‘Everyday life’ comes alive

Coldplay returns with its most experimental album yet


Photo from Atlantic Records Press

Coldplay’s eighth studio album, ‘Everyday Life,’ was released on Nov. 22.

Ryan Miller, Associate Arts & Life Editor

Seemingly always fixated on the beauty of the extraordinary, British pop group, Coldplay, has finally decided to shift its attention to the aspects of “Everyday Life.” On Friday, Nov. 22, the band released its eighth studio album, and in typical Coldplay fashion, it did not disappoint.

For some fans, the album’s creation in itself came as a surprise. After the release of “A Head Full of Dreams,” Coldplay’s seventh studio album, in 2015, frontman Chris Martin said in an interview on BBC Radio 1 that perhaps that album would bethe band’s last. 

“A Head Full of Dreams” was a fun, energetic album that catapulted the band onto the Super Bowl stage. Its tour amassed millions of dollars to become the third-highest-grossing world tour of all time, and the band even followed that up with an EP in 2017. However, Martin compared the band’s legacy to that of the “Harry Potter” franchise, revealing that sometimes all good runs must tie up loose ends and wrap things up.

To fans delight, however, Coldplay has not remained true to its word. 

With “Everyday Life,” Martin and the rest of the band return to finally feel as though they had reached a point in their careers where they no longer felt too afraid take risks. In fact, “Everyday Life” is a double album, the first time Coldplay has released music this way.

The tone is set for the first half of the album at its opening number “Sunrise.” Its soft violin unfolds and expands in its sound, just as the sun slowly rises each morning. It has no lyrics because like the sun, it is the marking of a simple, yet beautiful beginning. 

On “Church,” Coldplay first introduces the theme of spirituality that the album will have adding, “when I’m hurt I’ll go to your church” as its chorus. Interestingly, “BrokEn,” the fourth song, also has a spiritual vibe with a gospel-like chorus belting out “come shine your light on me.” 

Another theme in the album is social issues. “Trouble In Town” is one of the songs that tackles controversy with police brutality being a major focal point. The song is also just one example of three other tracks from “Everyday Life” using explicit language, something never before done on any of the band’s previous albums. 

“Trouble In Town” discusses “blood on the street” and “giving shelter” and peace. It also includes an interlude of an incident from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2013 when a police officer, Philip Nace, wrongly targeted black citizens. 

Something unique about “Everyday Life” is that Coldplay truly wants the music to come alive. At certain points, the songs end, but the track then fades away to the sound of birds chirping in nature. In fact, if you listen closely, in between most songs there is about 10 seconds of what seems to be silence. In reality, there is a subtle drum that mimics the sound of a heartbeat. 

Speaking of being alive, “Daddy” is about a child longing for his or her father who is “so far away.” Martin’s voice is almost angelic on this track, leading me to believe this isn’t a story of a parent abandoning a child but rather a parent being in another place spiritually.

“Everyday Life” also features shorter songs such as “WOTW/POTP.” Although short, the song allows Martin to harmonize, which is always a welcomed sound. 

One of the most experimental songs on the album is “Arabesque.” It’s a little bit scattered, but I’d actually contend that that’s a good thing. It includes some beautiful instrumental solos including a trumpet and also offers up the notion that “music is the weapon of the future.” 

The second half of “Everyday Life” comes out firing, literally. “Guns” addresses more of the social issues mentioned earlier as Martin calls out the ongoing issue of gun violence in the world and how “everything’s going crazy.” 

The most pop-like song that Coldplay has to offer on the album is “Orphans” with its catchy chorus, “I wanna know, when I can go, back and get drunk with my friends.” The song is about staying together through violence and turmoil, specifically bombings in Syria in 2018, and ends on the words of “I wanna be with you till the whole world ends.”

“Cry Cry Cry” has the makings of a song to slow dance to with a partner. Martin is simply one of those few people in the world that could probably entertain a crowd by singing a phone book, and this song’s easy melody proves why. 

“Everyday Life” even has a track titled “بنی آدم” which primarily features a piano. A way Coldplay uses these songs to its advantage is during live performances and concerts allowing Martin to take a breather playing them while a stage crew prepares for the next show stopping number. 

Last but not least, my favorite and arguably the best track on the album, is its titular number “Everyday Life.” If I could recommend just one song from the album, this would be it. If “Orphans” is classic Coldplay pop, “Everyday Life” is a ballad right up there with “The Scientist.” 

The song is encompassing of the struggles talked about all throughout the album. As I can hear Martin singing in my head, “everyone hurts, everyone cries” and “everyone falls, everyone dreams and doubts” even if we don’t like to admit it. However, as Martin says, sometimes in life despite all the unrest, you’ve “gotta keep dancing when the lights go out.”

With this comeback being its latest hit, Coldplay is dancing when the lights go out alright, the same way its fans do when they don’t want to leave a sold-out concert or as they await new music as good as “Everyday Life.”