Just when everyone thought Coldplay was ready to call it quits, the band came through with an intricate, stimulating surprise album that reminds fans why the four-piece was meant for stardom.
The British band released its eighth album, Everyday Life, on Friday. The 16-track, double-sided composition sounds like the culmination of the band’s entire discography, fusing the diverse elements of its earlier albums into one cohesive, breathtaking and eccentric showpiece.
When Coldplay announced in December 2014 its seventh album, A Head Full of Dreams, frontman Chris Martin hinted in an interview with Zane Lowe that it may be the band’s last hurrah. Martin said while it’s not impossible the band is completely done, “I have to think of [A Head Full of Dreams] as the final thing we’re doing. Otherwise we wouldn’t put everything into it.” The band also released Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams, a documentary that suggested the band was officially over, on Nov. 14, 2018. Nonetheless, a year later, the band is releasing some of its most compelling music to date.
Everyday Life contains multiple languages, silky vocals from Martin, religious undertones and gripping political messages. Though the band won’t be touring to promote the album in an effort to abstain from the environmental detriment caused by concerts, Coldplay fired on all cylinders in these 16 tracks. “Trouble In Town” ends with a disturbing tape of a real incident from 2013 where a police officer racially profiled two men. “When I Need A Friend” sounds like polyphonic music and transitions into spoken Spanish word, which criticizes narrow-minded people. “Cry Cry Cry” seems like a cute ditty on the surface, but it possesses much more depth about what it feels like to be in love. Each song smoothly transitions into the next in a brilliant attempt to show that the hustle and bustle of everyday life never stops, not even for a second.
Here are the best five tracks from Everyday Life:
“Sunrise,” the opening track and the title of the album’s first half, provides so much substance without even saying a word, as an orchestra takes listeners to an inconceivably beautiful universe. Produced by Italian violinist Davide Rossi, a name that appears on some of Coldplay’s other notable tracks, including “Viva la Vida,” the track speaks to the soul. It gives the impression that the remainder of the album is going to be a whirlwind of emotions, and it’s immensely accurate.
Opening the album’s second half, Sunset, is “Guns,” and in under two minutes, it delivers some of Coldplay’s most politically-charged lyrics to date. Martin aggressively strums his acoustic guitar as he condemns the argument that arming more people is a better solution to violence than gun control: “Advertise a revolution; arm it when it comes / We’re cooking up the zeros / We’ve been doing all the sums / The judgment of this court is we need more guns.” Martin’s vocal range is exquisite and helps exemplify his evident emotion about the controversial subject.
3. “Everyday Life”
The title track, “Everyday Life,” meshes the profoundness of Coldplay’s X&Y era, blending gorgeous strings, a catchy riff from bassist Guy Berryman, an unforgettable piano riff, delightful lyrics and Martin’s smooth vocals. The track conveys the message that everyone struggles and goes through rough patches, and we should all support and love each other through it: “’Cause everyone hurts; everyone cries / Everyone sees the color in each other’s eyes / Everyone loves; everybody gets their hearts ripped out / Got to keep dancing when the lights go out.”
Hesitant synths and a subtle beat from drummer Will Champion open “Church,” a track that Martin uses to compare a relationship with a significant other to his connection with God. Backed by an enthralling guitar line from Jonny Buckland and Arabic vocals from Norah Shaqur, Martin details an ethereal kind of love: “What can I tell you? / When I’m with you, I’m walking on air.” The album depicts a variety of moods, and “Church” displays one of the more cheerful.
If you’re looking to have your heart shattered, “Daddy” is the track for you. Martin narrates the tale of a son who has an uncaring father, that he seemingly hasn’t seen in an insurmountable amount of time. Guided by desolate keys and a steady yet dejected heartbeat, the track is one of the saddest in all of Coldplay’s discography: “Daddy, are you out there? / Daddy, won’t you come and play? / Daddy, do you not care? / Is there nothing that you wanna say?” Chills will make an appearance sometime before the song concludes, and it’s undeniably the best track on Everyday Life.