With its colorful covers and magical orchestral interludes, Coldplay’s ninth studio album “Music of the Spheres” greatly piqued my interest when it was first announced. Between the first announcements of the explosive single “My Universe” featuring K-pop sensation BTS and the album’s use of emojis as song titles, it had been established for some time that this album would be the version of Coldplay of grandiose themes like space and humanity. Now that it’s finally arrived this month, let’s take a closer look at each track:
This song is a transcendent vision of love, discussing the singer’s relationship with someone who has “higher power” that makes the singer feel uplifted and energetic. It’s a catchy, catchy 80s song that reminds me of A-Ha’s “Take on Me”.
I thought the lyricism could have been better, but in the context of this song the lyricism takes precedence over an explosive voice and a roaring instrumental synth.
If “Higher Power” makes us swing and dance, “Humankind” is what makes us jump. With an acoustic guitar, synth and fast-paced drums, this is another thrilling electronic track whose instrumental wouldn’t feel out of place on an A-Ha album.
Again, the mediocre lyricism is masked by the loud, catchy melody and energetic production of Max Martin. Like a tired viewer, once I finished listening to “Humankind,” I was excited to hear something different for the next track – and to my luck, Coldplay delivered.
“Alien choir” (stylized like the sparkling emoji)
Surprisingly, the previous track, despite its high energy throughout, dies out towards the end of the song and offers a seamless transition to the musical interlude “Alien Choir”, which has a similar feel to “Music of the Spheres” in that it feels calming and heavenly, like the tides of a beach on an alien planet. It acts as a palate cleanser after the edginess of “Higher Power” and “Humankind”, giving way to the sluggishness of the next track.
“Let someone go“, Ft. Selena Gomez
One of my personal favorites from “Music of the Spheres”, I thought the lyricism of “Let Somebody Go” was a big improvement over the previous tracks, now that there was no titanic melody or song. ‘instrumental to hide bad handwriting (my favorite line is “You gave it all that golden glow / Now turn off all the stars because I know it / It hurts like that / Let someone go”). is a heart-wrenching ballad about having to leave someone who was once your everything.
Selena Gomez was awesome in this song; her voice has a silky, sad feel, which perfectly complements the track. That, combined with Chris Martin’s unique ability to sing a sweet, depressing song without the vocals feeling out of place, makes the song particularly moving.
The instrumental was not minimalist – as with many piano ballads – but it was not so tall that it mastered the most important melody. Overall this was one of the strongest songs on the album!
“Human heart” (stylized as ♡), ft. Jacob Collier and We Are KING
The only truly minimalist song on Music of the Spheres, “Human Heart” is just as heartbreaking as “Let Somebody Go”. It deals with toxic masculinity and misogyny, tying the two together to say that regardless of your gender, your heart is just as prone to breaking as everyone’s.
I immediately recognized Collier’s harmonic style in the choral voice of the first verse, a sound almost reminiscent of the afterlife. The deeply tragic sound of this track is so transcendent that it could almost be an extension of “Alien Choir”. While I didn’t think they added a lot of melodies, We are KING added some sweet, feminine vocals for the female stereotyping section, making the song flourish even more.
I’m a fan of music like this, and while it might not seem like the masses agree – on Apple Music, “Human Heart” is at the bottom of the ladder in terms of stream – I’d love to. to hear more collaborations between Coldplay and Jacob Collier.
“People of pride”
I wasn’t prepared for Fall Out Boy-esque “People of the Pride”, heavy bass because it was such a change in tone from “Human Heart”, and there was no interlude. to report this change.
The grand majesty of the opening reminded me of a Marvel theme song, and the chorus would fit well into the background of a “Wonder Woman” movie trailer. I was also impressed by the lyricism of this song – it is a politically charged hymn calling for the rallying of the masses against the billionaires who control our society. But even though it’s inspiring, that idea has been rather overused in rock songs like this, which takes the “cool factor” out of it all.
The vocals in “Biutyful” are strange – they are unusually sharp, giving Martin’s voice a “chipmunk” effect; while the voice reverts to Martin’s real voice towards the middle, hearing this effect at the start of the song was shocking.
It’s an upbeat, but not necessarily energetic, R&B type track where the singer sings to his lover about his beauty and the beauty of the world around him. The intentional spelling of the word “beautiful” gives the music an innocent touch, complementing the childish wonder in its lyrics. Perhaps it was this element of the song, combined with its uniqueness from the tracks so far, that made “Biutyful” one of the most played tracks on “Music of the Spheres” on Apple. Music.
“My world,” ft. BTS
Digitally speaking, working with BTS was a good idea for Coldplay – this song debuted at the top of the Billboard charts, Coldplay’s second No. 1 since “Viva La Vida”. The song also works well in a K-pop context, as the song’s upbeat vibe is similar to recent BTS hits including “Dynamite.”
Since the styles of the two groups fit together well, the vocals came out phenomenally, although at times it sounded more like a BTS song with Coldplay than the other way around. I think the boy group was a good addition to a song that would otherwise have been rather bland compared to the other high energy songs on the album.
This eerie track sums up the album’s cosmic themes nicely, taking ten minutes to play with a variety of interesting instruments, from creepy music box to dreamy synth to roaring electric guitar. Lyrically, it does justice to the theme of loving someone more than the universe itself, but melodically, it wasn’t that memorable.
Overall, I found “Music of the Spheres” quite enjoyable. While not all of his songs were hits – such a feat is nearly impossible anyway – he excelled in a range of sounds, from mellow and minimalist to upbeat and intense. Coldplay also excelled at organizing the songs in an engaging and cohesive manner.
While I don’t think “Music of the Spheres” lives up to the much older Coldplay albums, like “Mylo Xyloto” and “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends”, I wouldn’t be surprised if hear “Biutyful” or “Let Somebody Go” on the radio in a few weeks.
Claire Shin is a contributing writer for The Prospect at the ‘Prince‘. She can be reached at [email protected], on Instagram at @ clairhin86, or on TikTok also at @ clairhin86.