Certainly, Coldplay just scored a No. 1 strike, “My Universe,” with world-wide feeling BTS.
But on the band’s new album “Music of the Spheres,” out Friday, there are some even extra unique attendees: namely Chris Martin’s two children with ex-spouse Gwyneth Paltrow, Apple and Moses.
Apple, 17, co-wrote the separation ballad “Let Anyone Go” — a moody duet with an additional surprising visitor, Selena Gomez — on which a forlorn Martin wallows in his inner thoughts: “You gave everything this golden glow/Now change off all the stars, ’cause this I know/That it hurts like so, to let somebody go.”
Connect with it the anti-“Yellow.”
That is also Apple accomplishing the intro countdown on “Higher Power,” the uber-upbeat initial single, and she joins the chorus of Coldplay kids — including the youngsters of guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Person Berryman and drummer Will Champion — on the interlude “Music of the Spheres II.”
In the meantime, Moses, 15, croons the refrain of “Humankind” — which, with its ’80s synth-pop sheen, shares far more than a related title with the Killers’ “Human” — together with his outdated gentleman. You can just come to feel the proud papa beaming as a result of the father-son singalong.
And the cameos keep on coming on “Music of the Spheres,” Coldplay’s ninth studio album. Both Grammy-winning British musician Jacob Collier and R&B duo We Are King — consisting of twin sisters Amber and Paris Strother — pump everyday living into “Human Heart,” an a cappella that normally takes you from church to the heavens.
But the most impactful collaborator on “Music of the Spheres” is mega-producer Max Martin, who has worked with absolutely everyone from Britney Spears and Katy Perry to Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. With Martin at the helm, Coldplay appears to be prepared to fully own being a pop team relatively than the alt-rock band that released into stardom with 2000’s “Parachutes” and 2002’s “A Hurry of Blood to the Head.”
Immediately after singles such as 2014’s “A Sky Complete of Stars” and 2015’s “Adventure of a Lifetime” discovered them leaning into their pop facet, you can hear them fully embracing it on “My Universe,” a music that, for all of its catchy charms, has absolutely nothing “alternative” or “rock” about it. (But hey, if they wished a hit by hopping on the BTS bandwagon, mission achieved: “My Universe” is only Coldplay’s second chart-topper just after 2008’s “Viva La Vida.”)
In truth, it is virtually jarring when you hear the industrial-edged guitars on “People of the Pleasure,” which reminds you that Coldplay was as soon as a rock band.
But “Music of the Spheres” — which revisits the intergalactic territory that Coldplay has explored from 2005’s “X&Y” to 2011’s “Mylo Xyloto” — also shows some of the adventurous experimentation of 2019’s underappreciated “Everyday Existence.” The new album’s 10-moment closer, “Coloratura,” is a proggy, condition-shifting epic that is just weird adequate to make you bear in mind when Coldplay was cool.