As I sit here listening to the new release of arguably one of the 2000s biggest names in music, I am left feeling empty and let down. Coldplay had been teasing the release of “Everyday Life” since late October when “Orphans” and “Arabesque” were released as singles.
Chris Martin has always been known for his imaginative style of music, a style in which he seems to not care at all about what anyone in the industry truly thinks. This started with the industry-shifting release of “Parachutes” in 2000, an album whose songs are still played and idolized today. A trend everybody saw from Coldplay was none of their albums seemed forced or unnecessary. They just were. As simple as that, when a new Coldplay album was released it was a celebration of one of the greatest musical minds of our generation. Even their lackluster 2014 release of “Ghost Stories” had some popular appeal, an appeal which turned me off in a way. It was after that release I started seeing the demise of Coldplay. Their new music seemed to be released for the sole purpose of getting approval, rather than musical creativity.
“A Head Full of Dreams” seemed to have solidified my rather opinionated hypothesis. That release seemed all about admiration from pop culture. And now, they have lost me, although the creativity and musical ingenuity is exceedingly commendable from having the recording of a police encounter with infamous Philadelphia police officer Phillip Nace entwined in the interlude of “Trouble in Town,” to having multiple songs with lyrics sung in Arabic.
The entirety of this album seems forced. There is a lot going on which ultimately keeps my head on a swivel. One second you are listening to Arabic, while the next you could be listening to the gospel style “BrokEn” featuring a church choir. I love creativity in an album. Musical ingenuity is something this world needs more of. With so much of music sounding utterly the same, it is refreshing to hear something new, but this is too much.
The album is not without its gems though. “Daddy” is a deeply personal record about a kid who is neglected by his father and longs for his love. In an interview with ENTERCOM, Martin stated, “[This song] is partly about how I feel about myself as a dad, how I’m a bit too absent when I’m touring.” The lyrics of this track are tear-jerking and beautifully composed. The vision implanted in your head about a kid longing for their father is too real for a lot of people today: “Daddy, are you out there?/ Daddy, why’d you run away?/ Daddy, are you okay?/ Look, Dad, we got the same hair.” Martin has always had a way with words.
“Guns” is a brilliant piece of anti-gun propaganda, blunt and remarkably well done. The activism in this album is something to be admired, and you cannot help but envy the creativity Martin calls upon.
In the world of music, you can admire the creativity and work put into a record, but ultimately it did not pay off. The album seemed forced and unnecessary. The bearable songs seem far and few between. The double album was a good idea, but the execution was not there. There are no distinct differences between the two sides, nor are the songs very good other than the lyrics. You can tell his intentions were to make a politically driven album not only lyrically strong but intriguing to listen to, and lyrically he does succeed at that, but the album is far from being a good album.
This only further confirms my hypothesis that Chris Martin and Coldplay are on this slippery slope to an infinite pit of musical normalcy.
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