Why It Matters: Jonny Buckland’s Guitar Solo in Coldplay’s “True Love”

by jimbugg

So, this new Coldplay album. It’s raw, it’s emotional, it’s heavy (obviously, given what’s going on in Chris Martin’s personal life). And it’s really great.

I’ve listened through the album a couple of times now, and I find one of the most viscerally heartbreaking songs on it to be “True Love,” in which Chris Martin longs for his lover to tell him she loves him, even if it’s a lie. It’s a song which doesn’t mince words about the unimaginable pain in the breakup of a marriage, shrouded in confusion and grief and a deep longing for a return to the way things once were, all the while knowing that such a return will never be possible. It’s heart wrenching and haunting and poetic.

And it has this really…interesting…guitar solo.

I can’t lie: the first time I hard it, I grimaced. It had to have been a bad joke…a bad something. The solo is a phrase consisting of one and then another out-of-tune note bent in tune, repeated twice, then a descending riff repeated twice, then repeats all of that. At first glance, it’s horrible. Really bad.

But it catches your ear, and you listen again.

And when you hear it for the second, or third, or fourth time, and then process it in the context of the entire song…there really isn’t any guitar solo that Jonny Buckland could have played that would fit the song so perfectly. You realize, it’s a solo of pure genius.

Why? Because IT FITS THE SONG.

The song is painful. It’s heartbreaking. It’s captivating, and haunting, and profoundly…sad. And this unique little solo captures all of the language and poetry and emotion of the lyrics and translates them into an equally painful and haunting and sad guitar solo.

And that makes it beautiful, and perfect, and fitting, and genius.

And that–they way it mirrors the song so accurately–makes it matter.