Today was particularly difficult. Worked from 7AM to 8:30PM. No breaks. I'm tired and miserable.

Here are my reviews:

Coldplay, X&Y.

More of the same from Coldplay.

I have tried to hate Coldplay. The first of their singles which got extensive U.S. airplay was "Yellow", which seemed like a whole lot of whining to me. I'm from the 80's, so I've had my fill of bands like "The Smiths", whose sound hits my brain as some generally unhappy person whining in minor 7ths and whatever about how unfair everything is. I would like to sing back -- make my own CD with the lyrics, "Honestly, I have no sympathy and your screeching annoys me."

At first listen Chris Martin on "Yellow" seemed like more of the same "Morrissey" riff on the first, and 40th involuntary listen. Being forced to hear on radio made it worse. Even now, it's one of my least favorite Coldplay songs.

Frankly, I just don't care how bad undernourished guys from northern England have it. Call me cruel. All I could think was, "Boy, one Prozac prescription and a couple Big Macs -- your career is in the toilet."

Later, I'm a Coldplay fan. Big time. I was drawn in by "Moses" and "Amsterdam". Then "Warning Sign" bought me. "Truth is, I miss you," is transcendent. Unambiguous. Universal. I've missed a lot of people in my life, and the truth is, it sounds just like that song in my head when it happens. The whole Coldplay part of my brain opened up. The skinny whiny Britisher is willing to surface in Big-American-Me.

Now, X&Y is more of the same Coldplay as "Parachutes" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and unlike what's going on in Dave Matthews' life, Chris and the boys are having no problem generating new simple melodies that stick firmly in the cerebral cortex. The melodies are layered over some cool Korg, Kurtzweil and Roland pads of varying density that effect the emotional state directly. (I'm a sucker for those old Roland JD990 sounds. Sometimes I just program "Alien Architecture" and hit the G-key for, like 20 minutes.) You can walk away whistling the guitar riff from "Talk". You need to know more than four chords to play it. You will tap your pencil on your desk to the hook from "X&Y". Most importantly, I listen to Coldplay, I feel something, which is why I listen to music.

This is a wonderful CD and I'm glad I bought it. "Talk" is the big single, followed by "X&Y", "The Hardest Part", and "Square One".

Triumvirate, Illusions on a Double Dimple

When I was 14, this was one of my favorite albums. Imagine my thrill finding it on Amazon and buying it so conveniently through their wonderful "one click" money-to-them transfer system.

When I was young, there were neurons in my head that resonated with this stuff. Now it's gone. All gone. I wish I could feel the same way listening to it, but I just don't.

Back then I had long hair. Know that kid from Almost Famous? That hair was me. That tape recorder. That total obvious and unabashed virginity. Writing record reviews for the high school newspaper. My column was called "Listen Baby". I reviewed everything. I panned everything, except I think I raved about this album, which I am going to suggest, these 30 years hence, should remain in obscurity.

This is a German band that tried to mimic the British Emerson Lake and Palmer, whom as far as I was concerned were supernatural entities. Back then, their mimicry filled a lust I had for more ELP than ELP could produce. Now it just reminds me of being unkissed in high school.

These guys were actually pretty talented, and they probably should have just gone their own way instead of calling their songs things like "Lucky Girl" (re: ELP - Lucky Man). Anyway, I've already written more about them than is warranted. You will never run into this CD and your life will be no poorer as a result.

Triumvirate, Sparticus.

Yeah, they had a couple albums. I saw this one on Amazon too and it came today. Damn that "one click" money sucking device. Same review. Why do I want to feel like a kid with no driver's license again? Now, if you want to feel like a long-haired virgin 14-year old boy with raging hormones and nothing to do, listen away.

I will add that when I was a teenager through my mid-20's I played in a garage band that later became a Jersey bar band, and we played some Triumvirate, mostly because they were easier to figure out by ear than ELP. Playing Keith Emerson licks would have required me to have classical training, which I do not. The pre-hand-surgery Emerson is still my musical hero. Some day before death I will play the entire keyboard track to Karn Evil 9 I, and III (II is like, well, sacred). Notice how I've said more about me in this review than the album? Ok. So, there.