The new single Charlie Brown, which was released in late November, is sure to be a Coldplay fan favourite. It has urgency and lyrical style similar to the classic Springsteen anthem Born To Run. Chris Martin sings about cars, boys and girls, the fire of youth and the possibility of turning darkness into brilliant light. But where Springsteen’s song was straight-up rock’n’roll, Charlie Brown has a much more indie/major sound and orchestral feel, complete with swells and bare sections, such as you might find on an Arcade Fire or Sufjan Stevens recording. This song makes me want to drive anywhere with a purpose that I know is inside of me but have yet to discover. If I had a motorbike, a fauxhawk and a black leather jacket, Charlie Brown would be my anthem.
Hurts Like Heaven is a party track. It’s fun! If Coldplay were a dance band, this track would be the danceable one, or a sing-along. This is the song that gave me goosebumps instantly. It is the leadoff track to the record, and what a great choice: Coldplay all grown up, trying new things while still sticking to what they do so well. Collaboration with Brian Eno has taken this band to a new level. The mix on this track is great and Jonny Buckland’s guitar playing is great. It seems like he has been taking pointers from The Edge and has mastered the two-string guitar lick. Chris Martin’s excellent sense of time and lyric is also showcased well here. The lines he sings are relevant, poetic, simple and potent. Although I think the song is about graffiti art and making your mark, I can’t help feel that the street level Occupy movement inspires making the mark. In Hurts Like Heaven he sings:
Streets and bars and a pavement of saints,
And at the streets are rising
and you’d rather sing ‘Don’t let them take control
No, we won’t let them take control.
Yes, I feel a little bit nervous,
Yes, I feel nervous and I cannot relax,
I’m coming ’round to get us
I’m coming ’round when they don’t know the facts.
By far, my favourite track on the record is Paradise. It is so well produced, written and recorded that it will be listened to years from now and still remain great. If you do not purchase the record, at least purchase this track and appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into making this song. From the first listen, I doubt you will be disappointed. The song is the creation of a team working together well. It’s an anthemic ballad with a great string arrangement and a very catchy chorus. It’s unmistakably Coldplay and Brian Eno and it certainly is fresh. 10 out of 10. Brian Eno is all over this large-sounding record. I believe that Brian Eno is credited by the band as being another member of Coldplay and rightly so. He has taken Coldplay to the level of U2.
The first single that was released in September was Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall. To me this song is the sound of today’s streets. It symbolizes everything that is relevant to today’s connected and politically active global citizen. Chris sings about the love of music, and bridges the isolation of the iPod nation with the interconnection that comes from voicing one’s truth. It is a song that celebrates music, going within, giving voice to one’s own soul and celebrating that voice and making a stand in this life. The song has an almost Celtic dance vibe with a U2-style Sunday Bloody Sunday march to it. The song gives voice to I AM and reminds us that in this interconnected, yet isolated age of technology we are one and we can make a difference. I think this verse says it all:
I turn the music up, I got my records on, From underneath the rebel sing a rebel song, Don’t want to see another generation drop I’d rather be a comma than a full stop.
I may get lynched for saying this, but I believe that these are the type of lyrics that The Clash would be singing if they were still around. I can almost hear Joe Strummer scream “This is a public service announcement with guitar!”
Overall, the album is extremely well-made and the strong tracks make the album a worthy purchase. Brian Eno has helped to make this record sound big. It has big lyrical ideas, broad musical strokes and is recorded, mixed, and engineered in a way that would make U2 proud. It is no wonder that this new record has been comfortably sitting in the number one position in many countries around the world. On a personal note, I find it inspiring to be able to review a record that is in alignment with positive possibilities and also has such a strong fan base.
Rishi Gerald is the CEO of Kupid’s Play Records. He describes Kupid’s Play like this: “Kupid’s Play is the Sound of the I Am Revolution. As an international record label devoted to raising global consciousness we bring awakened artists to the commercial mainstream. Our vision extends beyond a traditional record label. We know impossibilities are not real and build non-traditional revenue models by embracing new technologies in the current economic landscape. We know music is everywhere. Kupid’s Play actively seeks out creative opportunities to get its artists’ music to their fans in new ways ensuring that the Sound of the I Am Revolution is heard.” With two decades of experience in the music industry, Rishi has been nominated for numerous marketing awards and earned a Gold Record in the music industry for management.