Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ Album: Review Revue

Bianca Gracie | December 4, 2015 10:59 am

Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams album is out today (December 4) in the midst of the madness that is Adele‘s 25 takeover. In the past, the UK rockers could easily dominate the charts — but does their seventh (and possibly final) LP continue that feat?

In our review, we gave it a 2 out of 5: AHFOD zooms out once again, to the point of soft-focus blur, but this time the instinctual grandeur of the music falls flat and can’t prop up platitudes like ‘Life is a drink and love’s a drug’ and ‘So how come things move on, how come cars don’t slow.’ And no amount of high-profile guests spots can hide it, especially when the collaborations feel like such afterthoughts: Appearances from Beyoncé, Merry Clayton, Noel Gallagher and Gwyneth Paltrow hardly register.”

So how do other music industry critics feel about Coldplay’s latest musical effort? Read what they had to say down below!

:: The Guardian scored it with 3 stars: “Like their Eno-abetted attempt at experimentation on 2008’s Viva La Vida, A Head Full of Dreams is frustratingly blighted by the sense that Coldplay haven’t fully committed to the album’s big idea: they keep deviating from the Stargate pop plan to knock out stuff like Amazing Day, which has a guitar line brazenly pinched from John Barry’s Midnight Cowboy theme and is self-evidently going to turn up soundtracking clip montages on sports programmes and reality shows for the rest of eternity.”

:: The Telegraph gave the LP the same score: “Throughout, the band’s big, bittersweet sound is, as ever, wonderfully immersive: whalesong cycles of electric guitar echoing through a buoyant soup of synths that sound both pleasant and forgettable.”

:: Pitchfork was not so kind: “The new album, by contrast, is Martin’s unconscious recoupling record, the sound of a freshly single man stepping out onto the dancefloor to lose his mind and find new love. ‘You make me feel like I’m alive again,’ he sings atop the slinky disco of lead single ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’, a lyric that succinctly sums up the spirit of the record like a movie poster tagline.”

:: New York Times had this to say: “‘A Head Full of Dreams,’ the band’s seventh studio album, courts the communion of the dance floor, along with the good will of its allies and fans. Blissful even at its most bittersweet, it’s an album on which three songs make lyrical references to diamonds — as in, ‘We are diamonds’ — and every surface contentedly gleams.”

:: While Consequence Of Sound gave it a C: “Sure, there are some overwrought moments, some grandiose misses, but that’s not the point. Think of that line as the last note fades and just say yes.”

:: SPIN also shared their thoughts: “If there’s a wavelength on which Head is particularly powerful, though, it’s not easily apparent — it plays more like an unenthused rediscovery of past prizes than an album with its own specific code to be unlocked.”

:: Digital Spy did a track-by-track review: “It is preachy in parts, and no-one should have to hear Martin rapping through a vocoder, let alone ‘Conscious Uncoupling: The Single’. But Coldplay don’t get enough credit for their adventurous nature; their ongoing evolution is one reason why, 15 years later, a new album is still such a big deal. With Stargate, things prosper when both band and producer just go for it – giant pop hooks and vows of joy.”

:: Lastly, Stereogum related it to a certain UK singer: “Otherwise, though, A Head Full Of Dreams is an album that goes for down-the-middle crowd-pleasing pop and fails abjectly. The album feels like a forced attempt at a big statement, a craven pop move from a band who has, for the first time, failed to read the zeitgeist. The album comes only a few weeks after Adele’s 25, an album that went for straight-up unadorned classicist heartbreak. That album has absolutely captured the audience that Coldplay seems to desperately want to please, and it did it without all these attention-grabbing gimmicks.”

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