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Album Review: Coldplay - A Head Full Of Dreams

By Jonathan Fuchs, Copy Editor

[Atlantic; 2015]

Rating: 2/5

Key Tracks: “Hymn for the Weekend,” “Adventure of a Lifetime”

One can say whatever one wants about Coldplay, but there’s no doubt that the London-based band’s earlier work has been pretty influential in the indie genre. It’s clear that albums like Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head helped shape the sound heard from a lot of beloved bands today.

The band’s 2009 album Viva La Vida marked the start of their pop sound, which ditched their original rock-oriented style almost entirely as opposed to experimenting with it. Their following record Mylo Xyloto received mixed reviews from critics, and last year’s Ghost Stories was universally considered their worst and most boring album yet. As such, Coldplay’s most recent few releases are most likely the reason for their bad reputation.

A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay’s seventh and possibly final record, continues in the pop direction they’ve been known for over the past six years, but doesn’t really find a way to make its sound distinct and original. Parts of A Head Full of Dreams are fun and catchy, but the blander moments make this album just average.

The best songs on A Head Full of Dreams by far are “Hymn for the Weekend,” a catchy pop song with great vocals from frontman Chris Martin and Beyoncé, and “Adventure of a Lifetime,” which has a fun atmosphere and a sound inspired by funk and disco. Other good tracks include “Birds,” an upbeat song with a good bassline, and “Army of One,” which has a beat similar to their earlier hit “Paradise.”

The rest of the songs on A Head Full of Dreams sound fine, but none of them are memorable. Tracks like “A Head Full of Dreams” and “Fun” sound like generic pop songs that will not remind the listener of Coldplay’s style at all. This is especially true regarding the worst tracks on the album (“Everglow,” “Amazing Day”), which are incredibly bland and very difficult to enjoy.

A Head Full of Dreams is a good effort, but as a whole it’s just another too-poppy addition to the band’s discography. It may not be as bad as Ghost Stories, but can be considered just as disappointing. Coldplay fans should hope this isn’t their final album, because honestly, this is the perfect example of going off on a sour note.

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