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From Temple Bar to Mullingar, stripped to the waist and armed with cudgels and slashhooks, Coldplay fans gather to argue the merits of the band’s nine new songs.

“Thwack!” They’re dull and dirge-like.

“Kersplattt!” They’re heartfelt and moving.

“Fooshbiff!” They offer a cathartic antidote to the sense of desolation felt by tormented souls who feel emotionally bereft.

While this debate will continue before the beak on Monday morning, in the court of public opinion, Coldplay are innocent. Snide accusations of passing off U2 re-heats as cordon bleu recipes were laughed off as long ago as the band’s debut album,


Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with bemoaning your lot in song. Since the first bluesman sang, “Woke up this morning...”, misery and desolation have been the stock in trade for countless artists. Where would Elvis have been without his Heartbreak Hotel? And, sure, didn’t Blood on the Tracks help make Bob Dylan seem a much more rounded individual?


Without Martin’s lamentation,

Indeed, unique selling points rarely come as direct as “All I know is that I love you...” as Chris sings on


While the opening track,

It’s as if poor Chris is so emotionally drained he hasn’t the energy to craft his lyrics. To a gentle beat, on

Clanging piano chords offer hope on the uplifting Avicii collaboration