When in the mood to listen to some Coldplay, whether trying to study or stuck in those late-night feels, one will often look to play some of the band’s earlier work. With a range of hits like “Yellow,” “Viva La Vida” or “Fix You,” Coldplay has music for any mood.
Ever since its early 2000s dominance in pop rock, however, the band hasn’t really captured the same kind of success. Coldplay has had a few hits in recent years, but nothing has really been as culturally impactful as its previous work.
Coldplay formed in 1996, fronted by lead singer and pianist Chris Martin. Since then, the band has released eight studio albums. Most recently, “Everyday Life” was released on Friday, Nov. 22. As Coldplay’s first album in four years, “Everyday Life” tackles many at-issue themes like religion and violence around the world, leading to what is the band’s most personal album to date.
“Everyday Life” is different in structure to the band’s previous work as it’s a double album, with 16 songs split among two halves — “Sunrise” and “Sunset.” The plethora of tracks ought to satisfy fans as it compensates for the lack of music from the band in recent years.
A consistent theme throughout the album is religious faith, and this is shown through several tracks that resonate with a gospel influence. God is mentioned consistently throughout, but it doesn’t point to any specific religion. The track “BrokEn” pretty much takes listeners to church on a Sunday morning as a choir claps in the background while Martin’s lyrics echo — “Oh Lord/Come shine your light on me,” he says.
In a stark contrast to the pious themes on the album, the music also brings up a few instances of everyday violence. This is explored through lyrics that reflect on guns, police brutality and the Syrian Civil War.
The track “Guns” criticizes America’s love for guns, and points out how we seem to be solving the problem of gun violence with more weapons, leading to more chaos.
The album becomes even more political with the track “Trouble in Town.” In an attempt to expose negative societal biases toward people of color, it includes an audio clip of an encounter between a police officer and two men of color. The audio is shocking as one can hear the police officer’s harassment toward the men.
Besides hitting on important themes, it’s also key for an album to have a memorable sound. There were a couple of stand-out tracks that captured the soft, spellbinding sound of Coldplay’s earlier work that built its fan base in the first place.
“Orphans” stood out as the most upbeat song on the album. Even though the song’s lyrics describe the loss of innocence for those affected by bombings in Syria, it has an optimistic beat in the background with quick percussion and cheery voices. The track has a double meaning — it is also about the yearn to remain young and not be on your own.
The concluding and title track, “Everyday Life,” distinguishes itself with the familiar piano melodies and motivational instrumentation from the band’s past alongside its goosebump-inducing lyrics.
Overall, I was decently surprised by what this album had to offer to fans of Coldplay. There was a vast assortment of songs and themes that should hit home for any listener. “Everyday Life” doesn’t just explore the life of an American, but rather it offers perspective to lives around the world and captures how the band views the current state of society as a whole.