A Head Full Of Dreams

Written by: PP on 12/07/2016 21:44:18

It's quite rare for a band of Coldplay's stature to release two studio albums at such short intervals from each other as they have done with "Ghost Stories" in 2014 and last year's "A Head Full Of Dreams". Opting not to go on tour with the former and instead concentrating on allowing the creative juices of Chris Martin to flow freely to churn out another album in such rapid succession turned out to be a great choice because seventh album "A Head Full Of Dreams" is a marked improvement on its rather lackluster predecessor. But even if "Ghost Stories" was somewhat forgettable, it was still a decent record and a welcome shift back towards the light, intimate pop rock tunes of their early days. Don't get me wrong: "Mylo Xyloto" remains a masterpiece despite its grandiose, stadium-sized ambition, but expanding the soundscape further wouldn't have done the band any good.

In that sense, "A Head Full Of Dreams" might be the first Coldplay album since "A Rush Of Blood To The Head" that should appeal to older fans of the band who didn't particularly enjoy the output from "X&Y" onwards. It's a notably more intimate album, revolving around similarly light and lofty melodies as their first two albums. The songs are still far-reaching, yet never feel overproduced nor artificially inflated, which is often a razor thin line between a good album and a boring album. "A Head Full Of Dreams" definitely belongs to the former category.

Yes, "Hymn For The Weekend" stretches a little too far into straight up pop for my taste, a trait no doubt brought by Beyonce featuring in the song, but objectively stating it's a good pop song so there's little doubt it will become a fan favorite over time. Lead single "Adventure Of A Lifetime" is likewise a poppy affair with a danceable beat, but Chris Martin's soothing voice makes it bearable for those of us who primarily spend our days within the realm of rock music. On the other hand, the playful guitars in "Birds" and the signature Coldplay sounding title track are nothing short of brilliant, underlining exactly why Coldplay are so revered as a pop rock band.

What this album does better than "Ghost Stories" is simple: quality of the songs. It plays to Coldplay's strengths as a band - allowing a large role for Chris Martin's vocals but also for their trademark piano melodies, lofty guitars, and pop-driven songwriting. There are few mishaps to report on, and unsurprisingly, the record has been extremely well received by their fan base thus far, as it is here at headquarters.

Download: A Head Full Of Dreams, Birds, Army Of One / X Marks The Spot
For the fans of: Band Of Horses, The Fray
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.12.2015
Parlophone / Atlantic

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