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Coldplay’s ‘Music of the Spheres’ enters a new universe

| Thursday, October 28, 2021

Claire Kirner | The Observer

Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” After nearly two years, Coldplay has returned with their ninth album entitled “Music of the Spheres,” and it seems to align with this famous quote fairly well. The British rock band is known around the world for their sensationally dynamic anthems, such as the vibrant “Viva La Vida” and the soaring “Sky Full of Stars.” Their most recent album reaches for the same arena-worthy status while also incorporating a new space rock sound that takes the group to a new level.

Coldplay seems to have aimed for a fresh take entirely. Whereas past albums have mostly followed a single style of music, “Music of the Spheres” appears to have tried to include several different styles to ensure that everyone could find something that they like. The result is a jumbled hodgepodge of songs that have various lead instruments and confusing shifts in mood. While the song, “People of the Pride,” is heavily guitar-driven and has a gritty sound, “Human Heart” has barely any instruments at all, allowing the melody to ride on harmonized vocals that echo in a gorgeous reverb. The attempt to jump from style to style is certainly fresh and intriguing, but it is difficult to tell if the intention behind it was creative exploration or commercial appeal.

“Humankind” and “My Universe” are sure to join the list of Coldplay’s best hits. The former is practically dripping with a shimmering, euphoric sound and presents the message that while there are times in which we feel like aliens, kindness will bond us together. The latter, which will surely be an arena-worthy anthem, is elevated by the collaboration with Korean sensation BTS. The K-Pop stars lend their talents as well as their language to create a song that is an ode to the power that love carries even when faced with barriers.

BTS is not the only group that has collaborated on the track list. The song “Human Heart,” which is actually titled as a heart emoji on the record, features both We Are KING, a twin sister R&B duo, and British musician Jacob Collier. Additionally, Selena Gomez can be heard in “Let Somebody Go,” adding a second perspective to the concept of a broken heart that enriches the ballad beautifully.

The lyrics are truly stellar in this most recent album, tying together themes of love, global politics and finding light and hope in the darkness. In “Human Heart,” lead musician Chris Martin sings about the stereotype that “boys don’t cry,” reminding us that we are all human despite the heavy expectations placed on us by society. “Coloratura,” the 10-minute space epic that closes out the album, ties in allusions to Galileo, planets, space missions and Latin phrases that piece together the collective messages from the entirety of the record in a dazzling journey through time and space. Coldplay’s lyrics capture not only the celestial beauty of our outer galaxies but also the deep truths that make us human and connect us to one another.

Coldplay has certainly explored alternate universes with their newest track. While some songs seem out of place, not quite measuring up to the brilliance of “Clocks” or “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” a few of the ambitious, rousing, seemingly quintessential Coldplay hits soar above, decorating the otherwise unconventional album with a few hidden gems that are sure to have fans celebrating when the band returns to arenas in the near future. “Music of the Spheres” may not have reached the moon, but it just might find a place among the stars.

 

Artist: Coldplay

Album: “Music of the Spheres”

Label: Parlophone

Favorite Tracks: “Humankind,” “My Universe,” “Coloratura”

If you like: OneRepublic, The Killers

Shamrocks: 4 out of 5

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About Olivia Seymour

Olivia is a freshman from Traverse City, Michigan, pursuing a double major in English and Film, Television, and Theatre. Though the rules of journalism prohibit it, she is also a serious Oxford comma enthusiast.

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