You may be thinking, “Wait, didn’t Coldplay do ‘Strawberry Swing?'” They did; it’s included on their 2008 album Viva La Vida. However, R&B singer Frank Ocean put his own spin on the track when recording his 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. I wouldn’t say that he sampled it, because he basically ripped the entire instrumental, note-for-note. It’s not really a cover, either, as Frank replaces Chris Martin’s innocent, sunny lyrics about childhood with lines about atom bombs, spaceships fleeing earth, and general apocalyptic mayhem. Somehow, though, he achieves a similar nostalgic tone to the original, albeit with a strong undercurrent of sadness that Coldplay’s version lacks. It’s safe to say that, although I’m not a Coldplay hater (and own several of their albums from my high school days), I prefer Frank Ocean’s version of this song. Side note: I have no clue how Frank managed to release this mixtape. It “borrows” backing tracks not only from Coldplay, but also from The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” MGMT’s “Electric Feel,” and Mr. Hudson’s “There Will Be Tears.” Sounds like multiple lawsuits waiting to happen, but it seems like things turned out ok for Mr. Ocean.
Listen to more Frank Ocean: Again, everyone knows this guy by now
Listen to Coldplay: Give them some love, they’re not as bad as everyone says