Coldplay - Music of the Spheres
Oct 15, 2021
41
Head straight to Coloratura, the rest of Music of the Spheres is an album that is woefully lacking in flavor and could very well go into the dictionary as an example of generic music. It's a frustrating and disconcerting experience, especially when you know the true potential of this iconic band.

Coldplay was initially a great band that got lost in a downward spiral when they tried to reinvent themselves especially by incorporating Electronic. The moral of the story is that it's not for everyone. As such, my attention as an avid listener stopped (and I don't think I'm the only one) after Viva La Vida (2008) with a series of concretely "forgettable" albums to remain polite. Before that, Coldplay was a kind of U2 revival in the air of time, distinguishing itself from this influence by the singularity of the leader Chris Martin and that it worked well. To tell you the truth, I recently listened again to Parachutes (2000), and I can tell you that this album is as underestimated as it is excellent... Unfortunately, the London band only made a series of bad choices in order to look for a second life, notably by amplifying their content in a generic radio direction when they already had a comfortable place in this media without selling their soul. Because it's important to point out, just because something is on the radio doesn't mean it's bad. So for me, for the last 10 years, Coldplay is one of the bands from the past that I prefer to avoid for my own good. And then, things evolved, the guys went through their mid-life crisis, the internet became more important than radio or TV, and I think Coldplay thought they could do well again with more sophisticated music without giving up their super star status. Simply because today's listener has more freedom to listen to what he wants without being al-most forced to follow the choices of the music industry. It is for this reason that probably in my opinion pushed Coldplay to question themselves and therefore release a rather good album in 2019 called Everyday Life because it transpires something special, endearing, inspired. Have they continued in the same positive direction on Music Of The Spheres?

Let's not go through multiple ways, the answer is no, even if commercially it will work very well. In my opinion, Coldplay falls back into these ways on Music Of The Spheres. It's like you know that embarrassing moment in a family when a rather old adult, sympathetic of course, tries to pass for a young one, it's almost doomed to failure and that's exactly what happens here. Music of the Spheres is a new attempt, albeit executed differently, to use astronomy and science fiction to create a sort of pop compilation where Coldplay stars meet the pop stars of the moment (BTS, Selena Gomez) in a galactic journey. It's a bit like shooting yourself in the foot before running a marathon. It's not the idea that is bad in itself, it's simply that it is too ambitious and not adapted to Coldplay's capacities. It's very clear that the band is out of place, but at the same time they have a constant need to shine. Everyday Life was in fact a paradoxical parenthesis. Even when you see the tracklisting with emoticons, it looks like a parent telling a joke to his/her child. Excuse me for being so critical, but it makes me angry that no one told them "be careful, you're going straight into the wall". To emphasize that the idea itself is not a problem, I could see someone like Lady Gaga or Ariana Grande being able to take this gamble of blowing up the pop planet with a project so dazzling as a blockbuster. But here we feel such a generational gap that it becomes embarrassing. Fortunately for them, Coldplay seems to have taken a lot of pleasure in making this project so...


For this, Coldplay is accompanied by Max Martin (who is not related to Chris), a true powerhouse of pop production for over 25 years. One thing is sure, Coldplay has played the game thoroughly so that this album is the blockbuster of their dream. That's not all, since other very recognized producers have also participated in this work as Oscar Holer or Bill Rahko for example. The album is articulated around interludes suspended by the Space Ambient, sprinkled with voices trafficked in alien guide and overall it must be said that the concept itself tries to get out of the water. Higher Power is a Synthpop hit in the air of time particularly adapted to the radio expectations and corresponding perfectly to the archetype of a generic song. It's not mean, it's a reality. The production is overplayed and sounds like an avalanche, while Chris Martin's interpretation is so predictable that you feel like you already know this song. Not to mention the absolutely horrible backing vocals, as if recorded with some crappy 80's equipment. So if it's done on purpose to pay homage to the New Wave sounds, I won't be more comforted by it. Unfortunately the vast majority of the album works with the same flaws as Higher Power, i.e. those vocals too watered down compared to the potential, easy and generic melodies as well as this voluntarily abusive production in order to make you believe that it is great. Then all is not bad for as much, Humankind is correct because for the blow it is Coldplay with closed eyes, we find synthesizers and swirling guitars in the sauce U2, or this theatrical way to take a pop hit.

I insist that Coldplay wrote and performed romantic songs as a gift, but it becomes a problem when they are not engaging. Let Somebody Go with Selena Gomez ventures into a soft, atmospheric ballad that lacks effectiveness, heart in the end. And speaking of which, the long "chorus" (Human) Heart left me stoic when it's supposed to bring me emotion. What frustrates me the most when listening to this new album is not so much that it is more or less generic, it is that there is not much to make up for this aspect. There is not much that really gets into the head in an infectious way, that gives the feeling of participating in the adventure, or that is efficient enough to fill the limits. A rather positive point with People Of The Pride, a rock anthem that fits perfectly to a series song that accompanies the beginning of a new scene when it needs to give some bite and energy to it. Biutyful stands out for its risk-taking with the pitched vocals and Chris Martin's self-interaction between human and alien, and quite honestly although it's a kind of pop remake of Grime, it's not unpleasant to say the least (especially when compared to the effect added to the interludes...). On paper I can understand that to find BTS for the absolute fans of the South Korean boy band is exciting, but My Universe is a real caricature. I know we shouldn't maintain the culture of bad taste, since there is no exact science, but it's terribly bloated and sterile. In my opinion, this is by far the least good song of the album. Oh no, wait a second, I may be wrong because there is also "Infinity Sign", an Electro-Pop song composed half of "Olé Olé Olé" the cliché that is sung in soccer stadiums, co-written by Jon Hopkins. It is the example of the kind of 3 minutes song that shows that Coldplay is in total freewheel...

Once you've come to the end of your life, several times over to make an objective review based on several listens, there is finally a ray of sunshine with Coloratura, as if finally this was all a joke. (Sorry spoiler) It's like Jim Carrey in Trueman Show who realizes that it was all a charade because Coloratura is just fantastic. On a Progressive Rock base, Coldplay comes back to the essence of their beginning with an introspective, melodic, poignant and so romantic Art Pop/Piano Rock for a kind of hyper-adventurous mini sym-phony. Everything is particularly mastered, we travel on a small cloud to meet the stars and planets in a delicious, comforting atmosphere, simply sensational. All that to say that it is not the actors of the project the problem, since it is exactly the same group and the same producers as on the whole album, but strangely it works when one applies theirself to make good music.
Doublez's Tags
16 Comments
Oct 15, 2021
You perfectly described by my feeling bout this album. They truly lost it.
Oct 15, 2021
Thanks a lot, I'm glad that others share the same opinion! I think that as long as Coldplay continues to make bad choices, the band will offer frustrating content @MusicXXY
Oct 15, 2021
Good job on the review!
Oct 15, 2021
It’s kind @Brando , thank’s
Oct 15, 2021
Your reviews are always so spot on! I, too, feel as though you described my impressions on the record perfectly! I was really looking forward to a Coldplay reinvention towards their early 2000s sound, but I guess gone are those days.
Oct 15, 2021
Thank you very much for these words! In my opinion, it will be impossible to come back to a Coldplay of their beginning because popular music has evolved too much to wait for the large audience they want, and probably they also not want
After to make the comparison with the previous album, I think that a project of this type was a good thing for the discography of the group but unfortunately they fell again in their ways @thejonspot
Oct 15, 2021
I don´t want to spoil the party...has there ever been a great Coldplay record where they made the right choices? Seriously I love your review I would be seriously interested which coldplay record you can recommend wholeheartedly (I promise I´ll listen to it)
Oct 15, 2021
i personally enjoyed My Universe more than anything on here, and I'm not close to a fan of BTS. I think their voices brought some variety to the mix since most songs faded into each other for the most part
Oct 15, 2021
Very good question my friend ! Coldplay don't have a masterpiece like Kid A released the same year (even if it's not comparable but in the idea if), on the other hand I love their first album Parachutes, I think there are 4 songs of high standing, surrounded by a solid nomenclature
The limits of Coldplay from the beginning are in the fact that the formula is quite unique and very oriented around a voice as singular as Chris Martin's (it's a bit like those singers hyper typed like Bono or Sting) that is to say that if you don't like Martin's voice it will be very complicated to appreciate Coldplay
In 2002, the band made a second album in the continuity with some great songs but I think it's important to focus on the romantic and contagious emotion of the first Parachutes
@ocrakraut
Oct 15, 2021
Honestly I understand you and it is difficult to contradict you on this point, unfortunately according to me the song is too insufficient to bring a real plus to the album :/
@TomBejoy
Oct 15, 2021
Thanks buddy I´ll try - I ain´t got nothing against his voice but it´s interesting to see you compare Martin, Bono and Sting (actually I like maybe one to four songs by these guys and on the contrary I react with growing pimples while listening to most of their oeuvre
Oct 15, 2021
I am one of those diehard Coldplay fans, but even I know that this is their worst release to date. I’m so very saddened by this, but even more so disappointed. Coloratura is an empowering song. The rest? Pop garbage that doesn’t even warrant a second listen.
Oct 15, 2021
Couldn't agree more! but it's just an usual pop record for me. Anyway, great review!
@DoubleZ
Oct 16, 2021
Thank you guys @peachyibby @POPDESIGN
Glad to know we were thinking the same thing! ๐Ÿ™
Oct 20, 2021
Actually one of the best reviews I've read on this side, great job!
Oct 21, 2021
Thank you very much @Reviewsic , it's really kind !!
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