With Coldplay’s seventh studio album titled “A Head Full of Dreams,” released on Dec. 4, the British boy band seemingly strays away from their traditional pop beat, and takes the chance of producing an electronica beat that encompasses a wide variety of genres. Just by listening to the first few tracks on the album, it is evident that Coldplay is attempting to create a more unique, refreshing and blissful sound than their previous 2014 album “Ghost Stories,” by including a combination of alternative rock, disco-rock and indie-pop.
According to critics, “Dreams serves as a bit of a retrospective, embodying some of the anthematic arena rock that made them a global smash and also some of the more curious EDM [electronic dance music] influences that have marked their recent releases.”
“A Head Full of Dreams” is in essence an emergence from the dark, muted and melancholic tone that encapsulated previous albums by Coldplay, into a lighter, brighter and uplifting sound. This sound is reflected through the pitch, quality, and overall strength of the record brought forth by penetrating vocals and powerful uses of instruments like the electric keyboard, acoustic drums and bass. In a visual manner, this album comes to symbolize a bold sunlight glowing through dark clouds.
In an interview with Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, lead-singer Chris Martin revealed that “‘A Head Full of Dreams’ is about unity and finding common ground between people from all walks of life.”
This album is different from others produced by Coldplay due to the fact that the band actually feels good about the album. They felt good going into it, as well as before and after the production of the album.
Martin continues to point out that “It’s been a long journey up to this point and I’m very proud of the other ones [albums] too, but this one is one I think we’ve become comfortable with the band we are.”
“I know there’s some people who really don’t like it and I really don’t mind, it’s fine, it’s okay, and that is a very liberating feeling…We’re so lucky to be doing what we’re doing, and we’re making it as great as we can, and for those people that do like it, it’s going to be super cool.”
“A Head Full of Dreams” was produced by Stargate, as well as Rik Simpson, who has produced all of the band’s studio albums since 2008 with the release of their fourth studio album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.
Producing an album that both makes the audience want to dance and also causes them to think about the lyrics is hard to accomplish, yet Coldplay did just that in their recent release. The fact that the band was also able to incorporate a series of themes throughout the album, such as the prominent subjects of unity, dreaming together, parenthood, forgiveness, healing, thankfulness and putting family first, truly depicts how well thought out and planned this album was.
What definitely strikes the attention of many, and excels the album, is the fact that the it includes a series of collaborators, ranging from Beyoncé, Tove Lo, Noel Gallagher, Merry Clayton, in addition to the United States President Barack Obama. An excerpt of his “Amazing Grace” performance, which took place during his eulogy for Reverend Clementa C. Pickney, one of the victims of the Charleston Church shooting in June of 2015, appears.
“…Because of the historical significance of what he [Obama] did and also that song being about, ‘I’m lost but now I’m found’ adds a newfound depth and meaning to the album that does far more than scratch the surface, and touches the hearts of many who were affected by the incident, as well as those who were not,” Martin said in an interview with The Sun.
Coldplay’s choice of title, “A Head Full of Dreams,” contains both a literal and visionary meaning.
It has been proven by multiple studies that the reason why we dream is associated with the different stimuli and emotions our brain receives throughout the day, and because of this theory, we as humans have the ability to dream something we don’t remember or something we do not know yet.
In order to become inspired and get ideas to create the album’s spirit and mood, a short-term stimulus that directly correlated with the lyrics of Coldplay’s new album was conducted using sounds, visuals and rhythms on social media. Followers began sharing their dreams using the hashtag #AHeadFullOfDreams, and the result was a whole experience inspired by people’s dreams.
With hints here and there of “A Head Full of Dreams” being their seventh and final album before the band’s ultimate separation, at least their 15-year journey will conclude with a heartfelt piece that the four members poured their heart and soul into.
Martin adds on Zane Lowe’s BBC 1 Show that “It’s our seventh thing, and the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that. Not to say that there might not be another thing one day, but this is the completion of something. I have to think of it as the final thing we’re doing. Otherwise we wouldn’t put everything into it.”
“A Head Full of Dreams:”
1. “A Head Full Of Dreams
3. “Hymn For The Weekend”
5. “Adventure Of A Lifetime
8. “Army Of One”
9. “Amazing Day”
10. “Colour Spectrum”
Background Photo Credit: Atlantic Records