I think both of your statements have some issues.
If Coldplay has become inauthentic, how do you explain Everyday Life? We can't really pretend it was a one-off thing or a passing phase. It was a full album that felt mildly reminiscent of the pre-mylo eras. On top of that, pop has become Coldplay's sound for the past seven or eight years. That's a long time to be inauthentic, imo. Don't get me wrong, I see where you're coming from, but I think EL throws a bit of a wrench into your statement
Have Coldplay truly lost touch with what their fans want? A decent amount of people (mostly new fans, I'll give you that) seem pleased with what they've put out in the past seven years. Despite Higher Power being a bit of a flop, it's not their worst song ever. Some people still like it.
But here's to hoping LP9 is different.
It's interesting what you share, and I'm agree with the fact that Coldplay is losing some authenticity during the years, but before to be so critical on that (anyway, I love what they do), it's important to see how producers influences on their releases. And to be poppy isn't the same to don't be authentic.
For Parachutes, A Rush... and X&Y, the "hand" of Ken Nelson is there. I feel that "darkness" and "authenticity" what I love a lot in Coldplay. In live performances, small backings tracks there, but there were them. I remember a concert when Chris said: "Coldplay is better in darkness", from X&Y era.
But then, Brian Eno and Rik Simpson replace Ken Nelson, and we all eventually felt how his music changed, not necessarily for worse!. Viva was a great album in my opinion, but clearly the "darkness" factor was provided by Jon Hopkins (a genius). So, even when is more poppy, Viva still has a little darkness and authenticity there. Until here, if you see live performances, you see authenticity everywhere. Even when the "violins" in Viva La Vida are backing tracks, you feel the live authenticity. The "Coldplay Factor".
But then, Jon Hopkins was removed from the next production, MX, and the poppy started to be more present.
Some exceptions are "UFO" eventually, but it's a fact that the boys found on this "colorful" way something completely cathartic. And Brian Eno and Rik Simpson in the production. However, even when MX is a poppy production, the boys made the effort to create live performances with authenticity. See, for instance, the same MX (the beginning) when Will plays the Xylophone or the guitar in "Every Teardrop..." (it could be just a tape, but they preferred to make it live. The authenticity remained there, behind the poppy style).
Now... let's see GS. Brian Eno is, now, who is not in the production line, but Hopkins returned, and now with the great Avicii. In some way, the darkness returns, and for my perspective, GS was the last of the darkness times. Eventually was the the message that "authenticity" was in decay, because it was the first time that some songs had piano sounds as backing tracking (A Sky Full Of Stars). GS was a great album, but I think something changed from there.
Because, next, A Head... it was just a poppy explosion. Who was there... Rik Simpson, almost alone as Producer. Yes, live performances were quite spectacular, but this time plenty, plenty of backing tracks. Even with "Midnight" played just from tape. Eventually, "God Put A Smile.." was the great exception there because how they played live, reminded how Coldplay started. With no backing tracks. Just them. But again, authenticity in decay.
Let's talk now about EL. EL wasn't for me a darkness style album. It was almost an acoustic-based production. If you see the production line, are almost only new people, including for the first time Max Martin. Yes, Max entered for EL. And guess what was the only song produced by Martin there. Yes, Orphans. The most poppy song in EL.
From authenticity perspective, EL was a moment. A "Bare Bones" moment, but for live performances, again, the boys didn't complicate things: Chris playbacks on Church, the piano play itself for Broken, etc. EL is a deep album, and I love it, but I think that Orphans, the last song to arrive (as Chris said), generated something from Max Martin for the future: The things are commercial, beyond any authenticity.
Chris Martin has mention that "Max is our producer right now for everything we do". Having said that, and if you see what Martin has produced (which is great from a commercial perspective), for LP9 I really expect only commercial-based things. Nothing with the nostalgic darkness. Nothing eventually hybrid. Is like if Max Martin said: "Show me what you left in MX and A Head.. and let's what can we do now. We need to sell it.".
Don't get me wrong, please, I love Coldplay, since the beginning. But people and time changes. I'm expecting to see next performances with real people there, in order to see what remains there. Eventually, there is still some authenticity.
Curious to see what you guys think!
Either Coldplay no longer cares about being authentic, and put commercial succes above creating original music. Or, they have lost touch with what their fans like (both old and new ones). Proof:
1. Higher power does poor on Spotify in streams given their total monthly listeners, despite a major commercial push.
2. Coldplay claims to perform live, but in fact vocals of two different 'live' performances are identical (Brits & Idols).
3. During the brits they posted a picture indicating they were about to get on stage outside the O2, despite the performance being recorded a few days before that.
4. The acoustic version of 'higher power' does not have authentic vocals, but the ones identical to the original.
5. The Higher Power CD single was promoted as "extremely limited" on Facebook, yet is even for sale in physical stores.