This album is a strong pop album. People keep wanting to classify Coldplay as rock, and they may be considered pop-rock which is fine... But let's look at the facts:
Direct, simple lyrics
Electric drums with bassy kick
Bass in the front of the mix
Pop structure in all songs almost
Some trap elements in HFTW and XMTS
This is a pop album, but a pop album influenced by edm and hip-hop (especially trap). So don't compare this too even MX or ghost stories. This is ane entirely new beast.
1. AHFOD - 8.5
Bombastic, dancey riff and beat, and good lyrics start this album off in the right direction. This is a way to start the album for everyone in coldplays fanbase to enjoy.
2. Birds - 10
The beat is fantastic, I love it... The way Chris sings the verses is gorgeous and the chorus soars so smoothly. Definitely a classic. The guitar play like the rest of the album is 10/10.
HFTW - 9/10
What a beautiful song. I love the harmonies and the pre chorus is lit. What keeps this from classic status? Chris has no sexiness. At least when he isn't singing low. And in the verses he sounds too light.
The same with the last song, except Chris doesn't need sexiness. He that's why it's .5 better. But they are both lovely songs. The disco/edm flavor flows well with the pop rock vibe.
Everglow - 8/10
Uhhh this is a good song, but it lacks the pureness of their old ballads. This is something Coldplay lost during the Viva and MX eras. The ability to make a heartfelt ballad such as fix you and the scientist. In viva there was reign of love which was decent and then a few in MX that were OK. In Ghost stories, the reason why the album wasnt a classic is cuz it lacked heart. This song continues that plan... Thankfully this is the only song that follows that path.
Fun - 8.5
I was not expecting much from this one, but it surprised me. The guitar riff in the beginning was so gorgeous I didn't want it to the end. The lyrics are more heartfelt then Everglow and the harmonies between tove lo and Chris are A.
Kaleidoscope - 10/10
One of the best creations Coldplay has made. WHY CANT COLDPLAY CHANNEL THE EXPERIMENTAL VIBE FROM THIS INTO AN ENTIRE ALBUM. YOU CAN MAKE AMAZING EXPERIMENTAL POP WITH VOCAL SAMPLES, CRAZY BEATS, AND SHIT...
Anyways a beautiful song and amazing meaning.
Army of one - 8.5
This one wasn't quite as catchy as I wanted, but the beat is 10/10. The away away, go now is interesting cuz the song is about fighting for ur love.
X marks the spot - 5 (and rising quickly)
This one is... Changing for me. At first I hated it. Then I thought it was OK just not in the right album. Now I'm digging it. The lyrics are a bit corny for a trap influenced song. But then I remembered it was Coldplay, and he wasn't going to make a song about fucking bitches and drugs. This is a Coldplay trap song. And now I play it in the car with the bass up all the way with my buds and we have the blast. It's a grower and I expect it to end up a 6.5-7.
This is a classic. The lyrics are great for the pop direction they are going. It's a swaying pop masterpiece imo. I sing along whenever I hear it and its extremely addicting. And the main thing is that it has that authenticity of the old ballads. I love it.
Up and up - 8
Great closer. This is a weird ending cuz we got misled with the live version that was way more piano led, why this more synth oriented. The lyrics are good and ends it pretty epically.
Overall I gave this album a 86/100 when it comes to song to song enjoyability. I'd give this a 64 when it comes to flow and. Cohesion. And a 75 in production
So this albums gets a 82 from me.
Viva - 96 (93-100-97) comparable to night at the opera by Queen
AROBTTH - 92 (98-86-90)comparable to the bends by radiohead
AHFOD - 82 (86-73-75) Torches by Foster the People
Good but flawed albums:
GS - 76 (55-90-90) comparable to 808s and heartbreak by Kanye West (but a lot worse, kanyes album is on par with Viva)
Parachutes 74 (70-76-78)comparable to Sheer heart attack by Queen
MX 74 (80-80-60) comparable to night visions by Imagine Dragons
Decent messy albums:
X&Y 62(65-60-50) -A long shittier let it be by the Beatles (empasis about how much better let it be is compared to this album)