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ūüď° HIGHER POWER MUSIC VIDEO OUT JUNE 8 ūüď°

lennyrott1

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Posts posted by lennyrott1

  1. My profile picture finally has paid off. I don't know y'all this is just too much to take right now. TLDR: My love for this song couldn't be more. I had accepted that Everyday Life might be one of the last moments this band would stay within my music taste, but I never expected this. It's absurdly incredible, it's everything that the band has worked to achieve and in many ways it feels like their singular magnum opus, so far. 

    Longer winding reaction, just like the song:

    Spoiler

    I grew up listening to Elton John and Pink Floyd and David Bowie, and when I first heard the VLV album something clicked for me. Coldplay was one of the few modern bands carrying the torch of making pop music with real artistic sensibility. I've been a huge fan for a while now, but as I get older and my music taste expands, I guess I never quite thought Coldplay could recapture my emotion in a raw way. But every once in a while, it happens. It happened with Midnight, then it happened again with Up&Up, then again with Sunrise and Arabesque. 

    Now with Coloratura I feel a huge swell of emotion again, but bigger than I was expecting. The opening piano is singularly the best I've heard from Coldplay maybe ever. It's right up there with Postcards From Far Away and Bani Adam. The strings, the glitchy synths, all of it is overwhelmingly beautiful. And the core song itself is classy AF and feels like a legitimately legendary progressive rock song. Jonny delivers potentially his best solo ever on a technical level, and Guy's bass is extremely impressive throughout the song. Meanwhile Will has complex mix ups in his drumming tempo. The glockenspiel moment is jaw-dropping, and the accompanying strings during the "oh oh oh oh" are just a gut punch. I've always argued with other music lovers "Seriously guys, Coldplay is super talented and can write amazing songs" and now it feels like all of their talent, their production value, their influence, their willingness to let go and explore new sounds has added up to a new height in their career coming off of the fantastic Everyday Life Album. 

    At this point, this has entered the conversation as a top ever Coldplay song for me. I think MOTS may have some songs I don't feel great about. HP is pretty solid, Human Heart is lovely, but not amazing, and MU is really fun but by no means an instant classic. I'm super excited to hear other tracks and hope they deliver just some of the production value and musicality of Coloratura... but at this point this is an instantly amazing moment that deserves all the love and praise that can get thrown at it. Coldplay's back. Better than ever. 

     

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  2. I'm just bombing this thread rn, but I have a weird theory that I'm curious what folks think. So it appears the track listing includes several "interlude" type tracks similar to MX. Artistically, I like interludes because they help pad songs out and give a transition from big exciting songs to quieter songs (i.e. Us Against the World into MMIX into ETIAW). The length of interludes also helps Coldplay fine-tune album length to get that 42 minute mark.

    HOWEVER -- I couldn't help but notice that it's odd how short some of them are on MOTS when there's also a 10 minute song! My theory is Coldplay had the songs and went to the label and said "we want a 10 minute outro" and the label said "well, that's not good for streaming revenues, my guys," so Coldplay says "okay, maybe we can compromise?" so the label goes -- "okay, you keep the 10 minute song, but we want some short tracks that can be streamed quickly to get a lot of plays."

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  3. 1 hour ago, JustSomeone said:

    Curious about your opinion!

    Essentially, I have a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Coldplay genuinely seems to be content about the music they create these days.

    Any mainstream artist could have released 'My Universe' and absolutely no person would have associated it with a Coldplay song, even fans who know what to look for. 

    A song like A Sky Full Of Stars was EDM / Pop, but still contained Coldplay-like elements such as the chord progression of the piano, the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar, etc.

    Thoughts?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Putting my response in spoiler. 

    Spoiler

    I see what you mean, but tbh I think it feels like a natural progression from AHFOD. Yes, technically there's very little Jonny and this could be a track that was built 100% in a studio w/o Guy or Will. That said, there's an energy to the song and a vibe that feels quintessential Coldplay. It's a bit saccharine, it's heart on sleeve, the lyrics are just extremely universal. But I'd argue that it is a track that feels more honest in many ways than SJLT. Sure, that song has a sweet guitar solo and the classic Coldplay piano sound, but it felt like Coldplay was just transposing their sound on top of a Chainsmokers sound. MU sounds fresh and new to me. Not that it's experimental or anything, but for my taste it feels like Coldplay is having fun and dang it's so well produced and the synths have some cool progressions throughout the song.  Idk, I like pure pop so I almost prefer this to a song that tries to mix pop with rock. 

     

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  4. Sorry folks who are feeling MU is being spoiled. I'm gonna put my thoughts under spoilers and would ask others reply like that too. 

     

    Spoiler

    Overall I think I like it more than Higher Power. I've often said that I think "newplay" has struggled with balancing pop and alternative sounds, which can lead to good songs with awkward instrumentation & mixing. For example, HFTW is super catchy and lush, but the chorus is a bit muddled and tries mixing in too many instruments. Higher Power is catchy, I like the groove, but it lacks a certain explosive energy that I think MU has and I find the instrumental palate punchier. 

    On MU, the Max Martin production and BTS feature really help the song find its sound. It's not trying to be a dance song by a rock band, it's an electropop pop vocal song with a clear goal of being catchy and dancy and it works! I absolutely love that electro-bass and Will's drumming is classy and perfectly mixed. Again, I think they could have incorporated Jonny a bit more (I think the live track will be amazing!) but it's nice to have a few disco guitar jangles scattered throughout the mix. Chris sounds really good, singing in some lower registers, and BTS has incredibly catchy verses. Is this song as catchy as say, Levitating or Don't Stop Now by Dua Lipa? Heck no, but it's a pretty solid pop song for a band that's been at it for 25 years, and I think it will absolutely hit #1 for a bit. 

    So where HP is like a 7/10 for me, MU might be closer to a 8/10. My favorite part is the outro which just straight up good dance music, and the intro is super weird with the aliens introducing the song. It sets a unique tone. My biggest critique is that the song is a bit repetitive -- the chorus is basically played 4 times in 3 minutes and I think it could have used an extended bridge or some more BTS moments perhaps incorporating a guitar or synth solo for 10 seconds to add some diversity. 

     

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  5. My impression of the teaser! Putting spoiler tag in case folks don't want to know more about it. 

    Spoiler

    Impressions: 

    1. MX 2? A lot of people predicted this and it seems to be mostly accurate. Lots of electronics mixed with bright sounding instruments but also some slow spacey tracks.

    2. Production is CRISP. It seems these songs are super cleanly produced, but in a way that doesn't feel like it takes away from the instrumentation. Vocals are super clean too. Must be Max Martin's magic! 

    3. Interludes?? This can either be good or bad. I love how interludes are palate cleansers and ambient moments that are really pretty. But also, I don't want any tracks like Color Spectrum, which just repeat sounds, nor do I want the interludes to be 30 seconds long. 

    4. Space/Alien theme is likely super light. With the track listing leaked, I find Chris's whole "we're writing music about aliens so we can say thing about humans without talking about earth" kind of odd, because "Human" and "Earth" and "People" all are part of the tracks... Don't get me wrong, the planets and space theme is cool, but clearly the music has little/nothing to do with actual space. It's likely going to be a collection of long songs start to finish. We'll see when final lyrics drop. 

    5. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!?? YES!!!!! 

    6. MUSE? Maybe a big no. I hope the longer song is more dynamic, but right now this teaser sounds like it was built for a Home Depot commercial. I don't mind fuzzy rock in the style of Muse, but it's also not my fave rock genre and often times the repetitive bass riffs are kind of cloying. It just reeks of "here's our 'hard' rock song for all you 'rock' fans out there." but time will tell. 

    7 Lush instrumentation!? YES!! The closing track, the weird alien voice track and a few others stand out to me for having some really nice acoustic guitars, pianos, and strings built into the mix which sound super professional and classy. Everyday Life was a classy sounding album and that sounds like it will carry over here. 

    8. Vol 1 ??? I mean, this is the best thing to hear ever. It makes me think the band is enjoying making music with diverse artists and writing lots of new songs that they want to throw out. Maybe this era will last too long and maybe it will have some tracks that are duds, but I prefer the maximal 'release a ton of music' approach compared to releasing 9-10 tracks every 3 years.

     

  6. I absolutely loved Taylor Swift's last two albums and how she wasn't afraid to just put all those songs out there & actually try some experimental (for her) sounds and collabs. I believe it's worth looking at her approach as a potential blue print for other big name artists.

    That  said... I highly doubt MOTS is going to be more than one album, but that'd be amazing. The "three parts" likely refers to three music videos/singles or three EP's that structure the album & its story. I like the EP theory because it lends itself to how modern music is released for streaming services in chunks to maximize streams & continue engagement in a crowded media space. 

    New music has to drop soon, right? 

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  7. The BTS song must drop soon. We're nearing two months of Higher Power and at least in the U.S. the song isn't charting anymore and I haven't heard it on any radio stations.

    Dropping a huge BTS track (especially if it's really, really good) could help get Higher Power back on people's radar and potentially rocket Coldplay to #1 in preparation for an album announcement. Another possibility is this "Kubik" teasing is going to be another single release that isn't BTS to stave us over for a bit. 

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  8. Acoustic Review

    TLDR: Honestly, I'm kinda disappointed at the lack of a new performance & overall production. I really appreciate the band giving us a version of the song that has some instrumental call backs to Oldplay, but I wish they delivered a better recording that added some unique flavor to this acoustic version (think strings from LiJ, more choir vocals on COTW NPR). I'll overall forget this probably like I did the Princess of China acoustic version, which feels super similar to what we got here 10 years later.

    Spoiler

    The Good: 

    • I love getting alt versions, so that's a plus in itself.¬†
    • The build up/bridge are amazing. That mini organ that will plays on Daddy makes a return and it's super beautiful as it builds into the chorus. I love Jacob Collier's piano that imitates the synths on the studio version, it's very lovely, light and pleasant.¬†
    • Guitar playing is cool -- nothing like a good ol strumming song from the boys.¬†

    The Bad: 

    • What is this mixing though? The guitar sounds like its from a poorly recorded Dashboard Confessional song in the mid-2000's. It sounds compressed as heck and like they threw it together way too fast.¬†
    • Jonny still not present. I feel like this acoustic version was an opportunity to add a lot more instrumentation to breathe more life into the chorus. For example, between "you've got...." and "...a higher power" they simply hit a piano key. Kinda drab.¬†
    • The vocals. Okay so hear me out. On Princess of China acoustic, Coldplay just re-recorded the instrumental and then laid the original vocal track over it. It's awkward. It sounds like two songs being mashed on top of one another. Here, it's the exact same thing. Chris, the Love Choir, and the boys didn't sit in a room and record this authentically. Instead, they worked separately to record the different instruments and then threw the original vocals on top of it and called it a day. This really dooms the song for me -- the tempo isn't different, the vocals in the finale aren't different, it's all the same song without the synths, which just isn't creative imo.¬†
    • I'm feeling worried if other, quieter MOTS tracks have this poor of production...
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  9.  

    Quote

    What I'm a bit worried about is that amazing production can sometimes overshadow the mediocre songwriting. Hopefully it will be balanced and songwriting/quality of production will be on the same level. In terms of songwriting, Higher Power for me is kind of walking on edge - it is quite cleverly structured, very catchy and so full of energy, but nowhere close to getting masterpiece hit song status. 

    ^This. Exactly this. Production is one thing, but songwriting is another. My issue with Newplay isn't necessarily that Jonny's guitar or Guy's is sometimes mixed poorly (though that is a problem), it's mostly that some songs just aren't as sharply written or as catchy as Oldplay. Higher Power is overall a well written song with fun, clean production. But does it feel as cinematic as Paradise? Or as danceable as AOAL? Or as catchy as Magic? Or as energetic and raw as Orphans? Not in my opinon.

    Only time will tell on how MOTS shapes out -- I doubt it will be 100% pop songs, but the ratio could be bigger than ever. Or maybe not!  I was expecting a way poppier AHFOD with Stargate and was super angry about that back in 2015, but in hindsight the percussion and atmosphere on that album is pretty dang nice sounding and it gave us some tunes Oldplayers can love -- Birds, Amazing Day, Up&Up.

    Chris also said in interviews that this is a new thing for Max to be working with a band like Coldplay, so I don't think we can really predict the final sound. With Higher Power, I'm torn. It seems so far like the song is kind of flopping the U.S. and I agree that it's kind of a 50/50 between rock and pop, just like a lot of AHFOD and GS. I simultaneously feel bad for the band if Higher Power is their huge flagship for this era and it's their least successful single, but also I hope that it is their flagship and that means other songs will be more weird & spacey. Chris did say they were trying to imagine what alien music sounds like, and so far it just sounds like Coldplay lol. 

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  10. Couple things have stood out over the past few days : 

    1. Chris' discussion of Max Martin seems to suggest the album will be very poppy, which I think we already were expecting. He basically said that Max is helping members of the band realize they can make songs that are more pop. Hard to know if he was talking about Higher Power or this whole era. 

    2. The band is still recording? Chris said he had a song for Max Martin just the other day, and it seems like they're doing their interviews from the same building where they could be wrapping up the record. So maybe MOTS wasn't finished around the same time as EL like some of us predicted. Or maybe it was and they've completely changed it?  

    3. Jonny mentioned during the Twitter Q&A that he's loving the Meris Enzo guitar pedal. It can create some synth sounds that are unrecognizable as guitar, so this suggests more synth sounds will be present on the album -- or more songs where there isn't traditional Coldplay guitar sounds. 

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  11. Yeah I think I'm expecting a AHFOD-type era in terms of pop/alternative balance. Higher Power may end up being a mid-album track like AOAL, Human Heart might be in the middle as well. It sounds like MOTS is gonna open up the album and in your left ear, you can hear a slow low-frequency build up that will likely transition into the first track. I know some folks think that it's HP -- but I feel like that transition isn't very clean sounding. I suspect a different opening track. I then think we'll get at least 2 more big pop singles featuring some big artists, and then two or three more alternative songs, maybe a big space rock outro like Up&Up. 

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  12. that's awesome @MosesTheMarshmallow!!! I'll check y'all out. 

    And yes @Coeurlithat's helpful! It took me a super long time to understand what the heck AHFOD was about & I had no idea MX told a story until Coldplay said so. I guess I've been hoping for a while that if the band did a "concept album" that the concept would be really apparent and clear. So now we have this "planet" concept and space, but it feels like it's going to another album where you kind of have to do your homework and piece to the loose/general themes together to get it. I guess I was hoping for more than "you're a star, universe, moon, color" type lyrics.

    I can already see the interviews when MOTS is released an someone asks "so what's the concept behind the album" and Chris says, "well we like space, and so we wrote a bunch of songs but we think of them as planets because they exist on their own but also are connected, you know what I mean. So the planets are the spheres and this is the music of those planets." And the interviewer is like "wow yeah brilliant," even though they have no idea what Chris is talking about lol.

     

     

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  13. I think we all know that MOTS will be an album, but I wonder how they will release music during this era. Gorillaz for example just did that "Song Machine" series where they collaborated with a bunch of artists and released EP's that eventually were put into one album, or "season" like a TV show. 

    There's also precedent for Coldplay releasing songs that don't make the next album (Atlas, Moving to Mars, Goldrush). I wonder if the MOTS era will have more to offer than just the singles and albums. At this point, HP (as Kaotica) and Human Heart, and the MOTS intro seem very likely for the album. But a possible BTS collab could be totally one off. I think it'd be cool if they did Planet EP's that have b-sides. So like a Kaotica EP featuring Higher Power & some alternative track. I doubt this will happen but we're in a weird holding pattern right now of knowing a lot but still open to big surprises. 

    Alien Radio itself teased Higher Power, but all those audio clips and languages translated must add up to something greater? I mean Higher Power as far as I can tell has no discernable lyrical point other than "I've been feeling down, you picked me up." which has nothing to do with Space, or Alice in Wonderland, or UFO's, or some of the other cool stories referenced on Alien Radio. Human Heart is the same. It's about boy and girl hearts and gender stereotypes. What's the theme here?

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  14. I'm not sold on the BTS collab yet. Why would the leak just say "Korean, Korean, Korean?" If was coming from an official source, it would be translated or written out. Also, BTS has been doing most of it's big recent singles in English, so I I'd imagine if they collabed with Coldplay it would be. We'll see. 

    If it ends up being true, this era is shaping up to be quite poppy, which I think we anticipated. The question for me is whether they'll make room for some truly alternative tracks. If they have them, we sure haven't heard them. And before you say Human Heart is an alt track -- yes it's definitely different, but a duet with a simple, catchy repeated melody is still pop to me at its core. Higher Power was listed as an "alt" track from Coldplay's label? Idk gang. Starting to worry they're going full 100% pop.

    • Like 3
  15. Yeah basically agree with everything being said here. What feels most likely is we get some alternative tracks drawing from other 80's artists like Talking Heads, Depeche Mode & some maybe even influence from the Eno Eras (weird spacey noises, different time signatures, more Jonny). But we also know Max Martin could be a credited producer on every song, which likely means more clean production and pop sounds (Guy even said in a recent interview they're focusing on "studio techniques" which sounds like a pop production euphemism). On top of that, we have confirmed help from Jacob Collier (human heart) and maybe Jon Hopkins (MOTS intro). I suspect the album could unfurl like AHFOD -- we get one ore two pretty accessible singles and then one or two more alt-rock tracks and overall the album is a balance of pop and alternative, which has been the standard since 2011. It makes sense -- please old fans, new fans, and bring in a new audience, but I feel like MX and AHFOD aren't sonically consistent imo. 

    Best case scenario (for my fandom) is the era outside Higher Power takes a left turn towards a much more spacey, ambient, progressive sound that falls more in to the AICTAIY, ALIENS, 42, X&Y, Midnight, O, MX interludes, HLH type Coldplay. Or maybe the album is super poppy and they release an alternative EP (Kaliediscope-esque) in 2022. Your guess is as good as mine.

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  16. Loving new Glastonbury songs, but they also make me a bit nervous that LP9 (MOTS) is just gonna be a loose concept like MX that doesn't fully live up to the "space album" hype. This is what I expected, but still I'm worried the album could be inconsistent. 

    Spoiler

    MOTS Intro -- Really hoping this is longer on the album version because it's beautiful and so spacey. Reminds me of other Coldplay intros but also Arcade Fire a little bit. I see folks saying it could go into HP on the album but I don't think so. Jon Hopkins for sure produced this. There's a kind of build up of synth that happens in the last 15 seconds that feels like it's gonna run right into the next track but HP is very abrupt. So idk. I personally hope it's 1-2 mins long and runs into another track. 

    Human Heart -- Overall my fave bit of music from the MOTS era so far. The collab is beautiful, I love the changes to Chris's voice & how it's more of a layering thing than a vocoder thing. I think lyrics like "this gender does this, that gender does that" are a bit cliché and tired in 2021, but I can tell his heart is in the right place. This is the second song in Coldplay's catalogue after "When I Need A Friend" that's vocals only! Might you just criticize the song for sounding just like a Jacob Collier track? Sure. But honestly it's album nine, why not try something like this while bringing awareness to a really small artist like WeAreKING. 

    How The Era Is Shaping: Still cautiously optimistic. HP hasn't really grown on me yet. Of all the 80's inspired pop songs of the last few years, it's not my fave and I'm starting to suspect it's not gonna be a breakout summer hit like Warner Music wanted. I guess with the Alienradio teases it felt like we could get an era with some truly bizarre, spacey sounding stuff or some fun rock sounds. But our 2.5 songs so far aren't really giving me that. Production favors pop vocal production over instrumentation, just like on AHFOD and GS. Don't get me wrong... I love the weird spacy sounds and the synths so far, but when you think about "Space" records or 80's songs, most rock bands do a lot of cool prog rock breakdowns or instrumental moments. Think of "Take On Me," which has a weird synth breakdown in the middle of the song. Or how about "Teenage Wasteland," which has iconic synths and then a sweet breakdown in the middle of the track. I believe songs can still have a pop/radio friendly song but still maintain a bit of creative rock energy or sweeping saxophones (In Your Eyes by the Weeknd) or guitar solos, but HP fails to deliver any extra instrumentation outside of a tambourine. I suspect there's gonna be a song or two that blows me away on MOTS, just like on every album they've released. But worried that all this teasing of planets and aliens is gonna end up being a "heart, love, heartbreak" album with super generic lyrics and nothing related to its aesthetic. MX was supposed to tell a story, but nobody could understand it. EL teased a banjo and old timey feel on the cover, but no banjos were on the album and no old timey songs. I'd just love for them to stick to a concept, but that's just not really the band's style I guess.

     

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  17. I freaking love Boys of Summer -- the synths, guitar solos, driving beat, soaring vocals. It's funny because I LOVE 80's music. I have multiple playlists of synthpop & pop rock from the 80's -- New Order, Duran Duran, A-Ha, Don Henley, Eagles, Kate Bush, Bangles, Prince, Pet Shop Boys, Violent Femmes, Van Halen...

    The problem I think Coldplay runs into is that they want to make music inspired by those artists and genres but they often fall short of fully leaping into it & embracing it. There's a certain restraint the band has had over the  past 10 years, where song ultimately quiet down Jonny's guitar, they focus on a consistent but not dynamic drum beat, they make the vocals and production extremely clean. For example -- ASFOS wanted to be this club thumping EDM sad banger... but it wasn't quite that nor was it quite a rock song. HFTW wants to be a dramatic party sing-along, and it teases horns and jangling percussion on the verse and bridge, but then pulls back on the chorus to deliver a very generic 4x4 beat with the instruments muddied so the vocals can take over. 

    Similarly Higher Power has A LOT of good stuff going for it -- the 3-2-1 blast off of synths at the beginning, the complimentary backing vocals, the funky bass and understated verse delivery. But then, on the chorus, the band pulls back. There's no drums, there's no epic rhythm change up, there's not epic guitar or horns, and Chris sings in essentially the same vocal register (until the last chorus). Live, the song is much better but still lacks instrumental diversity imo. The song will likely grow on me over more time and within the album's context, but for now I'm a bit disappointed the band didn't move forward with its experimentation on EL on Higher Power. That's just my opinion -- I'm overall glad folks universally seem to like the song! 

    • Like 5
  18. I did a weird thing. I listened to the song a million times the other week but then cold stopped for 5 days. By the fourth day, I was listening to a lot of other music and I basically had forgot the way the synths sounded and couldn't even hum the bass. 

    I listened to the song again and I feel like with the initial excitement gone, my overall opinion has reduced a bit to putting HP on par with AOAL and HFTW, the weaker singles of Coldplay's 2010 catalogue.  So like maybe a 6-7/10.

    I saw some folks on reddit talk about it, but it does feel like a really well produced, constructed song that's lacking in a bit of soul. Which is maybe ironic because it literally has a soul choir on backing vocals, which I really like. But I don't know... it has a great chorus, the verses are fun and catchy, but I also feel it's lacking a rawness that made previous singles like Orphans, Champion of the World, ASFOS, paradise, etc. really pop for me. Maybe it's Chris's delivery, maybe it's the fact that the beat really doesn't change from start to finish, but idk. I hope we get alt versions of this song that maybe include some more guitar, horns, or guest vocalists to spice it up. 

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  19. @harrisonrules -- Check out Los Unidades and Global Citizen EP ! Lucky you, you're going to get some new Coldplay songs today! Coldplay released an EP under the pseudonym "los unidades" a few years back and it's actually really good. Voodoo is a track Chris talked about around the MX era that never got released until recently. It features production from Calvin Harris,  backing vocals from Tiwa Savage, and a dope verse from Danny Ocean. 

    I don't ever remember Car Kids being connected to Voodoo?

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  20. I've been doing some thinking about scenarios for the upcoming era and why I'm feeling optimistic.  The TLDR is I'm really excited the band is working with Max Martin b/c he feels like a producer that uplifts artists to new heights vs. takes over with his own sound. But still I am hoping MOTS is a sister album to EL in that it recycles old ideas from Coldplay's most creative eras, Viva & MX, which will give us some heavy rockers and interesting alien soundscapes.

    What expectations do you have? If MOTS just gonna be newplay on steroids? Oldplay? A mix?

    Spoiler

    So entering a new era, I'm trying to reframe Coldplay's career and how it might play out in MOTS.

    First Era (Oldplay): Early Years, Parachutes, AROBTH, and X&Y as the alt-rock, pop, soft rock 2000's records --->

    Eno Era (Transition to Newplay): The band brings on Eno to really change their recording style and soundscape. IMO, Viva is their most creative, best sounding era. The band largely records everything together in the same room. Chris is kicked out and many amazing songs are born without him. MX has the band asking: how big can we really sound? They collabed with RiRi, recorded Paradise, have a TON of singles stretching over the course of year. MX starts to show some holes though -- inconsistent production, slightly weaker songwriting and lyricism --->  

    Pop Experiment Era (Newplay): Then, Chris moves to LA, breaks up with Gwyneth. The whole music recording dynamic changes with less in-person time and more Chris dominated songwriting. GS and AHFOD as sister albums, both largely dominated by pop songwriting styles, clean production, lots of bells and whistles, and even more big name producers/features: Avicii, Timbaland, Stargate, Chainsmokers, Beyonce. The occasional alternative track or feature still comes through (Jon Hopkins, Noel Gallagher) but for the most part the band is stretching their sound a bit thin, in my opinion, resulting in some great but inconsistent eras. The standout successes from these experiments are undeniably great, however.  ---> 

    New Era (Postplay? lol idk): The EL era seems to be a synthesis of Oldlay and Newplay. Chris is the primary songwriter from LA still. The band still is extremely open to collaborations and producers. But they also find studio time in Italy, LA and England to perform songs together. For the first time since the Eno era, you can really hear the rawness of the band jamming together on TiT, Church, Arabesque COTW, even Orphans. But also you have a bunch of virtually Chris-only songs. Now with MOTS, it seems like Max Martin will play an Eno/Stargate role in helping on the entire album. For me, I wonder if MOTS will be like EL in that it feels like it won't follow conventional rules or genre restraints. Perhaps the comparison to MX will be accurate in overall sound and aesthetic, but it will sound much more modern. 

    My overall hope: Recent interviews indicate the band worked together in studio a bunch over the past few years. So I'm thinking maybe like EL, we are gonna get a super well produced record that balances Oldplay, instrumental heavy songs with newplay pop experiments. And if we're lucky, Max Martin will guide the band to synthesize (pun intended) those sounds to sound mature, fresh, and artistically viable for a new decade of music. And maybe there's some leftover tracks from the Viva/MX eras that will make it on to MOTS (think ALIENS, Arabesque) and give Oldplayers a taste of some truly epic alien worlds alongside the quirky, danceable pop tracks like Higher Power. 

     

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