Coldplay – A Head Full of DreamsCultureAlbum reviewsMusic
A new Coldplay album is a huge deal for the music industry. The British four-piece is the only band selling millions of records worldwide in an era where solo artists seem to colonise the charts.
With the risk of being overshadowed by Adele’s 25, which is breaking every possible record with five million units sold in its first week, A Head Full of Dreams is set for release on 4th December.
There’s very little left of the Yellow band, a characteristic that is currently dividing most of their fans. The record opens with A Head Full of Dreams, a classic Coldplay feel-good anthem that seems to be written for the live show – a beautiful confetti song.
Hymn for the Weekend, Chris Martin’s self-declared attempt to write something worthy of the likes of Flo Rida, is a whirring club tune featuring vocals from Beyoncé. These are the two main characteristics of the album: the 360-degree effort to reinvent themselves and the large number of guest contributions.
The duet with Tove Lo on Fun mixes electronic drums and acoustic guitars in a melancholic mid-tempo with lyrics alluding to a love that has just ended: ”don’t say it was all a waste, didn’t we have fun?” It’s followed by Kaleidoscope, a piano-driven rendition of Rumi’s Persian poem Guest House.
“Good old” Coldplay is still evident in the ballads Everglow and Amazing Day; the latter is the highlight of the album. A mix of Leonard Cohen and Frank Sinatra’s My Way, boasting a memorable guitar-riff, mellow piano and strings, this is Chris Martin at his best.
A Head Full of Dreams is a very colourful album. It’s their most pop, varied and radically different work to date; it’s intended to be the first chapter of their new course but it lacks a clear direction. This is perhaps due to the effect of producer duo Stargate who are used to arranging and co-writing singles (Rihanna, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea) rather than long plays.
Bird, Adventure of a Lifetime and Army of One add substance with oblique vocals and daring sounds. The only low point is the hidden track X Marks the Spot, where there’s no trace of the band’s musical roots. Up&Up is the choral grand finale, featuring a Champagne Supernova-esque guitar solo from Noel Gallagher.
A Head Full of Dreams is diverse, kaleidoscopic and a slap in the face for the adulators of their first records.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
A Head Full of Dreams is released on 4th December 2015.
Watch the video for Adventure of a Lifetime here: