Release Date: Jul 14, 2017
Record label: Parlophone
In the past year, the biggest bands in the world have embraced the future by lurching in a new direction, for better or worse. Muse went gung-ho Depeche Mode with 'Dig Down'. Arcade Fire went Americana ABBA with 'Everything Now'. The Killers turned into disco titans with 'The Man'. Big bands are ….
Titled after a soothing interlude from the band's 2015 LP, A Head Full of Dreams, this five-song EP continues that album's mood of tranquil satisfaction. Its lead track, "All I Can Think About Is You," goes from moody restraint to stadium shimmer, with Chris Martin radiating euphoria. Big Sean lends a few surprisingly organic lines to the uplifting dance-pop snugglet "Miracles (Someone Special)" and Brian Eno produces the skitter-grooved "Aliens." A live version of Martin's hit Chainsmokers collaboration, "Something Just Like This," breaks the flow on a record that otherwise goes down as easy as Sunday brunch with a cool uncle.
Coldplay capitalize on the multicolored positivity of A Head Full of Dreams with Kaleidoscope, an EP that ties together all the threads left hanging by that sparkling 2015 album. Although Kaleidoscope is named after a Head Full of Dreams album track -- available here in a new, airy mix -- the key track is "Something Just Like This," the group's collaboration with the EDM duo Chainsmokers that became a huge hit in the first half of 2017. The version here, disingenuously dubbed "Tokyo Remix," may be live but its big laser beats tie Coldplay into a modern pop, one that easily slips between surface charms and subdued experimentalism.
Coldplay are nearing the end of a restless decade, one that found them cycling through a handful of disparate creative approaches without ever losing much of their commercial momentum. The albums they made under Brian Eno's warped wing (2008's Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends... and, three years later, the underrated Mylo Xyloto) pushed their sound to its breaking point with detours into shoegaze, R&B, and chirping electro-pop.
It ‘s hard to convey with words just what a relief Kaleidoscope EP‘s first track is. It is called “All I Can Think About Is You”, and the importance of its presence in the modern-day Coldplay canon cannot be overstated. It’s a big song, not far from the slow-burn sentimental-epic word that was so common among Coldplay’s first few albums.
C hris Martin’s bullet-proof affectation as a man of few regrets has only grown more transparent with age. Not by any lack of labor on his part; what may have struck as an experience-affirming candor at 29 only drips with begrudged denial and nostalgic longing at midlife. “I have a very wonderful separation-divorce,” the lyricist and singer reflected in a 2016 Rolling Stone profile — pointedly prefixing his very real “divorce” with the word’s less enduring analogue.