SOUNDS FAMILIARBaby A. Gil – The Philippine Star

October 19, 2021 | 12:00am

Coldplay is back and in a big way. The return began with the release of My Universe, the surprise collab with the biggest South Korean band of all time BTS. Of course, the single went straight to No. 1 globally. And just like that Coldplay, which has been rumored to be disbanding several times is back on top.

Then in a very clever move, Coldplay dropped an album of 12 new originals on the midnight of Oct. 15, an event celebrated by a lit up Empire State Building in New York. Titled Music of the Spheres, it is every bit a Coldplay album of soaring melodies and made for arenas arrangements. It is totally emo, dreamy, deeply introspective, a trip both to nothingness and to everywhere at the same time. It is back to the early days of the millennium and those Parachute and X&Y days, but it is also a present day commentary about the things in life that should really matter.

Spheres is an important album for several reasons. It includes Higher Power, which was the very first recording played in the International Space Station by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. That piece of news made me wonder what aliens in outer space thought of the song. Of course, there is no way My Universe will not be among the cuts. Aside from the BTS connection, the tune is said to be dedicated to actress Dakota Johnson, who is dating Coldplay front man Chris Martin. She is said to be his “Universe.”

But this album is nothing gimmicky at all. In fact, Coldplay’s Spheres can exist wonderfully without BTS, despite 100 million streams and still counting, or the Dakota item. Not without Selena Gomez, though. The gorgeous Latina pop star is featured in the affecting break-up song Let Somebody Go. Cheers to whoever thought of having Selena sing with Martin. With lines like “The love is equal to the pain,” the effect is an achingly sweet heartache.

Spheres is about pain and escape, about being human and finding bliss in what is already around us. Check out what is said in People of the Pride, Humankind, in Infinity and even in the lighthearted Biutyful. Then to sum up, Coldplay lifts you up to outer space with the awesome 10-minuter cut Coloratura. Forget the pain of being human for a moment and be an alien among others. There, among the stars and the spheres, find the realization that there is still hope for us earthlings. Indeed, as Martin sings to end the album, “Together, that is how we’ll make it through.”

The last Coldplay album, Everyday Life from two years ago was rooted on earth. So for Spheres, the 25-year-old British band decided to take a trip to space. The result is one fantastic out-of-this-world trip. Note though that while the music in Spheres soars mightily, Coldplay is earthbound in every way. Its latest album comes with a set of comprehensive sustainability initiatives and environmental commitments like reducing carbon dioxide emissions. That means working towards 100 percent renewable energy and cutting down on the carbon footprint of its activities.

For example, Coldplay has announced the dates of the Music of the Spheres live tour that will cover the U.S. of A. and some cities in Europe and Latin America. Sorry, there are no Asia dates yet. The band will test out their plans with a performance on Oct. 22 at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. The show will be streamed live globally by Amazon for free. From there on and with every succeeding concert, Coldplay, aside from adhering to its sustainability commitments, will have a tree planted for every ticket sold. Doesn’t that make you just love these guys.

Coldplay is made up of Chris on vocals, rhythm guitar, piano and keyboards; Jonny Buckland on lead guitar; Guy Berryman on bass guitar; Will Champion on drums; and Phil Hardy as creative director.

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