British pop rock band Coldplay released their seventh studio album, A Head Full Of Dreams, last Friday. It’s now available for streaming outside of the initial limited release on Apple Music.
Overall, A Head Full Of Dreams is an uplifting collection of songs that shows Coldplay continuing to evolve their well established styles of anthemic rock and synth-pop by delving more than ever into club dance music along the lines of disco, electronica, and hip hop.
Talking with Rolling Stone, singer Chris Martin confessed that the album is about his recovery from heartbreak:
It’s about love and acceptance and embracing what happens to you. It’s quite a hippie album. All of our records were a journey to get to this one.
Martin also talked about the varied styles that helped shape the album:
We wanted to marry all the music that we love, from Drake to Oasis. There was a feeling that we don’t have anything to lose. We’re very comfortable now with the fact that we’re not for everybody.
While Coldplay’s style of light pop rock isn’t for everyone, the production on A Head Full Of Dreams sounds great overall and the performances were clearly inspired. The songwriting may not be very creative, but there are a few new signature Coldplay songs here that are likely to be great in concert and hold up with the band’s greatest hits.
There are lots of other solid songs here, beginning with the up-tempo album-opener “A Head Full Of Dreams.” “Birds” seems to be built on Pat Benatar’s classic “Love Is A Battlefield” beat, which makes perfect sense. The album closer, “Up&Up,” finishes on a strong note as Chris Martin sings, “Don’t ever give up,” after 6+ minutes of a timeless feel-good groove and nice guitar picking by Noel Gallagher.
The slower tunes are more likely to land in the hit-or-miss category, depending on your taste. “Everglow” featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, “Fun” featuring Tove Lo, and “Amazing Day” are nice changes of pace but they might feel a little schmaltzy. Another interesting track is “Army Of One,” which switches halfway through to an interpolation of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city hit, “Swimming Pools.”
The eleven track album spans a relatively modest 45 minutes and was produced by Rik Simpson and Stargate. The band members on the LP include Chris Martin (lead vocals, keyboards), Jonny Buckland (guitar), Guy Berryman (bass), and Will Champion (drums, backing vocals). A Head Full Of Dreams features the most star guest appearances in Coldplay’s history, with Khatia Buniatishvili and Merry Clayton. In a twist, audio snippets of Barack Obama can be heard on the interlude tracks “Kaleidoscope” and “Colour Spectrum.”
The band will be touring Latin America and Europe for 20 concerts in 2016. The band hinted on Twitter that North American dates are in the works. It was also announced that Coldplay will headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
For the latest music, news, and tour dates from Coldplay, check out their Zumic artist page.