Listening to Coldplay’s latest double-album, Everyday Life, is all of the emotions of seeing an old friend after way too long and enjoying a great night out together.
Published Exclusively for The Urban Scrapbook
Reviewing Coldplay‘s latest album isn’t so much about the technical feats or even the flights of genre-bending exploration. Coldplay’s fans care less about these intricacies than they do about how the songs make them feel (as well as whether or not they’re suitably anthem-like for the stadium). Indeed, a lot of what Coldplay has created over its more recent albums have tended to cater to large crowds at festivals, typically compelled to sways and bright flashing lights. Which isn’t to say that’s a bad thing, but it’s what Coldplay does best.
So how does Everyday Life feel?
If A Head Full of Dreams can be described as a colourful aural adventure and Ghost Stories a moody, yet magical journey, then Everyday Life feels more like the global cinematic fairytale you never knew you wanted. It’s a complete experience, featuring an appropriate mix of instrumental bravado and storytelling. It’s not so much about the individual tracks as it is about the experience of the album, necessarily distinct, sitting on its own as a welcome addition to the band’s ever-evolving discography.
Everyday Life is the band’s greatest demonstration of its increasingly global appeal. The album features various languages from Arabic to French to Spanish. The cover itself features Arabic, as well as the penultimate track, which is titled in Arabic: بنی آدم (translating to “Human Being”). This is also the first album by Coldplay to feature explicit tracks, which can be a little jarring at first, but shows how they feel their fanbase must be maturing.
Indeed, Coldplay has reached an interesting milestone with Everyday Life. With a career spanning over two decades, in an era of ever-changing habits to the ways we listen to music, Coldplay has appeared to meet these changes. From the gradual incorporation of studio production into their music, to their evermore elaborate stage performances, Coldplay have subverted expectations. Everyday Life achieves the difficulty of simultaneously feeling like Coldplay and something new.
The fact that the album cover is their first black and white image since A Rush of Blood to the Head, seems to shed a bit of light into where the band considered Everyday Life should sit alongside their already diverse discography. The vibe of this album is a combination of everything they’ve ever done and nothing they’ve ever done before. The complete ends of the spectrum of colour from black to white. To this point, Coldplay can safely say they’re not falling victim to the trap of doing the same thing, while showing the music industry that they’re perfectly capable of reinventing themselves for the purposes of relevancy.
It’s likely that Everyday Life isn’t the album to win over large cohorts of new Coldplay fans. Some argue it’s perhaps too experimental, too bold, too farfetched, too political, and too much. But again, that’s not the purpose of the album.
What the album does do is bolster existing fan sentiment, reminding them to think about Coldplay again after so long, and reminisce about what it is they love about the band. Their incessant attitude towards reinvention. Their distinct sound. Their adherence to the classical emotion of a piano. Their progressive stance on the environment (recently placing a hold on their touring to figure out how to perform in a way that’s “actively beneficial” to the environment). Their all-round feel-good vibe and positivity. And the fact that they’re still hustling it because they really do just love making and sharing music.
Standout tracks: Church, Arabesque, Orphans, and Everyday Life.