Blur's riveting new documentary spans the globe, and delves deeper into the band than ever before
The NME Verdict: Coldplay - 'A Head Full Of Dreams'
Coldplay have hinted this could be their last album. If that turns out to be true, then with a little help from ex-wives and US Presidents, they’re going out on a high
From Chris Martin’s god’s-eye vantage, that undoubtedly makes a lot of sense: rock is an empty battlefield but pop is Coldplay’s new frontier, maybe even their final one, depending on how you interpret his claim that ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ represents “the completion of something”. In any case, they’ve met it with a spring in their step and the most satisfying collection of songs they’ve written in years: inclusivity is hardly a new concept for this band, but from the title-track’s ecstatic, starry-eyed expression of wonder to the gargantuan gospel-pop curtain call of ‘Up and Up’, they’ve rarely sounded so open-armed and elated. On ‘Hymn For The Weekend’, the first of two appearances from Beyonce, Martin even sings about “feeling drunk and high,” a line which - in its own totally benign, PG-13 way - may be the first drug reference to ever grace the lyrics of a Coldplay album.
The cumulative effect of all that vibrancy and positivity is not unlike that of a sugar-coated pill designed to wash away the bitter taste of ‘Ghost Stories’. Taken together, the, buoyant, disco-fied afro-pop of ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ and the Tove Lo-featuring ‘Fun’ form a sort of mini-narrative about the breathless beginning and amicable end of a brief, revivifying relationship - a refreshing change, given that Martin’s romantic entanglements usually end in plaintive minor-key torpor. Even the more ruminative ‘Everglow’ - yet another open letter to Gwyneth Paltrow - sounds sung from the light at the end of the tunnel, with Martin vowing to remain, “Brothers in blood, sisters in rhyme/ We swore on that night we’d be friends till we die.” If ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ really is to be Coldplay’s last hurrah, then they’ve gone out with a flashbang of colour and catharsis.
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