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Coldplay - Everyday Life (Album Review)

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 Written by Jacob Brookman

Coldplay’s first record in four years is a double LP, allowing these British world-beaters to experiment more with instrumentals, ditties and their signature attempts at stadium bangers. The result is an occasionally fantastic album that wears its earnestness as brazenly as ever, and which even dabbles directly in politics with mixed results.

This is the case on Guns, a track that sees singer Chris Martin channel the satire of Bob Dylan unconvincingly, and Trouble in Town, which is better. This song features a highly unnerving recording of a police harassment case at the musical climax, and is one of the most affecting and powerful moments on the album.

Elsewhere, Arabesque is absolutely superb. One of the things that people love to hate about Coldplay is that they are seen as too broad; that their songs lack edge and that attempts at experimentation are somehow proof of their craven ambition.

With a composition like this, one must apply a certain distance to really enjoy it—how would you interpret this song if it were penned by a band you’d never heard of? 

Orphans feels like more traditional Coldplay fare, somewhere between U2, Peter Gabriel and the soundtrack to an O2 advert. But it is also a legitimately superb song, with a mixed-age choir elevating the chorus to a kind-of ecstatic wonder.

It also succeeds in presenting refugees as human beings, sketching this tragic scenario more effectively than with endless imagery of packed dinghies and fetid camps: “I want to know when I can go / Back and get drunk with my friends / I want to know when I can go / Back and be young again.” It’s their best work in 10 years.

As is the case with Coldplay, one is never too far from a cloyingly over-written dirge that makes you cringe at the moon. Daddy & WOTW/POTP dutifully provide those digressions, but ‘Everyday Life’ remains a world away from the trend-chasing shit that spattered the audience on ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ and ‘Ghost Stories’. 

It may be increased maturity, the longer format or even the inescapable political divisions that have risen up in the past five years. Whatever the alchemy, when it works, it's hard to see a band who do this stuff better than Coldplay.

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