Back in from the cold
IMAGINE going around to Jay- Z’s house for a few Friday night drinks.
Beyonce, Kanye West, Lebron James, Rihanna and an assortment of uber cool New York celebrity types are there. And sitting in a corner is Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin.
Somehow the idea of a collaboration between him and Rihanna is floated.
Not on a hip- hop album where each sings on the chorus, no, this time it’s a song for the new Coldplay album . . . what?!
Princess of China sounds unlike any song from the British bestsellers’ back catalogue. It’s got ice cold synths, a steady 4/ 4 beat and a duet from two of the world’s better purveyors of uplifting pop hooks.
Alone it would have made no sense. Enter stage left Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, another foray into worlds Coldplay haven’t set foot in before: electro- pop and R& B.
These admittedly fresh left turns are really the exceptions that prove the Coldplay rules.
The rest of album number five is chock- a- block full of their stock- in- trade sounds – Martin’s high drama falsetto, muscular, echoing guitars and stirring, stadium- sized cascading melodies.
Mylo Xyloto is an experimental concept album with a cinematic quality.
It’s complete with an electronic current rushing beneath the surface and short instrumental interludes with grandiose titles and a film score feel. Thanks, Brian Eno.
Why concept albums are always set in a futuristic dystopia is beyond me.
Although a bit flimsy and goofy, at least it gives Martin a chance to get outside his usual box.
He’s written some words about riots, fighting the man and not letting ‘‘ them’’ take control.
But sung in his patented, life- affirming delivery, these almost- gritty words end up feeling warm and cuddly.
Coldplay’s music sounds like the sun breaking through some rain clouds.
It’s helped them sell 50 million records but also afforded the act a reputation as earnest choirboys.
And that’s not very rock n’ roll. Not bad, just unexciting.
Yet, you could never say they lose sight of their pop or soft- rock goals.
Mylo Xyloto is a strong album, full