Tracks of the Decade: “Lost!” by Coldplay


“Lost!”
by Coldplay
from VIVA LA VIDA OR DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS (2008)
Coldplay shot to international super-stardom like no other band this decade, simultaneously wooing legions of adoring fans and generating scores of vitriolic detractors with the memorable and tuneful songs of Chris Martin. Most have cited the omnipresent “Clocks” as Coldplay’s contribution to the decade’s musical canon in a sort of cynical one-off (“Oh yeah, there’s Coldplay too”), grudgingly acknowledging its brilliance because even the losers get lucky sometimes. Me? I’ll go with “Lost!” The breathtaking spiritual center of the band’s masterwork VIVA LA VIDA, Martin scored an iconic hit with the track in the vein of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” U2-esque histrionics may abound in Coldplay’s catalog, but Martin’s pathos ring true in this case. The song can be construed at once as pleading denial, optimistic cry in the dark, or prophetic warning. For its universal grandeur, the lyrics are simply brilliant. Lines like “Just because I’m losing/Doesn’t mean that I’m lost” are simply spine-tingling, yet the one that sticks with you is the off-handed denouement “I’m just waiting til the shine wears off.” Conceptually, “Lost!” wins out over Arcade Fire’s “Intervention” for the use of church organ here, succeeding on the souls lifting to heaven front where “Intervention” succumbed to mockery. One of the most beautiful pop songs ever written, “Lost!” proves with finality that Chris Martin is a songwriting and conceptual force.

lost“Lost!”
by Coldplay
from VIVA LA VIDA OR DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS (2008)

Coldplay shot to international super-stardom like no other band this decade, simultaneously wooing legions of adoring fans and generating scores of vitriolic detractors with the memorable and tuneful songs of Chris Martin. Most have cited the omnipresent “Clocks” as Coldplay’s contribution to the decade’s musical canon in a sort of cynical one-off (“Oh yeah, there’s Coldplay too”), grudgingly acknowledging its brilliance because even the losers get lucky sometimes. Me? I’ll go with “Lost!” The breathtaking spiritual center of the band’s masterwork VIVA LA VIDA, Martin scored an iconic hit with the track in the vein of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” U2-esque histrionics may abound in Coldplay’s catalog, but Martin’s pathos ring true in this case. The song can be construed at once as pleading denial, optimistic cry in the dark, or prophetic warning. For its universal grandeur, the lyrics are simply brilliant. Lines like “Just because I’m losing/Doesn’t mean that I’m lost” are simply spine-tingling, yet the one that sticks with you is the off-handed denouement “I’m just waiting til the shine wears off.” Conceptually, “Lost!” wins out over Arcade Fire’s “Intervention” for the use of church organ here, succeeding on the souls lifting to heaven front where “Intervention” succumbed to mockery. One of the most beautiful pop songs ever written, “Lost!” proves with finality that Chris Martin is a songwriting and conceptual force.

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