This Weeks Music Video with Frank Ocean, Metallica, Neon Indian, Coldplay, BANKS and Will Butler

This Weeks Music Video with Coldplay, Pet Shop Boys, Iggy Pop, Super Furry Animals, Metronomy, James Blake and Lucius

This Weeks Music Video with PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Coldplay, Primal Scream with Sky Ferreira, Vince Staples and FIDLAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

This Weeks Music Video with Coldplay, Tame Impala, Santigold

 

 

 

 

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

This Week’s Music Video with Coldplay, Haim feat A$AP Ferg, The War On Drugs and M83

Coldplay – True Love

 

Haim feat. A$AP Ferg – My Song 5

 

The War On Drugs – Under The Pressure

 

M83 – Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun

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

Image from www.trendingrecords.com 

Tom Odell – Long Way Down Review

Rightly or wrongly, Tom Odell has kicked up a massive fuss this year and this was enhanced by him winning the ‘Critics Choice Award’ at the BRIT Awards. However as far as i’m concerned those awards are one of the biggests insults to British music that you’ll find. Therefore I don’t care for it. However I don’t think he should be cast off in the harsh way he has been. For example the 0/10 from the NME is just them trying to be ‘hip’ and they just go with the crowds anyway. Remember when they championed Mumford & Sons? One Direction are a 0/10 and Odell is not as bad as that. But the review did make some valid points though even if they were wrapped up in metaphors and cliches as always. One thing is for sure is that he’s vocal style is very polarising. It will make you weak at the knees or make you want to jump out your window into the street below. Bastille is very similar. They sort of sing words with the wrong vowel in them and stress that fact to no end and at times it’s a little comical.

His first single from his debut album was ‘Can’t Pretend’ and it is evocative of the vocal style i just mentioned. My first thought was Jamie Cullum for some reason. That sort of gloomy piano ballad with the choir in the background which is pretty standard and sort of works out for him to it’s bare minimum. The song sounds a little better when you get in the other elements of the basic guitars, percussion and bass and i’m not one of those people crazed about having a guitar in every song but that style is way too familar and his voice might be more appealing if it wasn’t so isolated. ‘Hold Me’ does have more about it in terms of instrumentals but his vocals in this are him straining and shouting at times. They don’t have the same idea as the instrumentals either and they themselves sound like a basic version of Keane or FUN. Once more, the random wails and screams from him and the choir or not melodic or harmonic at all and they only suceed is scaring you half to death. ‘Another Love’ is his third single and the initial subtleness works well for him with the soft harmonies but that bloody choir start doing their ghost impressions again and it ruins the songs atmosphere and feel. The build up of the thumping percussion does redeem the song slightly and the balance of voice against instrumentals is much better. However those choirs killed it as they joined in again and at times it was trying to sound like a Coldplay tune from 2008 and even they didn’t put those wailing choirs in the middle of their songs.

‘Grow Old With Me’ has a decent meoldy to it which other songs struggle to conjure up. He’s also put a lid on those choirs who back him up in harmonies rather than wailing over him and drowning everything out. The songs does take a stompy Mumford apporach which is very belated and a little frustrating but it’s a decent tune i guess. ‘Sense’ very much has a sort of Christmas in New York thing about it like it’s been plucked from a romantic film but the choirs again decide to work with him rather than against him. The title track sounds a little like it’s trying to steal the piano from ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay and the vocal and backing vocals in their collective wail are in no way matching the feel of the piano instrumental. That really defines Tom Odell’s debut album. It’s like he’s got all the basic elements but plucked them out of a hat for each song, making the album sound a bit mis-matched and random. Just when you think he is about to put down a half decent song, something always comes up to ruin it. It’s pretty bold to produce your own debut album as a solo artist. Perhaps that is the problem. It’s like there has been no one there to be objective with him and tell him that some of his musical combinations are a little off. Unlike the NME I shall be constructive and say 1. He needs a producer to give a proper opinion on his songs. 2. He needs to find out what sounds and harmonies work with his voice and enhance it as not everything will. 3. Try not to have the whole album piano driven. Though he is good on the keys the style of song he has to chose from becomes very narrow given the way he plays it. 4. The same goes with the choir. If you are going to have one them at least ensure they are complimenting the songs rather than overpowering everything without harmony. If those basic things materialise them perhaps his second album will be a decent one because if he sticks with the way he’s going then he’ll be going nowhere fast and I think he is capable of a little better. He’s just got it all wrong with Long Way Down.

Tom Odell – Long Way Down = 3.5/10

File:Long-Way cover.jpg

Images from blahblahblahscience.com / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Way_Down_(Tom_Odell_album)