Coldplay return to form after a four-year hiatus (excluding 2018’s live release) with their eighth LP Everday Life (2019). Bringing together their musical styles from as far back as A Rush of Blood to the Head (2003) to the more pop-influenced A Head Full of Dreams (2015).
The marketing campaign preceding the release of Everday Life was meticulously crafted to instigate hype. The first rumours of a new release began circulating through newspaper advertisements placed in localised publications, as well as letters sent to fans. This vintage method of publicity blended perfectly with the date advertised (1919, to correspond to 2019) and look of the first poster released by the band. Leading many fans to speculate the album to be on a similar sonic level to that of Viva La Vida (2008). Fan’s hopes were kept alive when the singles ‘Orphans’ and ‘Arabesque’ were released. The former sounding like a cut from A Head Full of Dreams while the latter is more experimental. Although ‘Arabesque’ doesn’t take substantial musical inspiration from Viva La Vida it does build upon its essence of experimentation, which is continued throughout Everyday Life. ‘Trouble In Town’, a particular highlight from the album, harks back to their indie roots with a sobering yet mellifluous climax; with a fluid performance from Guy Berryman on bass. Other highlights include Johnny’s floaty guitar work on ‘Church’ and Chris’s sensitive vocals on ‘Daddy’. Various tracks are presented in a demo-like format, a welcome change to the overproduced nature of previous releases; proving that, for Coldplay, less is more. These tracks are interconnected with tunes that see more attention to their production creating a scrapbook feel to the album.
Thematically, the political statements the album makes are impossible to ignore. This is Coldplay’s Imagine (John Lennon, 1971) or more contemporarily their Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (The 1975, 2018). There’s a reason Chris drops the f-bomb on the tracks such as 'Arabesque' and 'Guns', he needs you to listen! The whole record has an urgency to it forcing the listener to cogitate the album’s concepts and the issues it raises. Everyday Life doesn’t particularly seek to find the answer to the issues rather it guides the listener to meditate on them. One of the LP’s greater achievements is in tackling the heavy subjects of racial profiling (sampling this horrific incident), gun crime and Syrian refugees without losing hope and optimism. Allowing the listener to digest the information and come to terms with the world’s complications.
The conceptual arch travelling through these songs binds together the groups most cohesive album. By no means is it rammed full of pop bangers, however, it isn’t all preachy peace songs either. As a whole listening experience, Everyday Life is the epitome of an album experience. However, the most important message from the album is best said by the band themselves:
“Hold tight for everyday life.”