SINGLE REVIEW: Coldplay – Orphans

The return of Coldplay was one I’ve been really excited about. The British four piece bring a unique kaleidoscope of colours and emotions to this world and have soundtracked highs and lows in a lot of peoples lives. 

After some radio silence following the conclusion of their A Head Full Of Dreams World Tour in 2017, the band have been in the studio figuring out what the next chapter of Coldplay sounds and feels like. 

With a release date finally set, their eighth studio album ‘Everyday Life’ will be released on November 22 and will be a double album with two parts aptly titled ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Sunset’. Coinciding with this exciting announcement the band have released two singles that showcase the contrasting emotions behind the record. With some personal stories attached, this record also looks at empathising with others as well as creating some social and political commentaries. 

‘Orphans’ and ‘Arabesque’ lead the way within the new music and deliver some predictable emotions and sonic palettes. ‘Orphans’ is the typical Coldplay lead single with stadium sized synths and guitar riffs as well as a chant worthy hook that will perfectly fit into their live show. It’s one of those euphoric sounding moments that you could imagine them opening their tour with succeeded by an eruption of colourful confetti. 

Reflecting on the Syrian cold war and the recent Damascus bombing, they highlight a story of Rosaleem and her father who passed away and are met by arch angels who talk to them about their passing. “Rosaleem of the Damascene. Yes, she had eyes like the moon. Would have been on the silver screen but for the missile monsoon she went, woo woo, woo woo”.

They also touch on her emotions and the fact that she got her life taken so early. “I want to know when I can go back and get drunk with my friends. I want to know when I can go back and be young again”. It’s when you break these lyrics down that you really get the premise of what they are trying to do as a band because sonically at a first listen, it just feels like a euphoric stadium pop-rock track. The listener will get a little lost in that as it sounds like ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ and ‘Paradise’ and in doing so they lose the importance of the story. 

Their fellow lead single ‘Arabesque’ hears them tackling the western fear of Islam in the wake of the war of terrisiom happening in the world. Again it’s a really heavy topic that deserves airtime but this time the production isn’t commercial enough. Implementing Middle Eastern sounds into their folk inspired production that is reminiscent of their ‘Viva La Vida’ era, they reacquaint themselves with that style.

With two singles to choose from, radio and media will choose to promote ‘Orphans’ instead of this different politically charged moment because of it’s commercial sonical palette. But in doing so I don’t think the story behind ‘Orphans’ will translate to listeners which might also hinder the success of the song as it just sounds like their last two bodies of work.

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