Thursday, May 22, 2014


Call it Mellow Cold.  The group's sixth album is a quiet affair, built on soft melodies and gentle beats, and choruses that soar rather than rage.  Intimate is the key, as the band backs down from the stadium-filling sounds, and sing-along hits.  Apart from the single A Sky Full Of Stars, with its pounding dance beat chorus, for the rest imagine Chris Martin hunched over keyboard with ghosts and atmospheres swirling above.

Of course, all we've been thinking about for the past two months is the Martin/Paltrow break-up, another lesson in why celebrities shouldn't mate.  That seems to be the fuel behind the sad, solemn songs, and Martin's ruminations on love.  As he sings in Magic, "And if you were to ask me, after all that we've been through, 'Do you believe in magic?'  Yes, I do, of course I do."  Closing cut O sees him sing, "Flock of birds hovering above, just a flock of birds, that's how you think of love,"  over a simple piano.  There will be no fist-pumps during this section of the live show.  It's pretty much all classic break-up material and images;  he hasn't slept, he's thinking of her, it's full of rain, bells, birds, all those things that sign-post change.  For volume changes, the loops, swirls and swooshing are faded up or back down, and Martin himself rarely raises his voice, other than to add harmonies.

All that said, it's quite pretty in its sadness, and has a charm in its intimacy.  I like this Martin fellow more than the stadium one, and there's no arguing his melodic sense.  Viva la Heartbreak.

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