New Coldplay EP builds bridge to upcoming album
In an era when a frustratingly large percentage of what we hear on FM radio and see on the Top 100 charts are mindless club tracks, melodramatic teenage serenades and songs that praise violence and misogyny, it is difﬁcult to have any faith in the future of original music. But, just like in all mediums, there are the pretenders and there are the true artists. Coldplay is among the highest ranked in the list of enduring artists.
This band has withstood the test of time and improved with the years as they masterfully change and adapt to the feel of the periods in which they reemerge.
Coldplay releases three-track EP
Now, as a teaser for their new album, set to come out before the year is up, Coldplay has released their newest EP entitled “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.” Comprising of only three tracks, the EP is headed by the same-titled single “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” followed by “Major Minus” and “Moving to Mars.”
Previous album and EP trends
“Parachutes” and “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” their ﬁrst two studio albums in 2000 and 2002, were very low-key, subtle, blue and beautiful in an apathetically painful kind of way. Their next album, which was released in 2005, “X&Y,” was met with mixed reviews from critics and listeners alike. The songs seemed more themed, painting pictures of space, time and warm glowing lights suggesting things beyond sight, sound and touch.
Then “Viva La Vida” in 2008 breathed fresh life into the band's career and legacy. With messages of love, glory, culture, loss and age-old revolution brimming the lyrics, we encountered this bolder side of Coldplay primarily through the palpable passion of their ﬂourishing front-man, Chris Martin, whose lullaby-like tones of the early 2000s seemed far away by 2008. By then the group had begun to display a fiercely revitalized sound while maintaining their lucid presence in the music.
Amidst the albums came EPs (or Extended Plays), a thankfully still-practiced method by bands who know how to keep fans enticed between major releases. The best EPs produced by Coldplay thus far have been “Safety,” “The Blue Room” and “Prospekt's March.”
Coldplay keeps vintage sound in EP
“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” the song seems to promise the same sweeping enthusiasm and positive energy the band is famous for, a facet of their talent best displayed in much of “Viva La Vida.” The song has a steady drumbeat that conjures images of Will Champion pounding percussion with his burly fervency, an impressive bass progression representative of Guy Berryman's patient pacing and mesmerizing electric guitar segments by the group's modest axeman, Jonny Buckland, that echo the genius of U2's “The Edge.”
“Major Minus” is a much simpler song, but catchy nonetheless. It seems to be less of a single and more of a “cut loose” kind of track that emphasizes the groupʼs need to have songs that are not always meant to blow the listener away but instead to engage them. It features yet another guitar riff, more of a solo piece than in “Teardrops,” that exempliﬁes Bucklandʼs smooth scope of his craft. All-in-all, a genuine track that is not so much exhilarating as it is softly-spoken, almost bordering on a bluesy/classic rock kind of feel.
Remember the mentioning of Martinʼs sultry lullaby of a voice heard more in the band’s early albums than in the later? Well, it can be heard again in “Moving to Mars” which is by far the best song on the EP. Granted there are only three tracks to choose from, yet this particular song seems to represent vintage Coldplay better than “Tears” and “Major.”
It begins slowly, Martinʼs low utterance accompanying the piano that he plays so erratically at times, itʼs a wonder the keys donʼt break off during live performances. About a minute and 30 seconds in and it begins to pick up with the introduction of Championʼs drums and from then on it maintains a pace that suits the lyrics and the stark but practical chord progression. While “Tears” excites me and “Major” gets me thinking, “Mars” truly takes me to a place that only a good Coldplay song can.
Upcoming album anticipated
One can only guess as to the tone of this next anticipated album from the four Brits. The rhyme and reason of their past albums have always been centered intimately around the issues of love, pain, celebration and depth. Whether they engage the stars or the French revolution they seem to always strive to bring theme into their presentation.
I give Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” a solid four and a half out of five stars. What keeps it from five stars in my eyes is the fact that they only supply us three tracks that, while individually good, do not blend well together. However, I am very much looking forward to the upcoming album. There is hope for music yet.