Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams
It’s no secret that I am a huge Coldplay fan. They’ve gone through many diverse changes over the years, and while I have enjoyed all of Coldplay’s albums thus far, I feel that since 2008’s Viva la Vida or Death and all His Friends, Coldplay have not really been at the top of their game. 2011’sMylo Xyloto was pop-infused and sugary (and my least favourite Coldplay album), and 2014’s Ghost Stories was ambient, intimate, but also occasionally very lacklustre. However, I went into this record with high hopes the band could try something new.
A Head Full of Dreams certainly brings back energy and bounce to Coldplay's formula. Unlike its melancholic predecessor, this album’s message pushes embracing everything vibrant in life, and to never give up. This optimism is certainly reflected in the heavy pop sound. With this embrace of pop, I feel A Head Full of Dreams could be best described as being a sequel to Mylo Xyloto.
The first half brings some beautiful tracks to the table, which show Coldplay really nailing that pop sound. The title track, the dance inspired ‘Hymn for the Weekend’ (featuring Beyonce), the gorgeous ballad ‘Everglow’, ‘Fun’, and ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’, really set a precedence for this record. These songs are bombastic, but just ooze a damn good time!
However, there are three huge problems with this record, the biggest of which is the production. Like Mylo Xyloto, the overproduced sound quashes the actual melodies, (songs like ‘Everglow’ and ‘Up&Up’ sound a zillion times better when played live). Secondly, for all the featured artists on this record, many like Tove Lo and Noel Gallagher are put in the background and not fully utilised (and who the hell puts Beyonce as a backing vocalist?! I’m sorry Chris, but she’s a better singer). And finally, songs like ‘Kaleidoscope’ and ‘X Marks the Spot’ are actually some of Coldplay’s weakest material EVER, which really blows the momentum the album has built thus far. The final three tracks do provide some redemption, but they don’t quite recapture the magic of the first half.
So is it a bad album? No. There is plenty of treasure here. Coldplay are definitely not a band to come out with something that is complete rubbish. But for me, I felt the same way I did after Mylo, in that I was just expecting so much more.
Coldplay- 'Adventure of a Lifetime'
Coldplay- 'Everglow' (Live)