Coldplay ‘Kaleidoscope’ – Review

18 Jul

Despite essentially being a companion release to last year’s middling ‘A Head Full of Dreams’, ‘Kaleidoscope’, Coldplay’s new five track e.p, serves a more wide reaching purpose. In some ways it works as a suitable primer for Coldplay’s nearly two decades deep discography.

‘All I Can Think About You’ is a glorious throwback to the ‘Clocks’ era incarnation of the band, where sky scraping melodies are bedded in with moody piano riffs with minimal fuss. The less successful ‘Aliens’ reunites the band with Brian Eno for a re-run of their ‘Viva La Vida’ experimentation. Gratifyingly, the song’s political theme raises the stakes on the shallow sentiment of the band’s last album. Big Sean duet ‘Miricles’ reminds us that modern day Coldplay love to recruit celebrity names (see also, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Chainsmokers) for cheesy collaborations. This one isn’t too bad though. The, well, hypnotic, ‘Hypnotised’ emerges and disappears from memory without making any kind of mark. And then we’re left with the awful ‘Something Just Like This’, here presented as an elongated live version, presumably because everyone who has heard the original either already has it downloaded or never wants to hear it again. The live version does the hit some favours in that it diminishes the headache inducing EDM thud thud production and uses the audience as an enthusiastic endorsement of the song – but they surely can’t persuade me it’s anything other than banality of the most mind numbing variety.

‘Kaleidoscope’ is about the least surprising release of the year in a couple of senses. It’s a Coldplay e.p and it sounds exactly like a Coldplay e.p. Nothing more, nothing less. If you like Coldplay you will like ‘Kaleidoscope’. If you don’t like Coldplay then you won’t like Kaleidoscope. Secondly, it is after all only an e.p and is as slight and insubstantial as that title would suggest. Even Coldplay’s most passionate fans won’t be claiming it to be anything revelatory. By my reckoning, of the five songs only one is a real winner (‘All I can Think About Is You’) and only one is dreadful (‘Something Just Like This’). The rest are nice, inoffensive, unexceptional post-pop Coldplay songs that will float by nicely in the background next time you have some housework to do.

5/10

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