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Whether you miss the original rock roots of Coldplay, enjoy their newer pop anthems or just don’t care about the British band at all, there is something for everyone on its new album “Music of the Spheres.” Released Oct. 15, the 12-track album pulls together ‘80s synthesizers, edgy guitar riffs and melodic harmonies to create an album with an otherworldly sound.

Though the album’s theme centers on the vast cosmos, “Music of the Spheres” is about humankind and unity, and the uplifting lyrics of the album are a refreshing light in the darkness that has been the last year and a half. Following the opening instrumental track comes “Higher Power,” the first single from the album and a synth-pop anthem. An obvious choice for the album’s lead single, “Higher Power” introduces the positive theme of the album with synths and bright lyrics like “This joy is electric and you're circuiting through / I'm so happy that I'm alive / Happy I'm alive at the same time as you.”

Following “Higher Power'' comes one of the strongest tracks on the album, “Humankind.” Similarly to “Higher Power,” ‘80s synths add to the guitar melody and uptempo drumbeat to create an addictive tune. Chris Martin shows off his vocal ability during the catchy chorus and ends the song with his characteristic positivity and play on words “But we're capable of kindness / So they call us humankind.”

Any Coldplay album wouldn’t be complete without a melancholy heartbreak song. But even “Let Somebody Go” featuring Selena Gomez manages to cast losing a loved one in a healing light. The elevating quality of this ballad is how nicely Gomez’s and Martin’s voices harmonize and blend together. The slow track reaches another level as it picks up during the bridge as the duo sing about how important it is to tell the person you love that you love them. Though Gomez often gets criticized for her vocal chops, this pretty melody allows her unique voice to shine.

If you thought the harmonies of “Let Somebody Go” were pretty, you aren’t prepared for the ethereal sound of the following track, “Human Heart” featuring We Are KING and Jacob Collier. The song critiques gender stereotypes as the first verse begins as Martin and Collier beautifully harmonize, “Boys, boys don't cry / Boys keep it all inside.” It’s when Paris and Amber Strother of We Are KING begin the second verse that the song is taken to another dimension. The final chorus of all four voices is so heartbreakingly complex and emotional that an instrumental accompaniment, which has been absent the entire song, isn’t even missed.

With a change of pace and guitar riff to satisfy any OG Coldplay stans, “People of the Pride” is the most classic rock tune on the album. With heavy guitars and lyrics like “We'll all be free to fall in love / With who we want,” “People of the Pride” criticises powerful men who oppress others. Though the lyrics were repurposed from 2008, lines like “There's a man who swears he's God / Unbelievers will be shot,” fit right into the political climate of today. Martin shows off his impressive vocal range once again during the exciting climax of the song. 

Though there are many hits on the album, not all the tracks would qualify. While the ninth track, a 20-second musical interlude, barely deserves mentioning, the eighth track, “Biutyful” also misses the mark. The song features a pitched-up edit of Martin’s voice that is hard to listen to unless it’s harmonizing with Martin’s unedited voice. The lyrics are nice, but difficult to focus on when the strangeness of the vocals are at the forefront of the song.

To make up for tracks eight and nine comes “My Universe,” the third single, and one of the crowning jewels of the album. Featuring the sensational Korean band BTS, “My Universe” is a quintessential pop anthem. Though featured on the Coldplay song, BTS sings in Korean as well as English, and Martin made a point to learn the Korean lyrics for live performances. “My Universe” reintroduces the feeling of unity with lyrics like “We are made of each other,” and in the behind the scenes footage of making the song, Martin said partnering with BTS, who aren’t from the West, was really important to him.

“The song is about how the power of love transcends all things: borders and rules and genders and race and every sexuality,” Martin said. “If you look at people right now who are divided by a border or can’t be together, that’s what the song is about. About how nothing can really stop people loving each other.”

The final track, “Coloratura,” which was released as the second single, is perhaps the most Coldplay-sounding track on the album, despite being 10 minutes long. Though a 10-minute song may dissuade many people from listening, the song truly takes the listener on a journey. With one of the band’s classic, pretty piano riffs that leads into harps and then the first verse, the tune begins softly and simply. In music, a coloratura is an elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody, and “Coloratura” lives up to the definition throughout the rest of the piece with Martin’s vocals and beautiful piano and guitar riffs throughout.

Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres” is similar to earlier albums “A Head Full of Dreams” and “Mylo Xyloto” in some ways with its pop influences, but also brings a fresh new sound to the band. With pop, rock, ballad and a cappella tracks, there is a song for everyone on “Music of the Spheres.” The overall feeling of togetherness the album permeates is needed now more than ever, and the message shown in the “My Universe” lyric video, “We Are AllOne In The Universe,” rings true.

News Editor

I am a third-year studying English with a minor in biology. I joined Technician in the fall of 2020 as a correspondent and am now working as the News Editor. I plan to graduate in the spring of 2022.