by Madison Palmieri ’22 A&E Staff
After a long period of near-silence following their 2015 album A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay has made their triumphant return.
On Oct. 29, a photo of the band members dated November 22, 1919 and accompanied by instrumental music was posted to Coldplay’s Instagram account, prompting fans to speculate that the group would soon have a new album.
Indeed, an official announcement came several days later, confirming that Everyday Life would arrive in November. To give fans a preview of what was to come, the band released singles “Orphans” and “Arabesque.”
The former’s jubilant tone distracts from its dark subject matter, calling to mind earlier songs such as “Charlie Brown” from the group’s 2011 album Mylo Xyloto. A timely piece, “Orphans” is one of the album’s strongest tracks. The latter’s heavy brass and clear Middle Eastern influence underscore its message of a universal human experience with lyrics that are simple, but powerful.
The album’s title track debuted on Saturday Night Live, giving fans a hint of the group’s examination of current social issues while providing a hopeful, if cautious outlook on an increasingly chaotic world.
Indeed, as front man Chris Martin explains to Apple Music, “Not that there hasn’t always been craziness, but it’s so in-your-face all the time. It can only make you feel like it doesn’t matter the consequence; you have to sing what’s coming through.” As a closing song, “Everyday Life” is a less optimistic, but still perfect successor to A Head Full of Dreams’ closing “Up and Up.”
To celebrate the album’s release, the band gave two live performances in Jordan at sunrise and sunset on Nov. 22, live-streamed on YouTube for fans all over the world.
The first half of the album, Sunrise, begins with a classical music-inspired instrumental of the same name and then leads into the upbeat “Church.”
The recurring sentiment of social unrest manifests itself in “Trouble in Town.” Siren-like guitar wails accompanied by crashing drums and piano tell a story of racial tension before transitioning back to the religious with the spiritual “BrokEn,” a call-and-response track featuring a choir and reminiscent of “Death Will Never Conquer,” a bonus track from Coldplay’s 2008 album Viva La Vida.
The remainder of Sunrise consists of “Daddy,” a soft, haunting piece with echoing drum beats that calls to mind the band’s Ghost Stories era, “WOTW/POTP,” a stripped-down song about hope, “Arabesque,” and “When I Need a Friend,” another choir-featuring track that takes the form of earnest prayer.
The second half of the album, Sunset, opens with “Guns,” a guitar-heavy political commentary on American gun violence, and then leads into “Orphans,” followed by “Èkó” and “Cry Cry Cry.” Rounding out the album are “Old Friends,” a tear-jerking, standout ode to those we have lost touch with, “Children of Adam,” “Champion of the World,” and “Everyday Life.”
Overall, Everyday Life blends Coldplay’s signature style with new subject matter. The result is at times disjointed, as tracks move from themes of faith and hope to unrest and back again, but is an overall honest, earnest effort that casual listeners and diehard fans alike are sure to enjoy.