Single Review: Coldplay – ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’

“An upbeat, feel-good, uplifting summer tune with pretty melodies and escalating guitar work”

4 STARS

Digital Release: June 5, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

A quick glance at Coldplay’s back catalogue of singles and albums acts as the perfect catalyst to argue that they’re success is rightfully deserved. Their evolution from an alternative rock four-piece with ballads a-plenty, to U2-esque stadium rockers and back down to earth again with their heavily experimental fourth album, ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’, which combined their use of guitars and drums with a diverse musical exploration of genres, styles and cultures, demonstrate brilliant musical sophistication.

And while album number five is well on the way to be completed with Brain Eno on board – as always, for production – the first taster is now being released as a digital download. And if the title suggested that it was going to be another weepy piano ballad that sounded like an album track from ‘X&Y’, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s actually an upbeat, feel-good, uplifting summer tune with pretty melodies and escalating guitar work. It sounds very much like something that would’ve fitted nicely onto the end of ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’ – similarities to ‘Strawberry Swing’ are obvious – only it comes with a slight progression into a more electropop vibe.

And those bemusing lyrics – “Don’t wanna see another generation drop/I’d rather be a comma than a full stop”, jauntily illustrate the desire to spread and receive happiness and unity, but before your teeth begin to rot with the overpowering sweetness of it all, rousing crescendos and hypnotic synthesised melodies whisk you up in the summer-infused frolics and make it a more enjoyable affair than it appears on paper.

However, this is a very risky choice of lead single. ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ doesn’t shout “hit single” like some of their past best. It’s an extraordinary thing then, that branching into such an obvious new musical territory can still bring about a reminiscence of their past work. ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ also leaves you feeling that it’s very typically Coldplay, even after factoring in the musical tangent they’re now on. It recalls Coldplay at their most diverse and intriguing – such as the French Revolution-inspired ‘Viva la Vida’ or the public outcry to governmental corruption and societal demise, ‘Violet Hill’, as well as subtly interpolating reference to religion – “I’m on a roll this time/And Heaven is in sight”. But this particular song, the same but viewed through a 2011 lens, conveys a more enjoyable feel with it’s modesty and effortless charm.

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