Coldplay return with new album Everyday Life, a perfectly balanced and impressively adaptable record that seeks to evolve with each listen.
It’s always interesting when a new Coldplay album released. Some people expect the stadium-filling anthems and radio-friendly singles for what the band are renowned for, but each record usually has some kind of subtle transformation or way for the band to move forward, musically. On this point, Everyday Life is perhaps the most innovative and daring Coldplay album for a long time. Chris Martin et al dive into different genres whilst seamlessly integrating their points of view, creating enigmatic choruses and revelling in settled turns of pace in the quieter moments. But of course, there are still a couple of those big anthems on there.
Sunrise opens part 1 of the record where we immediately get a taste of the band’s adaptability and experimentation that Everyday Life is rife with. Haunting melodies and orchestral moments gently flow forwards on this instrumental piece as the dawn breaks on the album with a track that wakes you up to the possibilities that lie ahead. We’re then thrown into Church, one of the more ‘classic’ sounding Coldplay tracks that could lull you into a false sense of security if you didn’t know what was lying ahead. Steady drumbeats and an enticing, floaty atmosphere embody Martin’s vocals, making for a well-rounded track that suits the early cuts of the record.
Things then get interesting with BrokEn and Arabesque; the former turning to a gospel sound and choir as its base, and the latter borrowing from Jazz to complete a fully-realised sound through sax-laden undertones and a steady, bluesy beat that pulsates the track forward. It wouldn’t be Coldplay without a bit of political agenda, which is perfectly capitulated in Trouble in Town, focusing on police brutality and racial profiling, even adding in a sound clip of the disgraced American police officer Phillip Nace as he verbally abuses a victim.
Part 2 of the record has more surprises, kicking off with the folky sound and fast guitar of Guns, a track that Laura Marling would be proud to call her own. Powerful single Orphans proves Coldplay can still write those stadium-filling anthems that we’ve all come to love, but it’s also a delight that the record doesn’t rely on these to build the record; along with the enigmatic Champion Of The World, they’re almost there as filler to the more creative pieces, helping tie everything together.
Stand out track Cry Cry Cry is a beautifully arranged, soulful track that saunters along in its own world amongst docile tones and a stripped back atmosphere. Album closer Everyday Life, much like the album’s opening, draws on orchestral movements, but this time we have Chris Martin’s vocals meticulously parading over the serene soundscapes and building tracks in a way only he can. It pulls the curtain over a truly wondrous journey for the perfect ending.
Everyday Life is Coldplay’s strongest record for years. The amount of experimentation could ruin a lesser band, but such is their skill, they manage to pull it all together without making anything feel out of place or turgid. From almost cinematic scores to blissful euphoria and rising choruses, the intricacies play around each other as the tracks envelop their genre-splicing atmospheres to either appeal to the heart, the mind, or reveal political agendas that bubble under the surface. A true class effort from a band that are once again at the top of their game.
By Jamie Parmenter