While I admired Coldplay's valiant effort to keep trying on 2015's A Head Full of Dreamsand 2019'sEveryday Lifewhen there was no need for it anymore as they have more than proven themselves as elder statesmen of pop and rock music, it was clear they they took a couple of steops back.
With their new album Music of the Spheres, they have clearly regained their youthful and creative mojo. Technically, it is a return to that synth- and electronica-driven aesthetic of 2011's Mylo Xyloto, only with a more ambitious, space-themed edge. Producer Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Robyn, among many, many others) ironically brought edge to the proceedings here. In this album, Colkdplay created a sonic galaxy of their own.
The album begins with the foreboding short instrumental "Music of the Spheres i" before proceeding with the first single "Higher Power". The song has music outlined by a wash of synthesizers, unassailable basslines and opulent, coarse vocals hailing a broad assortment of effervescent expressions into the bend.
“Higher Power” is best cherished through the absolute melodic power, dealing you the urgency of careering into the skies, having the sensation of electric currents gushing through your body. By the time frontman Chris Martin truly unfastens in the colossal finishing touches of the track, you cannot help but feel the same positivity and thankfulness that he does.
"Humankind" is characterized by hard beats, insistent synth loops, choral vocal and robotic vocal effects. The gloriusness of the music perfectly captures the euphoria of falling in love.
"Let Somebody Go" featuring Selena Gomez has a slow, minimalist arrangement with a calming effect that balances out the heartbreaking lyricism ("Our love is only equal to the pain").
"Human Heart" featuring American R&B sister duo We Are Kingand British virtuoso Jacob Collier comes off like a gospel acapella song from outer space. ("My human heart, I wish it didn't run away, I wish it didn't fall apart").
"People of the Pride" is the most stadium-friendly, angst-ridden, and fist-pumping track out of this lot. "There's a man who walks around like he owns the f*ckin' lot", but there's a resolve on the bridge to fight back "We'll all be free to fall in love with who we want..."
"Biutyful" comes off like a musical equivalent of a fairy, with its light, feathery ambience. "All I know is I love you so/ I hope you get everything you want in this biutyful life/ Change for your pocket, someone for the night/ I hope they name you a rocket and take you on a ride for free/ And if they tell you you're nothing, maybe you'd explain/ To me you're the summer sun after rain." This track illustrates what seems to be the overriding theme of the album of how the strongest love can feel so otherworldly.
As for "My Universe", Coldplay's unholy alliance with the all-mighty BTS, I swear, half of me feels like the band primarily hired Max Martin so they caan fulfill their Backstreet Boys in this track.
“My Universe” feels engrained in an affiliation that may be illicit but whose splendor can’t be dowsed. “You, you are my universe / And I just want to put you first,” Martin exclaims on the beatific chorus, but it’s in the verses where the song’s core certainly comes forward. “In the night, I lie and look up at you / When the morning comes I watch you rise,” the Coldplay lead vocalist reports over light, cosmic synths and waddling guitars. “There’s a paradise that couldn’t capture / That bright infinity inside your eyes.”
"Infinity Sign" is the longest instrumental interlude here, wkith its frantic synths, hard beats, multi-layered arrangements, and clubby groove.It leads to the epic 10-minute "Coloratura". It seizes a sweeping, deeper expedition into the universe they created. “It’s a crazy world, it’s true,” Martin says in the concluding moments, trailing an enormous guitar solo that weaves the song’s numerous incongruent components together. “In this crazy world, I just want you.”