Coldplay goes galactic with the aerial album “Music of the Spheres”

NEW YORK (AP) – The last time Coldplay released an album, it was like a warm embrace of the Earth. This time the British quartet got bigger – cosmically bigger.

“We’re looking up and out and trying to find answers, and I think maybe we are trying to find a perspective,” says drummer Will Champion.

“Music of the Spheres” is a spacious 12-track collection with synth waves and airy melodies. The track “Infinity Sign” sounds like it was created inside a starburst and “Biutyful” is an ecstatic hit in musical form. It’s an album that should be played as astronauts gather on a slowly spinning space station for a galactic rave.

“It’s a little more grandiose in its sound,” says singer Chris Martin. “The songs come first, but the ‘Music of the Spheres’ title photo frame easily indicated which songs might fit into it. But you are always at the mercy of what the songs decide to show.

Guitarist Jonny Buckland uses a fishing analogy: “The concept kind of builds the net, you know what I mean? And then the net catches the kind of fish it wants.

The seeds for the new album were sown years ago, when the British band wrapped up their tour for “A Head Full of Dreams”. The pandemic scrambled their plans, leading to their latest album, “Everyday Life”, a dense and complex work with words spoken or sung in Arabic, Spanish, Zulu and Igbo. It was as introspective on humanity as the news is brought up.

“’Everyday life’ was about making the big questions personal. And this is about turning personal things into big questions, ”says Champion. “You know: what are we all doing here and what is the purpose of our group and why are we all here? “”

This time around, the band teamed up with super-producer Max Martin, who they credit with a less is more approach. He helped breathe songs for a group known for their rich orchestrations.

“Historically, as a group, we tend to fill the space,” says Champion. “We paint with a lot of layers, big thick strings and synths. And one of the reasons I think we’ve all felt such relief working with Max is that he’s very conscious of not filling too many gaps.

Bassist Guy Berryman adds, “You’re not going to make a song bigger and more impressive by adding another layer of sound, then another layer of sound. It’s like when you mix too many colors together, you always end up with brown.

Five of the album’s 12 songs use emojis as their titles and it has what every hit album needs these days, which is a collaboration with BTS (the song “My world,” which has already topped the Billboard Hot 100 song chart). There’s also the breakup song “Let Somebody Go” – with Selena Gomez – which forgives and loves.

Martin has kept it a family affair, with writing credit on his daughter Apple Martin’s Gomez song, which also provides the intro to “Higher Power.” His Moses Martin is credited with the backing vocals on “Humankind”.

“Apple gave me this incredible deal that I never thought of. So she’s over there, ”says Martin. And he might be biased, but he considers Moses to be a very talented singer: “So I often ask him to come right in and make the chorus sound better. “

The album ends with more than 10 minutes “Coloratura”, a multi-suite trip in the cosmos which is a kind of flex of the group and represents a departure.

“It was towards the end of the recording of this album, and I think Max Martin gave us a lot of confidence. We knew we had more pop songs, so there was kind of a feeling, “Well, that last song, which is currently 6 minutes long, what if we really let it be what it wanted to be? ? ” said.

“It won’t affect everyone and it’s not for everyone, but some people might really enjoy the genre of film, including us, because we never allowed ourselves to do it. We always thought about it. that we had to conclude this.

Coldplay aren’t the only artists to tap into the skies in recent years, with Nick Jonas releasing “Spaceman”, “Hyperspace” by Beck and “Astronaut in the Ocean” by Masked Wolf. Dua Lipa video for “Levitation” is a space party in an Art Deco elevator.

For Coldplay, the use of space gives them a chance to talk about the end of artificial boundaries. From space, they note, Earth is nothing but water, mountains and trees.

“We want to try to get rid of as many of these divisions and barriers between people as possible because we see that we are just this little ball floating in a huge and huge universe and we have to take care of each other. and the planet. himself, ”says Champion.

Martin notes that despite all the space, this is still a Coldplay collection – upbeat and hopeful. Talking about planets is a canvas for talking about human beings.

“It’s really another record about living as a human person, but given that freedom that comes when you pretend it’s other creatures in other places,” he says.


Mark Kennedy is at

About Elizabeth J. Swartz

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