For anyone thinking this is going to be another uninspired, radio friendly, EDM infused anthem filled record; think again. Coldplay finally has a vision in one of their records for maybe the first time in 8 or so years. This album carries themes of humanity, unity, faith, and relationships. It is darker than A Head Full of Dreams and it probably won't get the streams that Coldplay is used to.
And wow is it refreshingly solid. Chris Martin really holds his own here with some heartbreaking and thoughtful lyrics. His vocals are vintage Coldplay.
There are some ambition and creative endeavors here. Beautiful orchestral pieces and vocal samples are placed fantastically.
A couple of complaints: there are still some very stale and phoned in tracks. However, I would say only 2 really rub me the wrong way, those being Arabesque and Orphans (ironically the 2 lead singles). They sound way too compressed and sanitized, probably designated to be the intended radio and stream hits.
"Guns" was a gamble that I think failed to really resonate with me.
Overall though, if you are a Coldplay fan, you have to be super excited about this. I would probably say this is their best record since Viva la Vida