Track of the Day: 'Amsterdam'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Spencer just reviewed a new Disco-esque single from Coldplay, “Adventure of a Lifetime,” which a reader calls “a bit bland”:

It’s Stargate radio fodder. “Sky Full Of Stars” is also fine as a pop song but it doesn’t really have any lyrics to speak of. I prefer the stuff like “Amsterdam,” [embedded above] “O,” “High Speed,” “Spies,” “Warning Sign” … the more haunting ones mostly.

Another reader takes a step back:

It must be frustrating to be a successful musician/band. Your fan base pretty much only wants certain types of songs, despite one’s creativity in other styles.

Another agrees: “Yeah, I feel as though most pop artists are caught between a rock and a hard place: change your style too much and people don’t like it, but don’t change it enough and you’ll be dismissed as a one-trick pony.” One more reader:

This is one reason why it’s somewhat preferable for a musician to work as part of a group. That group can then be associated with a particular musical style by fans, but if the individual artist wants to explore another style, s/he needs only to start or join another group.

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