Davide Rossi, who is the violinist, guitar and keytar-player for Goldfrapp, arranged this song. He was discovered when Coldplay toured with Goldfrapp. Drummer Will Champion told Q magazine July 2008: "Dav is like a one-man orchestra, he plays an electric violin that has everything, from the top note of a violin to the bottom note of a cello, all that range on one thing." Lead singer Chris Martin added: "We've become very good at collaboration. And passing if off as our own work."
This song features a North African string-and-tablas arrangement around the lowest singing register of Chris Martin's recorded life so far. Drummer Will Champion told Billboard magazine that he credited producer Brian Eno with upending Coldplay's usual working habits in the studio. He said: "Brian has this amazing ability to demystify wonderful music and make it seem very achievable. We weren't afraid to try anything."
Drummer Will Champion told MTV News why Chris Martin sings in a lower register on this number: "One of the main things we tried to focus on with this record is changing vocal identities, because Chris has a very recognizable voice. Just the idea that you can totally change the sound of a song and the sound of a band, just by treating the vocals a different way. So in a song like 'Yes,' Chris is singing in a lot lower register."
Fall Out Boy's "The Kids Aren't Alright" song title is not a reference to The Offspring's 1998 single of the same name. It actually alludes to The Who's 1979 rockumentary film called The Kids Are Alright.