Coldplay released their latest single, à la BEYONCÉ (they did no prior advertising; they released it and let their fans and all of social media do their thing) and, while I like this style of 'non'-advertising and I think it takes a lot of confidence to rely solely on that word of mouth promotion, the new single is lacking.
From a purely musicological viewpoint the track is fantastic. It shares the stark, bare bones recording style from Brothers & Sisters combined with X&Y's tendency to drown out vocals with heavy riffs and emotionally wrought compositions with all of the techno influences that began appearing in heavy force on Mylo Xyloto and you can clearly chart how the band's music got to this point through an easy to follow album timeline; but the track lacks that hummable melody and ineffable charisma which forces you to dance and lose yourself in the music.
This could be the album's opening track, which would explain its slow build and its inability to incite anything other than a general feeling of needing something else to fill the void left by this lackluster single, or it could be a sign that Coldplay has finally evolved so far into the world of techno music that I can no longer really enjoy their music. Regardless of the sound, lyrics which state "millions are lost from home, in the swelling, swelling on, running around and with a thunder, to bleed from thorns, leave a light, a light on" sound like a first round eliminated poem from your local coffee house poetry slam; they remain uninspired and, ultimately, disappointing from a band which has continually brought us great lines like "what if I got it wrong and no poem or song, could put right what I got wrong or make you feel I belong", "questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart, tell me you love me, come back and haunt me, oh and I rush to the start" and, of course, "life goes on, it gets so heavy, the wheel breaks the butterfly".
As much as I like Coldplay, have always liked Coldplay, and think people who say they don't like Coldplay are just afraid to admit that they sang "Yellow" in the shower this morning, I am not a fan of this new sound and I'm hoping the band grows from this new direction, rather than running with it and holding this new sound steady across the rest of the album's tracks.