Gloom with a view

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - BRIAN BOYD

They should have called this al­bum Chris’s Cri de Coeur as this short (42 min­utes), nine-track af­fair is lyri­cally dom­i­nated by tear-soaked sen­ti­ments of love and loss. A ran­dom scan of the lyrics throws up “I got bro­ken in two”, “I’ve lost you now, you let me go”, “I can’t get over you”, “I don’t want any­body else with you”, “Go on, tear me apart” and “the pain rips right through me”. Just in case we hadn’t got the mes­sage, the term “I’m bro­ken in­side” also gets a fair few reprises.

This should be the band’s sixth stu­dio al­bum but it isn’t. This sounds more like an ex­tended EP specif­i­cally de­tail­ing Chris Martin’s “con­scious un­cou­pling” from Gy­wneth Pal­trow. From the Tran­si­tion Year-style lyrics of lost love, we now know who did the dump­ing. But all is ok, be­cause Chris – no mat­ter how bro­ken and bat­tered – still be­lieves in a thing called love.

Para­dox­i­cally, with­out Brian Eno on board, this is Cold­play’s most Eno-sound­ing al­bum: a muted, sad am­bi­ence hangs like a melan­cholic mi­asma over eight of the nine tracks. Opener Al­ways In My Head sounds like Joshua Tree- era U2 but with the gloom turned up to 11. Down and down we go as the sur­pris­ingly hushed in­stru­men­ta­tion and down­beat tem­pos mir­ror Martin’s frag­ile state.

It isn’t un­til the penul­ti­mate track, A Sky Full of Stars, that the old Cold­play – with their ex­pan­sive, enor­mod­ome sound – reap­pear. But even here there’s more Love Will Tear Us Apart- style lyrics. The fact that the song has a bouncy Euro­vi­sion-style beat places it apart.

Very much a tran­si­tional work, there is, though, some­thing af­fect­ing about its emo­tional hon­esty. This man re­ally sounds hurt. And people will re­spond to that.

But that’s Cold­play for you. From the NME and Cam­den in­die dives to gazil­lion-sell­ing su­per­stars and now this side­ways step into mourn­ful de­spair. Such an odd al­bum – tears on the tracks, and a bro­ken heart on its sleeve.

Down­load: Magic, Ink, Oceans

Cold­play: Ghost Sto­ries

Par­lophone ★★★★

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.