Coldplay seeing double
"Everyday Life" heralds the return of Chris Martin's band with a double album that swings between postive energy and forthright statements.
Ever since Coldplay started out in 1998, their leader Chris Martin has certainly not shied away from religious references. This habit, however, seems to have reached new heights with Everyday Life, the group’s eighth album which is newly out.
In some cases, the spiritual outbursts are characterised by a distinct (and never over-the-top) gentleness. The simple guitar/voice/birdsong track WOTW/POTP comes to mind, as does the eight-person gospel song performed with no accompaniment (BrokEn). At other points, the musical colour and content are much more lyrical, like in Church, When I Need a Friend, and Arabesque, a call for peace. This last song features Stromae (who sings in French) and the Nigerian saxophonist Omorinmade Anikulapo-Kuti.
The other “big” track on the album is Orphans: over Coldplay’s typical soaring pop-rock rhythms and a large choir, Chris Martin carries the torch for forced migrants and refugees.
Divided into two parts (Sunrise and Sunset), Everyday Life constantly plays with the idea of yin and yang, something which is evident even on the album cover; the quartet pose like traditional fanfare musicians next to Friedrich Nietzsche! The image appears both the right side up and upside-down.
All throughout the album, Coldplay alternates between positive energy (like on the soft voice/piano song Daddy) and anger-filled denunciations of today’s social ills (such as on the rock-guitar track Guns). Towards the end of the album we find a song with an unusual title and lyrics - for a mainstream Western album that is. Entitled بنی آدم (Children of Adam in Arabic) and beginning with a melancholic waltz on the piano, the piece was inspired by Bani Adam, a text written by the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi. Chris Martin’s spiritual, benevolent way of thinking - especially evident on this album – seems to be summed up in just the first two lines: “The children of Adam are members of a whole/In creation of one essence and soul”.