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Coldplay released its seventh studio album, A Head Full Of Dreams, last Friday. The follow-up to 2014’s Ghost Stories sounds far more energetic from the outset thanks to the lead single, “Adventure of a Lifetime.” That’s not a coincidence; lead singer Chris Martin told me the album is reflective of the band’s current temperament.

“It’s really the sound of us being comfortable with being in Coldplay, if that makes any sense,” Martin explained. “We’re very grateful to be here and we’re not really worried now about… I get it that our music isn’t for everybody and I think once we let that go, it’s very liberating and so we feel free to be the band we really dreamed of being.”

Any artist needs to feel comfortable in his or her own skin, so perhaps it makes more sense that Coldplay didn’t tour behind the last album, opting instead to begin work immediately on new material.
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“There’s a real hunger in the band, and a real fire to get going,” Martin revealed. “For some reason, the album we just made is feeling really fun to play in rehearsal and it makes sense with some of the older songs too.

“I’d say the set list will be sort of, colorful, and so will the look of the whole thing.”

As of press time, U.S. dates for the band’s forthcoming tour have not been released. Coldplay shows in Europe are on sale and some South American concerts have also been announced.

“I was watching a band called The Flaming Lips in 1999, and Wayne (Coyne) was speaking to the audience like we were his friend,” Martin recalled when I asked him about the rapport he develops with the crowds that Coldplay performs for. “And I’d never seen anybody do that before. I’d always sort of felt like you had to be detached somehow or pretend you were on a slightly higher level – which works for some people, great. But for me, it doesn’t work.”

Coyne later instilled in Martin the confidence to simply speak on stage as he normally would to anyone else. Self-admittedly it sounds “clumsy and awkward” at times, but always authentic.

As for the album that the quartet will support on the road, it features a number of collaborations. Coldplay enlisted the help of Beyonce, Tove Lo, Noel Gallegher and Merry Clayton for different tracks. Avicii, the superstar DJ who produced “A Sky Full Of Stars,” for the band returns and assists with “Hymn For The Weekend,” the song that Knowles sings on.

But perhaps most meaningful for Martin is the feature at the end of “Adventure,” – a number of people were in the studio yelling “Woo-hoo!” at song’s conclusion, including his children Apple and Moses.

“I know that we had to get permission from their parents,” he joked about the kids’ involvement. “Luckily, we are their parents!”

The list of musical juggernauts releasing new music ahead of the holidays grew last week, as Coldplay announced it will release its seventh studio album on December 4.

Some are speculating that it will be the band’s last album after an interview that lead singer Chris Martin gave to then-BBC Radio DJ Zane Lowe in December of last year.

“It’s our seventh thing, and the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that,” Martin told Lowe. “Not to say that there might not be another thing one day, but this is the completion of something.”

If the band was coming off any album cycle other than its last, I might completely buy in to the notion that Coldplay is getting ready to call it a day. But 2014’s Ghost Stories was far from a typical go-around for the quartet. The tone of the album was quite subdued and personal, save the Avicii-produced, “A Sky Full Of Stars.” Coldplay did not tour behind the LP either; opting instead for a handful of intimate shows around the album’s release. The band eventually dropped a live compilation of those performances.

“I have to think of it as the final thing we’re doing,” Martin revealed to Lowe (he later told BBC Radio that at least one of his band mates wasn’t happy with the way he characterized the new project). “Otherwise we wouldn’t put everything into it.”
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Are they putting everything in to it because of Ghost Stories? Could the band’s love for writing, recording, releasing and touring behind songs be reignited with the new project? Is Coldplay simply heading in a new musical direction after this cycle completes? As someone that covers music but is also admittedly a big fan of the group, I find these questions practical given the circumstances, and certainly don’t believe that anything is a foregone conclusion yet.

Nonetheless, Martin said the band will tour globally behind A Head Full Of Dreams following its December release.

“Coldplay have never enjoyed making a record more than this one,” a release announcing the new music stated on the band’s official website. “Nor have they been happier with the results. And, this time, they plan to take it around the world.”

The first single most definitely reflects the change in mood from the last album; an upbeat song called “Adventure Of A Lifetime,” hit iTunes last Friday. Coldplay collaborated with production duo Stargate (“Firework,” “Black Widow,” “Worth It” to name a few) for A Head Full Of Dreams. The project also features contributions from Tove Lo, Beyonce, Merry Clayton and Noel Gallagher.

A Head Full Of Dreams will contain 11 tracks and a bonus song and is available for pre-order now.

Tove Lo, who at the moment has the number one song on pop radio with “Habits (Stay High),” stopped by “Ralphie Tonight to chat about her hit single and album Queen Of The Clouds.


The Swedish singer/songwriter also looked back at her performance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and talked about the creation of the “Habits” music video.