In this crazy world, it’s true. I just want you.
Ahh, me and Coldplay. We’ve got quite the history.
They became my favorite band back in 2005, and remain at the top of that list to this day (sharing a spot with Jimmy Eat World, of course). They were the soundtrack of my youth. Everyone knew me as that one intensely devoted Coldplay fanatic. And before you ask, yes, I was also that annoying person who played “The Scientist” and “Speed of Sound” on the piano whenever I was in the same room as one.
For a long time, I thought the band could do no wrong. Every song they released connected directly to my heart. Every CD was on rotation until it skipped. I loved everything.
That was until “Princess of China” came out in 2011. Wow, what a terrible song. The Ghost Stories album was a masterpiece, but then was followed up with A Head Full of Dreams, which had maybe two good tracks. It felt like Coldplay were headed further into superficial pop territory.
Flash-forward to today, where I’m sitting on the coach, listening to the band’s newest release, “Coloratura,” and texting everyone I know about it (granted, that’s not very many people).
To say I am stunned would be an understatement. After the horribly desperate “Higher Power,” I expected the rest of Coldplay’s forthcoming album, Music of the Spheres, to be much of the same– a pandering record grasping for airplay and relevance.
However, Coldplay are flexing their creative side with this 10-minute long epic. I didn’t think they’d have much ingenuity left after 2019’s Everyday Life, which brought many glimpses of Parachutes-era Coldplay, yet here I am, getting lost in the music of “Coloratura.”
The vast majority of this song is instrumental, featuring the return of Coldplay’s once-signature piano-centric sound. I tell ya, it is so good to hear that piano and guitar again. It’s not that I have a problem with synths (hello, huge Killers fan here), but when a band does something so brilliantly, it’s hard to watch them step away away from it and fail so miserably.
I’m all for experimentation, and with how long Coldplay’s been around, they deserve some free time. However, this song shows there’s still plenty of room for experimentation within the instruments that the band members actually play.
Because if you have a band, you should probably use those instruments. Otherwise, it’s just a Chris Martin solo project.
“Coloratura” is a melding of several different individual musical moments into one coherent piece. The aforementioned piano and Jonny Buckland’s guitar blend each element together masterfully.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons between this track and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” with the galactical theme, use of harmonies, and moments of similar syncopation. Coldplay’s take is more ethereal, though, transporting the listener to somewhere out in the far reaches of the universe. Somewhere away from this “crazy world.”
There are bits of Mylo Xyloto in there, too.
I’m having a hard time finding any negatives about this track. It’s possible the band did lean a little too hard into Bowie territory, and maybe the lyrics aren’t the best, but I’m still impressed.
I will say, the worst part of this song is that I was interrupted midway through the video by an ad. I’ve never had a midroll ad during a music video. Totally ruined the vibe.
“Coloratura” is worth a proper listen. And by that I mean, go to a dark room away from others, put on your headphones, and let the music flow over you. Once you do, you can let me know what you think. Until then…
Featured image courtesy of Frank Schwichtenberg via Wikimedia.
One thought on “Coldplay dazzle with ‘Coloratura’ release (review)”
Thank you for the review. As a fellow coldplay fan myself, I agree with your take on the track. It is a solid contender for track of the year. I like to call it Coldplay’s ‘ Bohemian Rhapsody’;)