Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams Review

Coldplay have long been a staple of the British pop/rock scene, having formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin. After undergoing various name changes in their early years, from Pectoralz to Starfish, the band finally settled on Coldplay in 1998, before recording and releasing three EP’s before recording and releasing three EPs: ‘Safety’ in 1998, ‘Brothers & Sisters’ as a single in 1999 and ‘The Blue Room’ in the same year. ‘The Blue Room’ was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone. The band have since gone on to become world superstars, touring the globe, winning numerous awards and releasing several chart topping albums to critical acclaim. Now on their seventh album ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ the band are back with a bang, amid reports that this could be their final album.

The whole album is in stark contrast to the bands previous album ‘Ghost Stories’ released in 2014, which was a sombre affair dealing without the fallout from Chris Martins conscious uncoupling. The songs that feature throughout have a more upbeat feel, take for example the first single if the album, ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ an upbeat pop number, taking in elements of dance music alongside the well known sounds that the band have become synonymous with. The album plays host to diverse range of featured artists such as Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher and Norwegian pop producers Stargate showing that Coldplay are one of a few bands that could put these artists together on an album, let alone do it with positive outcomes. The whole feel of the album is a more upbeat Coldplay to the one we heard on 2104’s ‘Ghost Stories’ the cumulative effect of the upbeat, positivity heard throughout the album is not dissimilar to that of a sugar coated pill to wash away the bitter taste of the bands last album. The album represents some of the most satisfying songs the band have wrote for years, showing a different side, albeit with the signature Coldplay sound, the band has to offer.

For all the differences the album has to the bands previous offering you could say that the reinvention doesn’t quite go far enough, songs such as ‘Everglow’ never quite materialize on the promised pop takeover of Stargate. It only takes two minutes and 20 seconds into the opening track, ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ before you find the first anthemic “oh-woah”, something of a Coldplay trademark. Overall the album offers a different sound to that of the bands last album, and does go someway to show a different side to the pop outfit, it doesn’t however push the boundaries far enough for the album to be seen as a total reinvention, at times still drawing upon the classic Coldplay sound, which arguably means another good album but not one that pushes the bands sound entirely in a new direction.

Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams = 6/10

 

 

Matthew Kay

Single Review -Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime

Coldplay have long been a staple of the British pop/rock scene since there first release ‘Parachutes’ many years ago in the year 2000, and have recently released details about their upcoming and seventh album entitled ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ released on Parlaphone/Atlantic on December 4th. The album is rumoured to have a more upbeat feel than previous efforts, Chris Martin describing the album as “a more colourful, more joyful sort of thing” and it is set to featured a wide range of musical talents such as Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo and Merry Clayton. The rumour mill doesn’t stop there however, with many reports suggesting that this will be the final album form Coldplay with Chris Martin implying “I have to think of it as the final thing we’re doing,” he said. “The last ‘Harry Potter’ book or something like that” during an interview last year.

On the announcement of the album the first single ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ was immediately available for download, and moves away from the traditional sound of Coldplay. A sprightly, upbeat track giving a sense of disco influences isn’t perhaps what the general public would know Coldplay for certainly after seminal releases such as ‘Paradise’ or ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ but that is what is on offer with their latest track. Opening with an upbeat tempo and bright and sparkly elegance this track is a Coldplay take on disco-funk, with an Afro-pop guitar figure and some strutting rythm sections. The track offers a fast paced energy and vibe not seen in early Coldplay productions but perhaps showing the bands ability to adapt to various styles and keeping them at the fore front of the pop/rock genre. The vocals, courtesy of Chris Martin, are as one would expect excellent almost the only thing that would make this track noticeable too many who have ever heard Coldplay on the radio. The tight drums that offer the energy within the track are accompanied by razor sharp guitars and slick pianos, driving the track forward in a perfectly composed linear direction, never diverging to far away from the formula that is often heard within many tracks within this genre.

Aside from the slightly leftfield direction the track heads, and although it being a perfectly acceptable track, there I something slightly generic about the sound. The boundaries aren’t being pushed enough and there is nothing that will make it stand out above other Coldplay singles. This is not to put the track down, it is well thought out, offering a slightly different direction to the generic Coldplay of young, but does feel slightly like an album filler as opposed to a single.

‘Adventures of a Lifetime’ is out now from Coldplay’s forthcoming album released on December 4th.

 

Matthew Kay

Single Review – Coldplay – Magic

The ultimate Marmite band are back! i.e. you either love them with a passion or hate them with a passion. I’m just going to say that I am not a personal fan but I think they have developed their sound over the years to a slightly better end; regardless of what you think of Chris Martin etc. I would not begrudge them of being one of the, if not even the biggest band in the world. Whether we like it or not. They are back for 2014 with their sixth studio album Ghost Stories which is out on May 19th. and one of the first tracks to come from this is ‘Magic’. It starts with that typical snappy hip hop beat in combination with a muted riff and soft piano. Chris Martin’s vocals are soft and cascading at times and generally hold their own as you’d expect. He has added a hint a subtlety and some falsetto bursts for good measure. It sort of progresses into your typical Coldplay finish before slipping back into the same fashion of that it started. It is no way ground-breaking but you’d expect it and the album to perform well with the standard elements they’ve placed in it that people think are amazing every single week. The best aspect of this song is undoubtedly the production. Without it there would be no substance at all.

http://youtu.be/1PvBc2TOpE4

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