Seven-time Grammy winning band, Coldplay, released their ninth studio album “Music of the Spheres” on Oct. 15.
This 12-track set explores a theme of space and time with a mix of short interludes, upbeat songs and mournful ballads. Although there are a few captivating songs on “Music of the Spheres,” Coldplay’s new album was disappointing as a whole. This is due in part to the lack of lyrical substance. With phenomenal back-tracks to accompany songs, many of the lyrics did not live up to their full potential.
Lead singer Chris Martin explained the inspiration behind this album during an interview on the Zach Sang Show.
“One time I was watching Star Wars, and they had the scene with the Cantina band,” Martin said. “And I was like, ‘I wonder what musicians are like across the universe?’ and that led to this whole thing and now here we are.”
In my opinion, the two best tracks on the album are “Higher Power” and “My Universe.” Both were previously released as singles and include catchy lyrics with an upbeat feel that could brighten anyone’s day.
According to an interview with UK radio station 95-106 Capital FM, “Higher Power'' was first played for French astronaut Tom Pesquet, who listened from the International Space Station.
“The song is about trying to find the astronaut in all of us, the person that can do amazing things,” Martin said.
“My Universe” explores the wonderful parts of being in love and features South Korean boy band, BTS. The track has verses in both English and Korean, but the main chorus is in English. The song, released on Sept. 24, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart Oct. 9, making it a success before the rest of the album came out a week later.
Martin explained in an interview with Kelly Clarkson what the song means to him.
"We really don’t believe in any boundaries or separation of anything really, and so the song 'My Universe' is about someone being told they can’t love a certain other person, or can’t be with this race, or they can’t be gay, whatever it might be,” Martin said. “We thought it would be good to sing this with BTS because maybe we’re not supposed to be together.”
Other notable songs on the album are “Humankind” and “Let Somebody Go.” “Humankind” is the third track on the album, and it fits well with the overall theme. It appears to be about an alien from another planet hearing music, possibly for the first time, and the exhilarating experience it has from listening to the music. This is a quick-tempo song with euphonious guitar and keyboard parts that take the song up a notch.
“Let Somebody Go” is a sorrowful ballad featuring Selena Gomez. Martin’s mournful voice blends perfectly with Gomez’ warm vocals. This song does a wonderful job of portraying the pain of heartbreak with lyrics such as “Now turn off all the stars ‘cause this I know / That it hurts like so / To let somebody go.”
As great as those songs are, several tracks on this album missed the mark. “❤️,” “People Of The Pride,” “Biutyful” and “Coloratura” were all lacking in some area. Some of them even had great meaning behind them, but the execution just wasn’t there.
Tunes such as “❤️” and “Coloratura” were bland and boring. While the back track of “Coloratura” was captivating, the lyrics couldn’t hold my attention whereas the lyrics of “❤️” captured my attention, but the lack of music in the background made the song much less appealing.
On the other hand, “Biutyful” felt much like a kid’s song where you can listen to it once, but after that it gets irritating. The high pitched electronic voice contributed to this feeling. “People Of The Pride” might have been a good song if the lyrics were made to be more clever. I also think that this hard-rock-feeling track would fit better with someone else’s voice. Martin just doesn’t have the right vocals for a song such as this.
Finally, songs like “🪐,” “✨,” “🌎” and “♾” simply lacked in substance. They were all fairly pleasant interludes, but I wouldn’t add these short instrumentals to any of my playlists. The one thing I appreciated about them is that they each blended well with the song that came after them in the track list, making them almost seem like a long intro for the next song.