Coldplay holds a special place in pop culture for late millennials and first gen Z. Britpop is responsible for hits like “Yellow”, “Clocks” and “Viva La Vida”, which have all been quite popular. for most of the past two decades. But, its latest release doesn’t quite live up to its past efforts. It’s not necessarily a bad album, it doesn’t quite reach the status of other albums.
Music of the Spheres looks like a desperate attempt to please everyone. While the cosmic imagery carries the album in terms of theme, the songs all have very different feel, and it looks like the band is trying to take all the good aspects of their previous albums, give them a space-rock touch. and compile into a single album. Of course, the various songs are often good and show the songwriting skills of the artists, but they seem disjointed. It even seems that many of his songs contain different styles.
This is probably due to two reasons. The first is the fact that for the last twenty years the group has been trying to outdo itself, which is extremely commendable. After entering the charts with their debut album, Skydiving, they have constantly tried to live up to and surpass their previous efforts, which puts enormous pressure on the group. The other reason is Coldplay’s 2019 album, Daily life, was the band’s first album in recent years not to make the top five on the charts.
Always, Music of the Spheres was diverse, yet unified, and the songs all carried strong messages about world politics, love, and the pursuit of beauty even in all the wrong places in the world. It was experimental, and all the lyrics were unabashedly honest.
However, the previous albums all had their own style, whereas Music of the Spheres does not. Rather, the group combined their ideas for commercial appeal. They pulled out a whopping 180 and tried to make an album that was less thematically radical by their standards. Looks like they thought that if they tried to do a bunch of different things, everyone would have something they liked on the album.
We see it in some songs like “People of the Pride” on guitar. This song carries the dramatic theatricality of Viva la Vida or death and all her friends. The ten minute “Coloratura” is calm and dark, much like their album Ghost stories. Most of the songs seem to be derived from other popular albums.
The quality of the songs also varies. While none of them are downright bad, they range from mediocre to really good. Songs like “Let Somebody Go” and “Human Heart” were somewhat boring, but not necessarily bad. Some songs were actually quite good. This is evident in songs like “Higher Power”, a funky synth-pop song about being happy while loving someone again. It’s a cheerful demonstration of Coldplay’s power over pop-rock and music as a whole.
However, the best track on the album is undoubtedly “My Universe”. While the inclusion of BTS as a featured artist still shows the band’s desire to please the masses through another popular band, that doesn’t appear to be the case here. South Korean and British bands blend harmoniously in an upbeat and hopelessly romantic electro-pop track. The song is happy, bright, and about falling in love with someone and wanting to put them in all aspects of your life. The English lyrics are cheerful and idealistic, and the Korean lyrics are beautifully poetic and flowery.
Overall the album is good. It’s not extraordinary, but it’s good. A lot of the songs are good and catchy, only a few are mediocre and a few are great. If the songs with the lyrics had all been released separately, I think it would have been better because it wouldn’t have sounded so messy.