Seven Important Facts About Coldplay and Rihanna’s “Princess of China”

1. The abbreviation for Coldplay’s new Rihanna-featuring “Princess of China,” which leaked yesterday, as written on Coldplay message boards (yes I looked at some Coldplay message boards. Everyone seemed … nice) is “POC,” which my first instinct was to read as the abbreviation for Person Of Color, although it is also apparently the abbreviation for Proof of Concept, Point of Contact, Port of Call, Piece of Cake, Prisoner Of Conscience, and Pirates of the Carribbean.

2. This song being called “Princess Of China” seems kindaaaa Orientalist considering there is no mention of China, just a vaguely Asiatic guitar riff. Then again the upcoming album is produced by Brian Eno, who named his second solo album Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy after a Maoist opera.

3. The riff that actually sounds like the super offensive “Native Americans” chant that Atlanta Braves fans do, or possibly “We Are Siamese” from Lady And The Tramp or the faux-bagpipe horn riff from “In A Big Country.” Kind of an exoticism mix’n’match.

4. Oh, but dig this: It’s a double meaning because she’s the princess of “china” because she’s so fragile and delicate and a princess. Besides David Bowie’s “China Girl,” there are a billion other questionably racist Asian-themed ’80s songs. Just a few: “Geisha Boys And Temple Girls” (Heaven 17), “China” (Red Rockers), “Shanghai” (Lee Marrow), “Japanese Boy” (Aneka), “My Private Tokyo” (Vicious Pink Phenomena), “Living In China” (Men Without Hats), and “Cantonese Boy” by Japan, the song whose eclectic elements I was reminded of most while listening to “Princess Of China.”

4. I like when Rihanna sings any word with a long O sound. I like Rihanna. Obviously.

5. The new album is called Mylo Zyloto because that is exactly the kind of dumb album title British musicians with prog-rock leanings come up with. See also: Ummagumma (Pink Floyd), Abacab (Genesis), Zenyattà Mondatta (the Police).

6. This song has the plot of a Super Mario Brothers game. Maybe Chris Martin’s kids have been playing a lot of video games. JK, they are only allowed to plays with ribbons and masks. Itsa me, Chris Martin-O.

7. We have reached the event horizon where all popular musical genres are one.

Filed Under: Coldplay, Music, Rihanna

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert