Wish I Was Here – Cat Power and Coldplay
This is the slow jam I’ve been craving all year.
The powerful collaboration between the British superstars and American singer-songwriter Charlyn Marie Marshall, known as Cat Power, is a tune which goes straight to the heart.
The song is the title track off the soundtrack for Zach Braff’s latest film of the same name. When Zach Braff made Garden State we were introduced to his wonderful taste in music and this album is no different with an outstanding combination of artists.
I went a bit gooey inside when I read that Coldplay’s Chris Martin wrote the song specifically for the film, but decided the vocals needed to be from a woman, because the story is about a strong, female character becoming the matriarch of her family. Braff and Martin almost simultaneously announced that Cat Power was the woman for the job.
Boy, were they right!
Chan Marshall is a glorious addition to this song. Wish I Was Here consists of a soft, solo piano melody and not much more. That’s because with Marshall’s voice, it doesn’t need anything else. Her voice is glorious. She is commanding in a low vocal range, powerful while still singing gently and truly attention grabbing.
Chris Martin’s vocals back her up superbly. They’re very subtle, but in his true style – they shine. In the songs bridge the melody is built upon with a haunting, echoing solo from Martin and a rough guitar riff. It doesn’t build to true Coldplay levels, but in a powerful move, instead of reaching new heights, the song instead returns, much sooner than you’d expect, to the very simple piano tune and Marshall’s lone vocals. So simple, yet so effective.
And as always, how could I not mention the wondrous lyrics from Chris Martin:
“Every road that’s wrong seems like the road I’m on.
Every sign just seems unclear.
Won’t you come switch me on? I don’t know where I’ve gone.
I wish I was here.”
Simply superb, I would quite like a whole album of collaborations by this lot because I just can’t get enough of I Wish I Was Here.