“Music of the Balls”
An opportunistic pop album, but sometimes well, it’s tinged with lyrical dullness.
“Best boring band in the world”, she wrote—perhaps more than generously—in connection with Coldplay’s surprising eighth album, “Everyday Life,” released two years ago.
Much of the appeal lies in the sheer level of ambition that characterized parts of the double album, and how the British quartet were able to combine a more experimental approach with what is, after all, their core work – sympathetic, charismatic, emotional pop. Music for the comfort of the masses.
By comparison, “Music of the Balls” refers strongly to the latter, both in form and in content. The intended target group is seen as younger.
Although the seemingly eternal specter of Swedish pop Max Martin contributed to his predecessor, he plays a much more central role as the main producer here. Three of the twelve songs are tracks that are recorded in under a minute, all making for an exemplary, cohesive relationship.
Aside from the rocker “People of the Pride” turkey, which sounds like Marilyn Manson after a busy day in the courtroom, few of these songs can be called downright misleading.
The band got a lot thinner for “Higher Power”, crossing Don Henley’s Boy of Summer with The Weeknds “Blinding Lights” in a suitably opportunistic way, but the single is much better than their reputation. The eccentric ballpark experience “Biyutiful” succeeds against all odds, and We Are King and Jacob Collier-Guest “Human Heart” is a great break in all the fervor of the hits.
Add in a great attempt to present itself as the Pink Floyd of the rising generation with a ten-minute-plus ending “Coloratura,” and you’ve got a product that could almost completely go down in value.
But then there are these texts. Chris Martin is basically not Lennon or Costello or Morrison — or Adele, for that matter. In “Music of the Spheres,” he set a new personal record for gorgeous, gentle skin hair. Random text line: “You are my world / I just want to put you first”. Slip on what you’re missing out on, Gwyneth Paltrow.
When the album is also based on a vague concept of space—complete with several song titles replaced with emojis (!)—the magnetism of the lyrical grip is hard to hear.
Ironically, Coldplay is not as clever as they pretend, nor as stupid as it appears in reality. The answer as usual is probably somewhere in between, but you have to listen hard to “Music of the Spheres” to find it here.
the best song: «Coloratura»
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