Is Coldplay’s seventh album their last and best?
A Head Full Of Dreams is our seventh thing and the way we look at it is like the last Harry Potter book or something. Not to say there might not be another thing one day but this is the completion of something.” These are the words with which Chris Martin, the face of the still incredibly popular band Coldplay, announced the release of their new album. Not surprisingly, immediately after the interview the rumors about the end of the band started. Whether it is their last album (for a while) or not, is it their best so far?
Coldplay is without a doubt one of the most iconic acts in the world of popular music over the last ten years. Their albums always sell millions and tracks like ‘Yellow’, ‘Fix You’, ‘Clocks’, ‘Viva La Vida’ and ‘Paradise’ have definitely become modern day classics. Of course it is a hard task to top their previous work again and again and this showed when the subdued album Ghost Stories was met by a lukewarm reception. The good news is that A Head Full of Dreams is a lot livelier and instantly catchy, but at the same time it seems unlikely that any of the brand new songs will become as universally praised as the above mentioned.
Coldplay kicked of the promotion for this era with the single ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’, one of their lightest, most poppy and catchy efforts to date. Nothing wrong with that of course, but not very memorable at the same time. The album is opened by the title track which sees Coldplay return to what they do best: the big pop band sound that will fill arenas and will be played on radio over and over again. Chris Martin and his men have a real chance at a big hit with the tune ‘Hymn For the Weekend’ though. They described it as their take on Flo-Rida like party tracks and they asked Beyoncé to sing with them. The result is a hypnotic and irrestibly catchy song with an ‘oh-ah’ chorus. Beyoncé sounds heavenly and the result is way more interesting than anything Flo-Rida ever released.
Coldplay goes back to their roots on the gorgeous ballad ‘Everglow’ which is performed from the heart like only Chris Martin can. Definitely one to please the fans who have been following the band for years. The Tove Lo duet ‘Fun’ is a strong pop tune with a relatable story about the end of a relationship, but they could have definitely done more with the Swedish pop star’s raw vocals than just use her as a background. Overall the second part of the record is weaker with some interludes and hidden tracks (‘Kaleidoscope’, ‘X Marks The Spot’ and ‘Colour Spectrum’) that seem a bit out of place as they do not really add something to the whole bunch. Luckily the album (and therefore maybe their career as a band, at least for now) ends on a high with the epic and anthemic closer ‘Up&Up’ where Noel Gallagher comes in for a guitar solo as well. It shows they still have it in them to create a unique sound with potential classics. A Head Full of Dreams is a solid effort and probably their most poppy to date, but it lacks the uniqueness and anthems that made them one of the biggest bands in the world.
Must listen: Hymn For the Weekend, Everglow, Adventure of a Lifetime, A Head Full of Dreams, Up&Up