Quote from The New Yorker:
Is Coldplay warm milk or just quietly dependable? Don’t ask Martin, who has transformed the English art of diffidence into a masochistic religion: “We owe them a career, really,” he has said of Radiohead. He has also said, “Like millions of people in the world, I can’t listen to Coldplay.” He’s half right about Radiohead-Coldplay exhibits a taste for melancholy and smeared, stretched-out sounds that leads straight back to Thom Yorke and his friends. The main antecedent is U2, who invented the form that Coldplay works within: rock that respects the sea change of punk but still wants to be as chest-thumping and anthemic as the music of the seventies stadium gods. Translated, this means short pop songs that somehow summon utterly titanic emotions and require you to skip around in triumphant circles and pump your fist, even if it is not entirely clear what you are singing about.