Coldplay - Everyday Life
Nov 22, 2019
Back with their first full-length record since 2015's "A Head Full of Dreams", Coldplay promised a more "experimental" approach to this new project, which excited the absolute hell out of me. If that 2015 album made one thing clear, it was that Coldplay was quickly stagnating as a group and needed a breath of fresh air; they needed to go out of their comfort zone to recapture the magic of their 2008-2014 discography. After listening through the album a few times, It's clear they attempted to do something different with "Everyday Life", even if it wasn't always exciting or particularly interesting.

Let me just get it out of the way; this is a good album. The instrumentation is rich and organic, reminiscent of 2008's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends." It's more textured and well-produced than their previous record. On almost every front, "Everyday Life" is a noticeable improvement from "A Head Full of Dreams" and a reminder that Coldplay can still make tight, emotionally resonant music when they want to. My problem with the record is just how inconsistent it is lyrically and thematically.

Make no mistake, I've never listened to Coldplay for masterful lyricism, but especially in recent years, it's often become distracting how odd some of these lines are. We have songs like "Daddy", which is absolutely gorgeous sonically and has sweet, simple lyrics to complement the tone of the song. This is one I can really get behind; it's Coldplay showing awareness of a song's atmosphere and not interjecting strange lyrical choices to try to enhance it. Then we have tracks like "Guns", which is a short, very tongue-in-cheek commentary on western culture and it's fascination with firearms. It's a touchy subject that Coldplay attempts to address very ironically, and it just doesn't sit well with me, especially considering it's sequence within the album. It's jarring and doesn't add anything new to its subject matter. Credit where credit is due, this type of botched lyricism is actually rather infrequent throughout the record, but it's still fairly distracting when it does occur.

It's clear Coldplay was attempting to address some sensitive cultural topics with "Everyday Life", as tracks like "Trouble In Town" show the band directly confronting racial politics and outdated societal institutions. For the most part, they do a decent job providing enough detail and insight to make something worthwhile, although there certainly is still room for improvement. More than anything else, it's nice to hear them speak on such issues, as their messages are sure to reach millions of ears who might need to hear them. I was worried that they would fail to address these topics with any tact or nuance, but they avoided sounding out of touch, which I consider a huge victory.

All in all, it's not the revolutionary, career-defining record I may have been hoping for in the depths of my heart, but it's still a very well-made, well-thought-out record with catchy rhythms, beautiful instrumentation and undeniably positive energy. At this point, that's all I can reasonably ask for out of Coldplay. Though they may never beat "Mylo Xyloto" or "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends", they've shown they can still make music that resonates with me, though not as strongly as it once did.
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