Though full of optimistic glee, on their ninth album you get the feeling that Coldplay feels powerless about her place in the world and the problems that have happened to her
How strange it is that a band of over forty men who made a name for themselves with Very Serious Music turned to big pop.
Coldplay’s ninth album, Music of the Spheres, is full of songs that seem left over from One Direction’s heyday, complete with pop’s ore lord, Max Martin, being produced.
There are also collaborations with Selena Gomez and BTS – Chris Martin said on stage this week that it was Simon Pegg’s 12-year-old daughter who was responsible for her recording, so it’s literally an attempt to keep up with the kids below be .
That’s not to say it’s bad (although it’s not great). Coldplay still know how to write a huge stadium epic like “Higher Power” that has shades of “Boys of Summer”.
And say what you like about the 10 minute “Coloratura” but it definitely shows that the band still has new ideas that they want to try. Ideas like orchestral sunspots, endless trills and inharmonious swelling and retreating into runs that sound like from “Imagine”. But it goes a little further.
You get the feeling that for all the joy of the record, Coldplay feels powerless about its place in the world and the problems it has faced.
They channeled that restless energy into rabid, additive-soaked songs like “People of the Pride,” which, frankly, are about as un-Coldplay as a Coldplay song can be, with its delusion of battlefield size and throbbing , pounding beat.
In contrast, “Human Heart” is layer upon layer of beautiful harmonies that you can imagine hearing in a cathedral. Let’s just not talk about “biutyful”, which is very annoying with its vocal stupidity and sugar-sweet setup.
I’m not going to call it a midlife crisis, but it is certainly a midlife crisis; a longing for more of the life and the music they make, but retreating into the youth of another band rather than their own. It might be a commercial hit, but a large part of it is a failure.
Stream: My Universe, Human Heart, Coloratura