It's been more than 20 years since "Yellow" introduced the world to Coldplay at their best: hopelessly romantic but not treacly, full of wonder but grounded in the present. The song's cymbals crash and its lyrics pine for the stars, but it's more than just some lovesick drivel. Chris Martin's falsetto can sound mournful, as if the object of his affection has already moved on, while guitarist Jonny Buckland's distorted chords are slightly sour, hinting at turmoil in the undertow.
Coldplay have always been relatively easy targets for critical opprobrium. It comes with the territory of being one of the biggest bands in the world. And, after 20 years or so, that’s a title that Chris Martin and company can easily lay claim to. The fact remains that they’re very good at what they do.
The most casual music for the most casual listeners...
What expectations do you have from Coldplay in 2021? Chris Martin & Co. have gradually shed all layers that made their music and lyrics interesting, thus becoming so generic and bland anyone could enjoy them. The quartet has done a great job turning themselves into the most harmless pop act.
Coldplay love their grandeur concepts that venture into the ethereal, and Music Of The Spheres is no different. Employing the vastness of space and celestial alignment in their artwork and ideas, the album has a sense of epic-ness to it on paper. It's sad then that as you get your teeth into it, it fails to lift off. There are some bright stars in the mix, and singles "Higher Power" and the collaboration with Korean superstars BTS on "My Universe" stand out in the crowd, and not just by a little, but by a country mile - they have a dynamic structure and style and feel like the fully fledged songs that Coldplay have become synonymous with.
Coldplay's ninth album, Music of the Spheres, is their most baffling. For one thing, they claim it's a concept album. See the album cover? It's the geography of a fictional solar system called "The Spheres." See the 12 planets, moons, and singular nebula? Notice that there are 12 tracks on the album? You can probably guess where this is going. Each celestial body represents a song.
Wither goest thou, Coldplay, into the pop night…? Chris Martin & Co. shook up their sound on 'Everyday Life', with the English crooner wrapping his tones around elements pilfered from countries around the globe, resulting in perhaps their broadest creative statement to date. Yet fans didn't respond - selling around a tenth of its 2015 predecessor 'A Head Full Of Dreams' in the United States, the results have prompted another u-turn.