Coldplay: Everyday Life review – uneasy listening

Chris Martin’s stadium-fillers return, with lyrics that could set the liberal cause back decades

In the four years since the release of Coldplay’s last album, the relentlessly upbeat A Head Full of Dreams, the world has become a more divided place. That sense of unease permeates the band’s eighth set – Trouble in Town pontificating on racial politics in the US, even if the chilling sample of police harassment that anchors the powerful second half of the song actually dates from 2013. The excruciating Guns is rather less sure-footed, as Chris Martin – never Bob Dylan when it’s come to writing lyrics, in fact barely Noel Gallagher – makes a clumsy pass at satire (“Who needs education, or a thousand splendid suns/ Poor is good for business, cut the forests, they’re so dumb”), swears gratuitously and probably sets the liberal cause back decades.

It’s not all geopolitical angst: recent single Arabesque is as good as anything they’ve done in the last 10 years, with French lyrics and echoes of the intensity of Primal Scream’s If They Move Kill ’Em refracted through a skronking jazz filter. But they’re rather less engaging when they hit the stadium preset buttons, whether it’s appropriating gospel sounds in the style of late-80s U2 (BrokEn), churning out mawkish balladry (Daddy) or mistaking empty bombast for euphoria (Champion of the World).

Watch the video for Orphans, from Everyday Life by Coldplay.

Contributor

Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

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