Can Coldplay Do Anything Else?

The band got big, and annoying, singing one kind of song. The goal on its new album is to "get better rather than bigger"

Stephan Crasneanscki

Will Champion, left, Guy Berryman, Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay.

Coldplay has sold 30 million copies of its first three albums, won four Grammys and cranked out several colossal ballads that, by apparent mandate of the Writers Guild, must be played during every TV drama's romantic-crisis montage. Only the deaf can claim not to know Coldplay. Loving Coldplay is a bit more complicated.

Thanks to the band's ubiquity and decency about rock stardom, Coldplay has nudged its way into a place alongside U2 and Radiohead in the holy trinity of bands that affluent adults consider good, good-hearted and worth breaking the bank to see in concert. But a small cult devoted...

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