The last time Coldplay released an album, it was like a warm welcome from Earth. This time, the British band goes further, to cosmic levels.
“We look up and out and try to find answers, and I think maybe we’re trying to find some perspective,” says drummer Will Champion.
“Music of the Spheres” is a collection of 12 songs with waves of synths and ethereal melodies. The track “Infinity Sign” sounds like it was created in an explosion of stars and “Biutyful” is ecstasy in the form of music. This is an album that should be playing as astronauts gather on a slowly spinning space station for a galactic party.
“He’s a little bit grander in his sound,” says lead singer Chris Martin. “Songs come first, although the title frame of ‘Music of the Spheres’ easily says which songs could fit in it. But you are always at the mercy of which songs decide to appear ».
Guitarist Jonny Buckland uses a fishing analogy: “The concept builds the net, you know what I mean? And then the net catches the kind of fish it wants.
The seeds for the new album were sown years ago when the British band was wrapping up their “A Head Full of Dreams” tour. The pandemic reversed his plans and gave rise to his latest album, “Everyday Life”, an introspective, dense and complex work, with words spoken or sung in Arabic, Spanish, Zulu and Igbo.
“’Everyday Life’ was about making the big questions personal. This one is about turning personal things into big questions, ”explains Champion. “You know, ‘what are we all doing here and what is the purpose of our band and why are we here?’
This time around, the quartet teamed up with producer Max Martin, to whom they attribute a less is more approach. Martin helped the band known for its rich orchestrations bring their songs to life.
“Historically, as a band, we tend to fill spaces,” says Champion. “We paint with a lot of layers, we use big strings and synths. And one of the reasons I think we all feel such relief working with Max is that he is very conscious of not filling in too many gaps.
“You’re not going to make a song sound bigger and more impressive by adding layer and layer of sound,” adds bassist Guy Berryman. “It’s like when you mix too many colors, you always end up with brown.”
Five of the 12 songs use emojis as titles and have what every hit album needs these days: a collaboration with BTS (the song “My Universe,” which has already topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart). There’s also the breakup theme “Let Somebody Go,” featuring Selena Gomez, which invites you to forgive and love.
Martin kept it a family affair, with a songwriting credit on the Gomez song to his daughter Apple Martin, who also provides the introduction to “Higher Power,” while his son Moses Martin is credited with the voice of the chorus on “Humankind”.
The album ends with a “Coloratura” of more than 10 minutes, a trip to the cosmos that represents something new for the band.
Coldplay aren’t the only artists taking to the skies in recent years. Nick Jonas did it with “Spaceman,” Beck with “Hyperspace” and Masked Wolf with “Astronaut in the Ocean.” Dua Lipa’s video for “Levitate” is a space party in an Art Deco elevator.
For Coldplay, using the space offers them an opportunity to talk about how to break man-made demarcations. From space, they point out, Earth is just water, mountains, and trees.
Martin notes that despite the breadth, it remains an upbeat and hopeful Coldplay collection. Talking about planets is a canvas to talk about being human.
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Coldplay goes galactic with album “Music of the Spheres”