Review: A Head Full Of Dreams

ColdplayArtist: Coldplay
Label: Parlophone
Producer: Digital Divide, Stargate
Genre: Rock
Coldplay is one of the most successful British bands around these days; there’s no doubt about it, their unique style has garnered them a huge fanbase. Earlier this month, they released their seventh studio album, A Head Full Of Dreams, which not only marks turning point for the band, but for its lead singer Chris Martin as well.
Coming off from a bitter split with his wife, Martin gave us a glimpse into his suffering with their 2014 release, Ghost Stories… but has Coldplay’s frontman really turned the page to start a new chapter, not only his own life, but in the life of Coldplay?

Content Guide

In case you don’t already know, Coldplay is not a Christian band. Their music is fairly clean, but if you’re searching for an uplifting and overall Christian message, you should probably look elsewhere.
With that said, one song in particular isn’t as clean as the rest; “Hymn For The Weekend” talks about how life is a drink, and love is a drug. The chorus says “Got me feeling drunk and high so high, so high” repeated several times throughout the song and obviously referring to the life and love that he shares with whomever the song is for, but also obviously inappropriate. A few of the songs mention God, or some sort of spirituality, but without being disrespectful. There is no profanity or foul language. President Obama can be heard singing “Amazing Grace” towards the end of “Kaleidoscope.” 

Album Theme/Cover Art

The album cover features the geometric pattern, known as the Flower Of Life, in the center with seemingly random things placed symmetrically around it. It’s similar to what you might see if you were to look into a kaleidoscope, which is interesting because the word “kaleidoscope” originates from the Greek word “kalos” meaning beautiful. Pair this up with the Flower of Life, and it’s a simple statement that life is beautiful.
It’s colorful and fun like most of the songs on the album, hinting at a sense of peace or hope. However, the design is a little confusing as it does not feature the name of the album or the band, possibly to avoid cluttering the cover any more than it already is. Any Coldplay fan would instantly recognize this as the cover art for A Head Full Of Dreams, but to anyone unfamiliar with the band, it’s just a bunch of colors and random objects placed geometrically.

Presentation

To say that A Head Full Of Dreams is different than Coldplay’s previous album, 2014’s Ghost Stories, is a massive understatement. Their last album was dark and melancholic, where this new release is fun and joyous. Ghost Stories was released on the heels of Chris Martin’s split from his wife, so it’s understandable as to why the album was the way it was. A Head Full Of Dreams is like a ray of sunshine through those dark, grey clouds; it’s the sound of a freshly single guy hitting the dance floor in search of new love.
397251-coldplay-adventure-of-lifetimeIt seems that Coldplay’s fans are a bit torn. Some say that A Head Full of Dreams isn’t different enough, while others say that it’s too different. Some fans may be disappointed in the album, as Coldplay has shifted their style from the classic British rock to a more pop rock sound. There were times I wondered if this was the same band that gave us songs such as “Yellow” or “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face,” and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The song “A Head Full Of Dreams” is the first song on the album and it’s a fantastic opener. It’s a fresh start, saying that our dreams can take us places we wouldn’t go, or do things we wouldn’t do without them. To quote the song: “You can see the change you want to, be what you want to be.” Coldplay has done a stellar job of communicating their feelings through their songs in the past, and this song is no different. It shows us that they are ready for a new beginning, ready to get over what was holding them down and move on. Like I said, it’s a fantastic way to open the album.
“Everglow” might just be my favorite song on this album. No matter how hard I tried, I could not find a definition for the word “everglow,” but I did find something that Chris Martin said about the song. He said, “it’s about a loved one or a situation or a friend or a relationship that’s finished…” The idea being that when the dust settles, and after everything is finished, there’s still some hope in the world as it continues moving. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and a sadness that’s turned to happiness. His ex-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, actually sings two short verses, which is fitting for this particular song given the inspiration behind it.

“Adventure of a Lifetime,” while not solely written by Chris Martin, has a great message. In the opening lines of the song, he seems to have found someone. Whether real or imaginative/spiritual is irrelevant… what matters is that he’s found someone he doesn’t want to lose, which is especially evident in the bridge toward the end of the song, which says: “if we’ve only got this life, in this adventure oh, then I want to share it with you.” At this point, he’s ready to commit, to take that step and say what’s really going through his mind. If he doesn’t have her, then this life doesn’t seem like it’s worth living. I think it could have spiritual meaning for a Christian as well, where Jesus is the one we want to share our limited time on earth with, and without Him, there really isn’t a life worth living or an adventure worth having.
Other songs like “Birds” or “Hymn For The Weekend” are fast and upbeat, dealing with life, love, and spirituality. I found myself bobbing my head to the beat of these songs with a smile on my face without even knowing it, as Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams played one joyous tune after another through my speakers.

Conclusion

All in all, A Head Full of Dreams is an album that truly does turn the page from dreary to joyful. Coldplay flawlessly communicates their feelings and emotions through their songs, with the end of each track leaving me in anticipation for the next one to start. This album shows that not every bad thing that happens is the end of the world. When light shines through the darkness, it shines all the brighter. If you’re looking for a fun, easy listening album, A Head Full Of Dreams is definitely worth checking out.

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The Bottom Line

Despite a daring change in style, Coldplay delivered an album that is upbeat and fun, both in its sound and message.

7.8

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Vince Chapman

Vince is a husband, father, and children's pastor in addition to the work he does for Geeks Under Grace.

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