Coldplay, Kaleidoscope EP | Album Review
Coldplay returns with a five-song EP, Kaleidoscope. Throughout its course, the British band switches between alternative rock and pop.
What does a solo artist or band do when they are in between albums? Besides touring or being on hiatus, they release an EP. Coldplay has released EPs in the past, but, as to be expected, such projects don’t garner the same attention as full-length albums. Nonetheless, Kaleidoscope EP is a worthwhile listen, clocking in at a mere 24 minutes.
“All I Can Think About Is You”
“All I Can Think About Is You” gets the party started successfully. Heavy drums, prominent bass line, and solid production make this a head-nodding gem. Another highlight of the opener is the harmonic progression. Sure, the beginning hangs around the tonic (for the music theory nerds), but after some development, Chris Martin and company spread their wings. Another pro about the opener is that Coldplay embraces more of alt-sound as opposed to pop.
The pop arrives, of course. “Miracles (Someone Special)” is a clear contrast to “All I Think About Is You.” Rock going pop in 2017 is nothing new – it’s the new normal. Coldplay has opted for this direction since Mylo Xyloto back in 2011. It’s garnered mixed results, particularly for purists who prefer “old Coldplay.” Regardless, “Miracles” has some rock/alternative cues – acoustic guitar is always a life saver, right? Big Sean definitely solidifies the pop, delivering his rhymes with the usual impressive flow. Does he say much though? Nah.
“A L I E N S”
“A L I E N S” has a number of pros. The first is the meter. So often, we’re accustomed to everything being in common time. Here, Coldplay opt for 5/4, naturally stretching the ear more. Another pro is focusing on the alternative once again. The ambience! The extraterrestrial vibes! While preceding joint “Miracles” didn’t overplay the pop card, isn’t the band more progressive when they’re not focused on pop trends?
Speaking of pop, the penultimate record is as pop as it gets. “Something Just Like This” appears in remixed form – the “Tokyo Remix” to be exact. Hardcore fans of the band will pan this Coldplay/The Chainsmokers collaboration. The more casual, Top 40 listener is firmly onboard. Still, on an effort that features more alt-leaning moments like “All I Can Think About Is You” and “A L I E N S,” “Something Just Like This” sticks out like a sore thumb.
“Hypnotised” concludes Kaleidoscope in its “EP Mix.” The original single was released on March 3, 2017. Although it was already hypnotic, the new mix retains this sensibility. Arguably, the version at hand is a bit more compelling. One of the cons noted about the original was that it “…could stand the slightest bit more oomph.” It’s still not necessarily the second coming, but as asserted previously, radiant.
All in all, Kaleidoscope EP has its fair share of moments. The best is arguably the opener, which ranks among their best songs in years. Still, if this EP is judged as a whole, the question is what is the identity of the band at this point? Three alternative tracks and two pop numbers – who is the real Coldplay? Given its brevity and a respectable sampling of soundness, in reiteration, Kaleidoscope EP is a worthwhile listen.
Gems: “All I Can Think About Is You” & “A L I E N S”