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ciaA26

My Review of Everyday Life

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Hi guys, I have a lot of thoughts about the album which I'd like to share- apologies if this is in the wrong place. I thought an individual thread would make sense because this is going to be pretty lengthy!

 

'Sunrise' is undoubtedly a beautiful opener to the album, and sets the tone really well for what is it to come. However, I've always found the opening tracks of Coldplay albums to be amongst my favourite (especially Politik- one of the best things they've ever done in my opinion), and perhaps the most crucial track of every album. I'm completely aware that this album was intentionally made in a different way with a theme that suits an instrumental start, I just feel it loses a bit of the kick that has started previous albums. -6/10

 

I'm a really big fan of 'Church'. A really well-executed combination of styles that we've seen from the band previously. The more EDM-esque drum sound/rhythm with the exploration of chords and melody being reminiscent of the Viva era. It also has hints of Ghost Stories with the relaxed vibe, which I'm a big fan of. 7/10

 

'Trouble in Town' is the best track on the album for me. It seems that everyone is using samples of speech in songs these days, but this is done incredibly effectively- providing explicit context for a song which is understandably extremely implicit towards the subject lyrically. In some ways I'd compare this song to Politik, as I wouldn't find myself too keen on the song if it were just for the first half of the track, but you understand that the opening couple of minutes paves the way incredible for an insane pay-off. I often fixate on small, potentially insignificant parts of songs, but the synthy-strings in the second half of the song are mesmerising, and add so much. Also my favourite guitar work from Jonny in a long time. 9/10

 

'Broken' is an obvious step away from what we'd usually expect on a Coldplay album, and it achieves what it sets out to be- a feel-good break on this side of the album. However, I can't seem to shake the feeling that it's such a deliberate attempt to do something 'different' that it comes across as slightly insincere. Musically I have absolutely no problem with the song, it's just its purpose that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. 5/10

 

God, 'Daddy' frustrates me so much. I maintain the opinion that I had from my first listen- this is the most beautiful song Coldplay have ever written. But as I've listened to it more and more, the lyrics really grate on me. I completely understand where Chris was coming from with this- a sense of innocence and written from the perspective of a child. But it just feels so lazy at times. Like he wrote the word Daddy 10 times on a piece of paper and then came up with ten completely individual lines, with no real correlation, and put them together. The chorus is simple but beautiful lyrically and melodically, and the subtle crescendo throughout the song is incredibly well executed. The lack of lyric quality is something I'll come back to, though. 6/10

 

Another big frustration for me is 'WOTW/POTP'. Again, I think the thing that niggles me is that it's such an obvious attempt to provide something 'different' to break the album up a little bit and add some colour. But if it was a promising enough idea (which it obviously was as Chris finished the song AND deemed the melody/chords strong enough to put on the album in some capacity) then why not just finish it and record it properly? The version performed on the Jordan broadcast was really lovely, and was powerful even for such a short song. Seeing it done live just made me feel a bit short-changed- that finished song is good enough for me to listen to a lot, yet all I'm left with is a 'nice idea' that probably won't get a re-listen at any point. 3/10 (But for the finished version in Jordan, 7/10)

 

'Arabesque' is the absolute business. This is 'attempting to do something different' but done so, so well. I wasn't completely sold on first lesson because it was just SO FAR removed from what I've come to expect from Coldplay. But I've come to realise that that is an amazing thing. Making genuinely incredible-quality music in a completely new way. I can't have any complaints about that. The sax solo is stunning, but even more powerful is the huge climax, which just feels like a massive release. Really well executed, and also a brilliant (yet short) feature from Stromae. His voice really suits the whole vibe of the song. 9/10

 

'When I Need a Friend' is something I absolutely adore. As a musician myself, I find nothing more stimulating than harmony. Sure, I'm not completely on board with the religious vibe on a Coldplay album, but it's done so beautifully. Nothing beats a really lovely choir piece, and it must be incredibly hard to write and arrange something that fits this style so well. Bloody great. 8/10

 

'Guns'. Eugh. I think the best phrase I've seen to describe this track is 'ham-fisted'. It's lyrically clumsy, and I find the swearing in the chorus completely undermines the message. I have no problem with swearing in music, but for Coldplay to do it, it really needs to work and add something. For me, it just turns the whole song into a faux-preachy folk song which just doesn't sit well with me. 3/10

 

'Orphans' is really great. An example of a contemporary Pop song at its best. It's pretty much the sort of song that we've come to expect from Coldplay, which there's nothing wrong, but it's undoubtedly what they do best these days. Memorable chorus, catchy melody, and a chant of some sort. I'd also say that this is (surprisingly) some of the best lyric writing on the album. Usually the simpler lyrics would go towards this kind of Radio 1-friendly song and the more complex words would be on the quieter tracks, however this album seems to be flipped around in that respect. This song is a banger. 7/10

 

I just can't get on with 'Eko'. I don't hate it by any means, it just doesn't really make me feel anything. It's a nice enough melody, and the chord sequence is interesting, but this is a song that won't be getting many listens from me. Which I'm sure will stop Chris from sleeping. 5/10

 

'Cry Cry Cry', again, doesn't really make me feel positive or negative. I wouldn't skip it on a listen through the album, I guess I just find it a tiny bit sickly with the octaved-voice, and the extra vocal parts in the chorus. Not really for me. 5/10

 

'Old Friend' is yet another example of Chris' lyric-writing that I find difficult to take. Something I've always criticised Ed Sheeran for is how literal he is in his writing- I prefer more metaphors and poetry-like lyrics. It feels like Chris falls further into this literal category with every album Coldplay make now. If you compare the lyrics on Everyday Life to VLV, for example, I'd argue that the quality of lyrics has gone downhill significantly. This for me is summed up by the fact that, in an interview explaining the story behind the song, Chris essentially only had to use the lyrics to talk about it as they are so on the nose. Really do like the guitar work on the track though, it's a lovely sound. 5/10

 

The instrumental is nice, but it feels like filler, as that's what it is. Again, I don't really have much to say about it. 5/10

 

I really love 'Champion of the World'. I'm a massive fan of Frightened Rabbit and Owl John, so to hear Scott's influence really is beautiful. A really strong guitar riff, and really brilliant harmonies makes this exactly the sort of song that I love. I won't go on about lyrics anymore, but I do feel that the same problem is present on this track, however the rest of it makes up for that. A really exciting and uplifting climax makes this a really powerful and stand-out track on the album 8/10

 

'Everyday Life' is a really strong closing track. I feel that tracks where Chris plays piano often provide the more interesting moments musically- maybe that's to do with a different way of looking at chord structures when he's playing piano. That's the case with this track. It's really beautifully put together, and the ambience created behind the melody is stunning. Really strong. 7/10

 

I don't think there are any real misses on this album, but if there were, the highlights would absolutely make up for them. It's perhaps the most interesting album the band have ever released, and although 'interesting' doesn't translate to 'good', in this case, they've released their best album since MX. The whole Sunrise/Sunset concept did provide us with an absolutely stunning broadcast on Youtube, but I can't help but feel like making this a standard album as opposed to a 'double' (in the loosest possible terms) album would have removed a fair bit of filler and left an album that could really have been up there with Viva and AROBTTH.

 

Overall- 7/10

 

Let me know what you think with a similar ratings system!

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Well-articulated. You've captured many of my own thoughts on the album. I agree that lyrics are perhaps the weakest element of the album.

 

At the end of the day, I can't shake the effect this work has had on me emotionally. It is as if I've had the opportunity to reconnect with a younger me. Songs like Church, Everyday Life, Champion of the World, and Trouble in Town feel like they were ripped right from the pages of the early 2000s - yet somehow they work in 2019. Though there are bigger numbers intended for stadiums, this album has a more generally intimate nature and it is breathtaking at times. I suppose Ghost Stories had a similar makeup (and I like much of that album as well), yet this one resonated more deeply with me. Absolutely love the nearly ubiquitous strings throughout. For me, this is an 8/10.

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