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Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams

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A Head Full of Dreams

Coldplay

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Released swiftly after Ghost Stories -- just a year and a half, all things considered -- A Head Full of Dreams plays like a riposte to that haunted 2014 album. Where Chris Martin spent Ghost Stories in a mournful mood -- his sorrow perhaps derived from his divorce to Gwyneth Paltrow or perhaps not; it's best not to read too much into the tabloid headlines -- the Coldplay leader sees nothing but sunshine and stars on A Head Full of Dreams. Martin gives away the game with his song titles. He's quite literally having "Fun" on an "Amazing Day," living for the weekend and viewing his impending middle age as nothing so much as the "Adventure of a Lifetime." Coldplay match his optimism by tempering their signature soft focus, pushing themselves toward the light and undergirding the newfound positivity via glittering disco beats and a gossamer electronic sheen. Arriving after the deliberately dour Ghost Stories, this infusion of backbeat and glitz does indeed feel welcome and bold but such determined levity also suggests the gusto of a greying divorcee boogying down on the deck of a cruise ship, determined to seize every bit of life headed his way. This carpe diem spirit courses throughout A Head Full of Dreams, turning it into a 21st century equivalent of Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life, a divorce record where every end seems like a fresh new beginning. Appropriately, Coldplay invite more than a few guests to help usher them into this brave new world, the showiest being Beyoncé, who overwhelms the band's innate politeness on "Hymn for the Weekend," but Tove Lo eases right into "Fun" and Noel Gallagher amiably allows himself to be swallowed by the gentle wash of guitars and synths. All these cameos suit the overarching theme of A Head Full of Dreams -- how there's a big, bright, beautiful world just waiting to be discovered if you just open your heart and live a little -- and if this message is unabashedly corny, under the stewardship of Chris Martin, Coldplay cheerfully embrace the cheese, ratcheting up both the sparkle and the sentiment so the album feels genuine in its embrace of eternal middle-aged clichés. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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A Head Full of Dreams

Coldplay

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1
A Head Full of Dreams 00:03:43

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Tom Bailey, Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Brian Eno, Vocals - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Jonny Buckland, Writer - Daniel Green, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Programmer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - James Duncan, Vocals - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Engineer - Apple Martin, Vocals - Moses Martin, Vocals - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Alison Martin, Vocals - Matt Tuggle, Engineer - Aubrey Costall, Vocals - Ava Champion, Vocals - Blue Ivy Carter, Vocals - Daniel Grollo, Vocals - Elise Eriksen, Vocals - Finn Grollo, Vocals - Harvey Costall, Vocals - Hege Fossum Eriksen, Vocals - Idil Hermansen, Vocals - Isak Hermansen, Vocals - Jacob Green, Vocals - Jonah Buckland, Vocals - Juno Champion, Vocals - Kat Grollo, Vocals - Marianna Champion, Vocals - Mathilda Grollo, Vocals - Max Harvey, Vocals - Nico Berryman, Vocals - Rafi Harvey, Vocals - Rex Champion, Vocals - Selma Eriksen, Vocals - Sophia Green, Vocals - Violet Buckland, Vocals - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Birds 00:03:49

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Tom Bailey, Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Guitar, Keyboards, Lead Vocals - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Davide Rossi, Strings - Daniel Green, Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Percussion - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Hymn for the Weekend 00:04:18

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Tom Bailey, Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Kevin Williams, Trombone - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Jonny Buckland, Writer - Tim Bergling, Keyboards, Programmer - Daniel Green, Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Beyonce, Vocals - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Phil Joly, Engineer - Sean Erick, Trumpet - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Engineer - Marcos Jesus Tovar, Writer - Venor Timothy Yard, Writer - Scott Alan Zant, Writer - Ryan Walsh, Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer - Leon H. Silva, Saxophone - Mareike Barutzki, Producer - Vernon Chaney, Producer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Everglow 00:04:42

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger - Tom Bailey, Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger - Miles Walker, Engineer - PHIL TAN, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Jonny Buckland, Writer - Daniel Green, Producer, Additional Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Engineer - Gwyneth Paltrow, Vocals - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Additional Engineer - Bill Zimmerman, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Adventure of a Lifetime 00:04:23

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger - Merry Clayton, Vocals - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger - Miles Walker, Engineer - PHIL TAN, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Jonny Buckland, Writer - Daniel Green, Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Apple Martin, Vocals - Moses Martin, Vocals - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Fun (feat. Tove Lo) 00:04:27

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Tom Bailey, Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Lead Vocals - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Daniel Green, Additional Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Engineer, Backing Vocals - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer, Additional Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Tove Lo, Featured Vocals - Bill Rahko, Additional Engineer - Roxy Pope, Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Kaleidoscope 00:01:51

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Tom Bailey, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Keyboards, Lead Vocals - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Daniel Green, Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Piano, Mixing Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - William Champion, Writer - Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Coleman Barks, Narrator - Barack Obama, Lead Vocals - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer - The band of Emanuel African Methodist Church, Instruments

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Army of One 00:06:16

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - PHIL TAN, Mixing Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Jonny Buckland, Writer - Daniel Green, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Piano - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Amazing Day 00:04:31

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Tom Bailey, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Jonny Buckland, Writer - Davide Rossi, Strings - Daniel Green, Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Mixing Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Colour Spectrum 00:01:00

Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Tom Bailey, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Keyboards, Lead Vocals - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Daniel Green, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Mixing Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Beyonce, Backing Vocals - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - Coleman Barks, Narrator - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Matt Tuggle, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Up&Up 00:06:45

Noel Gallagher, Guitar - Tor Erik Hermansen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Mikkel S. Eriksen, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Programmer, Writer - Christopher Martin, Arranger, Writer - Merry Clayton, Backing Vocals - Tom Bailey, Engineer - Jonathan Buckland, Arranger, Writer - Miles Walker, Engineer - Emily Lazar, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Brian Eno, Vocals - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Arranger, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Jonny Buckland, Writer - Daniel Green, Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Beyonce, Backing Vocals - William Champion, Writer - Robin Baynton, Engineer - Daniela Rivera, Engineer - James Duncan, Vocals - Phil Joly, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Engineer - Roxy Pope, Engineer - Apple Martin, Backing Vocals - Moses Martin, Tambourine, Backing Vocals - Aleks von Korff, Additional Engineer - Chris Allgood, Engineer - Alison Martin, Vocals - Matt Tuggle, Engineer - Ryan Walsh, Engineer - Annabelle Wallis, Backing Vocals - Aubrey Costall, Vocals - Ava Champion, Vocals - Blue Ivy Carter, Vocals - Daniel Grollo, Vocals - Elise Eriksen, Vocals - Finn Grollo, Vocals - Harvey Costall, Vocals - Hege Fossum Eriksen, Vocals - Idil Hermansen, Vocals - Isak Hermansen, Vocals - Jacob Green, Vocals - Jonah Buckland, Vocals - Juno Champion, Vocals - Kat Grollo, Vocals - Marianna Champion, Vocals - Mathilda Grollo, Vocals - Max Harvey, Vocals - Nico Berryman, Vocals - Rafi Harvey, Vocals - Rex Champion, Vocals - Selma Eriksen, Vocals - Sophia Green, Vocals - Violet Buckland, Vocals - Jon "Jonny" Buckland, Electric Guitar, Keyboards - Merlin Watts, Mastering Engineer

2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company 2015 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company

Album Description

Released swiftly after Ghost Stories -- just a year and a half, all things considered -- A Head Full of Dreams plays like a riposte to that haunted 2014 album. Where Chris Martin spent Ghost Stories in a mournful mood -- his sorrow perhaps derived from his divorce to Gwyneth Paltrow or perhaps not; it's best not to read too much into the tabloid headlines -- the Coldplay leader sees nothing but sunshine and stars on A Head Full of Dreams. Martin gives away the game with his song titles. He's quite literally having "Fun" on an "Amazing Day," living for the weekend and viewing his impending middle age as nothing so much as the "Adventure of a Lifetime." Coldplay match his optimism by tempering their signature soft focus, pushing themselves toward the light and undergirding the newfound positivity via glittering disco beats and a gossamer electronic sheen. Arriving after the deliberately dour Ghost Stories, this infusion of backbeat and glitz does indeed feel welcome and bold but such determined levity also suggests the gusto of a greying divorcee boogying down on the deck of a cruise ship, determined to seize every bit of life headed his way. This carpe diem spirit courses throughout A Head Full of Dreams, turning it into a 21st century equivalent of Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life, a divorce record where every end seems like a fresh new beginning. Appropriately, Coldplay invite more than a few guests to help usher them into this brave new world, the showiest being Beyoncé, who overwhelms the band's innate politeness on "Hymn for the Weekend," but Tove Lo eases right into "Fun" and Noel Gallagher amiably allows himself to be swallowed by the gentle wash of guitars and synths. All these cameos suit the overarching theme of A Head Full of Dreams -- how there's a big, bright, beautiful world just waiting to be discovered if you just open your heart and live a little -- and if this message is unabashedly corny, under the stewardship of Chris Martin, Coldplay cheerfully embrace the cheese, ratcheting up both the sparkle and the sentiment so the album feels genuine in its embrace of eternal middle-aged clichés. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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