009 movie “500 Days of Summer” featuring an edit of this song. This scene reminds me a little of the parade in “Ferris Buhler’s Day Off” as well as the Central Park scene in “Enchanted”.

How about you?

So, that’s my top six. What are your favorite “feel good” songs?



Filed under Monday Musicologist

Mylo Xyloto – First Impressions

Yep. I’m a big Coldplay fan. I was one of those who “eagerly awaited” their latest release Mylo Xyloto on Monday. Not so eagerly that I stood in line for days in the freezing sleet–rather, I swung by the local target on Wednesday to pick it up while shopping for “active wear”. Trying to stay active this winter–therefore, I need something to keep me warm in the freezing sleet. But I digress…

I have heard Mylo Xyloto through about three times. Before I add qualifying remarks, I must say I just LOVE it! Coldplay is one of those bands that can indulge in overproduction–and it works! Being a keyboardist, I love the shimmering digital synths up close and personal in the mixes. (Digital sounding synths, mind you, not those digital make ’em sound like analog synths.) And the groove on “Paradise”: spectacular! These boys know how to deliver a hook, loud and proud!

Standout tracks for me are “Every Teardrop a Waterfall”, “Paradise”, “Hurts Like Heaven”, and I’m captivated by the haunting “Up Against the World”:

Oh morning come bursting, the clouds, Amen.
Lift off this blindfold, let me see again.

I must say, the inclusion of the duet with Rihanna, “Princess of China” feels like pandering to the BIG RECORD COMPANY. Still a great song, it seems out of place to me.

At third blush, Mylo Xyloto still feels like a wall of sound–an excellent wall of sound, mind you–but I don’t find it breathes quite as nicely as Viva La Vida, which I consider to be their finest record. But Viva La Vida is a hard act to follow–Life in Technicolor is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music, so much so that I simply had to put some hammered dulcimer somewhere on my album, Passage.

So, if you love Coldplay, you should definitely…. oh what am I saying? I if you love Coldplay, you probably already bought a copy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Entertainment

Who Do I Sound Like?

Okay, the new record is almost done. It has taken a little over six months but we’re finally getting there. Light at the end of the tunnel. I SO wish I could say right now that it is finished and packaged and manufactured, but it’s not. As is the case with most things, this has taken longer than I thought. But we’re almost done mixing!! Yay! And then it’s on to mastering, package design, and duplication.

Meanwhile, I am in a dilemma. I need someone to help me answer the question: Who do I sound like? (Or what?)

Why do I need to pin down a description or a reference to another music artist? I need it to effectively promote and market my music. So before you respond right away, read on. I am asking you to describe my latest instrumental music. The stuff on the new record.

If you recall from previous posts, this project has taken on a life of its own, and it bears little resemblance to what I thought it was going to be when I started. At the time, I figured this would safely fit somewhere within the downtempo, chillout, post-rock, dream pop milieu. Perhaps you have no idea what some of those labels mean. That’s okay. Back when I started last summer, I was listening to a lot of Coldplay and some Sigur Ros (which is the current “post-rock” band) and I was thinking of a having a chilled out group jam. The “chilled out” part was to keep this in the “relaxation” music category. Why Coldplay? I just thoroughly enjoy listening to Viva la Vida. It’s ear candy to me. Sigur Ros because it is so minimalistic and chill.

Now that all the parts are done, no one would ever suggest that this was inspired by Coldplay or Sigur Ros, and really it wasn’t.

If anything, I would say this is cinematic ear candy, but what the heck does that mean?

I was thinking perhaps this fits within the New Age genre, and when I think of “cinematic” and New Age, I think of artists like Yanni and John Tesh. I really haven’t listened to those artists very much, and I can definitely say my music doesn’t sound like them. Back to where I started: I am stumped.


If you sign up to my newsletter list with your email address, you can get a free download of a sampler of songs from the new project. I would appreciate it if you give it a listen and then get back to me with what you think this stuff sounds like. You can use adjectives or you can refer to other music artists. I’m looking for something, anything.

Why do I want your email address? A couple of reasons. First, I want to follow up with you directly to ask your feedback after you have listened to the sampler. Second, those on the list will be the first to know when the new record is ready. If you are in my local area, I would also love to be in touch directly to get ideas about one or more album release parties later this spring.

Here’s the link to my email signup:


If you are already on my list, just shoot me an email and I’ll send you a link to the sampler directly by email.

Sound like a plan? I value your feedback.


Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Music Career, Vol. 2 Project