mon 16/12/2019

CD: Coldplay - Everyday Life | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Coldplay - Everyday Life

CD: Coldplay - Everyday Life

Despite grandiose pretensions, Coldplay's eighth album rarely takes flight

West African horns, South African choir, Arabic vocals... but it's very much still Coldplay.

For all they've inspired swathes of the most crushingly mundane music of the modern age from Sheeran on down, Coldplay have always been at their best at their most grandiose. That is, when they shake off Chris Martin's I'm-a-normal-bloke schtick and let their romanticism – in melodies, arrangements and fairytale lyrics – fly free. So it sounded promising when it emerged they were releasing a double album full of global influences: maybe they're really going to go for it this time?

In the event, at 53 minutes, Everyday Life is actually shorter than some of their single albums. And for all that it has Femi Kuti's horn section, South African children's choirs, Arabic vocals, retro soul and folk sections, it's all subsumed into a very Coldplay sound. Even though their regular collaborator Brian Eno isn't involved, it relentlessly references Eno and Daniel Lanois's classic productions, and those global influences are incorporated in a very Eighties, Benneton ad, way. Along with his lyrical murmurings about Africa and "ey-oh ey-oh" chants, it all feels very much like Martin is dreaming of performing at Live Aid.

Which isn't to say it's bad. The sound is big, warm and embracing, and Martin's funky-vicar attempts at Big Thoughts about universality of human experience, yearning for god and how hey, isn't the world crazy? are comfortingly gauche. They're at their very best here either when they drop the cosmopolitan affectation and do straight Coldplay rock as on the closing brace of “Champion of the World” and the title track – or stripped to pure, folky acoustic bare bones on album highlight “Old Friends”.  

But the writing is clunky, not poetic: for every moment like “Old Friends” where Martin is touchingly direct, there are dozens where he comes over like a stoned teenager who's watched Newsnight with a Tinariwen album on in the background and felt like a visionary. And even with orchestral swells, the grooves and melodies are linear, never soaring like a “Viva la Vida” or “Clocks”. A very pleasant listen, but, given the ingredients and what the band are capable of at their best, maddening in terms of what could have been.

@joemuggs

 

Martin comes over like a stoned teenager who's watched Newsnight with a Tinariwen album on in the background

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Comments

Why you hating them? What do you expect from them?

What do I expect? Just songs with a bit more oomph and imagination. They're capable of it.

It's way too easy to post snarky, insulting, degrading comments like the ones posted here. You know what's really, REALLY hard? To write/say/do something kind. Something that doesnt elevate oneself simply by lowering everyone around him or her with words/actions of disdain. If it was easy to be good, we'd already be living in a good/ kind world. And we don't. Coldplay does the right things, the kind things, the good things. It's not easy, yet they do it. Go on and hate, haters, but none of you have what it takes to be strong; if you did, you'd be doing something to change this world for the best.

There are many thousands of fan sites for musicians of all kinds, all across the internet. Can I suggest you try one of those, instead of an arts criticism website?

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