Monday, May 30, 2016

Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams (2015)

Joonas Järv

‘A Head Full of Dreams’ is Coldplay’s latest album. Immediately it gives off a very positive feeling, an album full of uplifting tunes. The lyrics are full of groovy beats which seem to invite people for a dance. This is all in pretty heavy contrast to their last album ‘Ghost Stories’, which was released in 2014 soon after the lead-man, Chris Martin’s divorce from Gwyneth Paltrow.

In my opinion, Coldplay has a bit of a reputation of being ‘easy-listening’ and not providing the listener with much depth in terms of technicality or even lyrics. And for the most part I would have to agree with them. The lyrics go on to say how great the world is and how we should love and hold everybody. Right now as there are a lot of crises going on around the world, this does seem a bit like denial. On the other hand, we could treat it as escapism, just roll with it and not let it bother us that much. All of this does not have to be a bad thing, it just shows who their target audience is and if both the band and people are happy with it, then let it be so. But from an objective (or sometimes rather subjective) point-of-view, Coldplay do not seem to put that much effort into their music.

The instrumental side seems rudimentary, although as a silver-lining it is easy to follow, finding yourself bouncing to the beat. Most riffs are pretty generic with the bass-line recognizable from a number of their own songs and even other bands. To me the most exciting part instrumentally was the last song, where Noel Gallagher pulls off all stops and delivers a nice solo.

There is a lot of emotion buried in each of their albums (mostly from Chris Martin himself), with their previous album being darker and more gloomy. With this one, all the good emotions have come bubbling to the surface, just like cream to the top. Just get down to business with the ever-green ‘oh-s’ and ’ah-s’ in the chorus, which do give forward emotion but lazily so, with Martin being quite lazy in ‘Army of One’ by singing: ‘beautiful-est treasures’. Let by-gone’s be by-gone’s as even Gwyneth Paltrow herself makes an appearance on ‘Everglow’. All hard feelings have been left behind and both of them are ready to move on, which Martin expresses many times, over and over in this utterly positive album. Alongside his ex, an even more notable person appeared. Beyonce shows off her vocal skills and brings a bit of variety to the album in ‘Up&Up’ and ‘Hymn for the weekend’.


Even all this glamour and fame does not move our eyes (or ears) away from the fact that most of the time on this album Chris Martin does what he does best – spinning out sentimental nonsense. Everything is full of goodness and angels, miracles and honestly – sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming to listen. There is rarely divergence from this album’s main recipe, which seems to be to inject positivism into all the non-believers to try and get them to just turn their leg to the album’s very groovy beats. Contradictingly, however, I did like when all of this culminated in last words of the song ‘Up&Up’: ‘When you think you've had enough’ and ’Don't ever give up’, which at first looks really cringy and even corny, but in reality, it actually is more often than not what a lot of people want to or even need to hear.

Then in the end all of the lyrics and instrumentals are neatly brought together by the famous Norwegian hit-makers, Stargate, who have produced, among others, such big celebrities like Rihanna and Katy Perry. It seems pretty hard to go wrong with such people backing up your album-in-the-making. In the end this makes for a fairly average album, without giving us anything too spectacular to remember them by. Although, the band said this was supposed to be their last album, so their decision to end with a positive and uplifting (oh-so-very positive) note, could be the right one. But let them tour for while, go through a relationship or two and then see if it will be the final chord from them. And of course money will have nothing to do with their future, possibly 8th, album. Instead it will once again call upon people to be kind to each other.

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