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What Will Coldplay's New Album in 2014 Sound Like?

Updated on December 4, 2013
Chris Martin of Coldplay playing piano at a concert in Barcelona in 2005.
Chris Martin of Coldplay playing piano at a concert in Barcelona in 2005.

For those who don't want to read through a bunch of text: It might just sound like A Rush of Blood to the Head, but I wouldn't be too fast to put it that simply. AROBTTH was Coldplay's follow-up to their sublime debut album, 'Parachutes'. Expectations are generally sky-high when it comes to second albums because most of the time they never live up to the hype. But, Coldplay defied those odds with AROBTTH. Not only did it dwarf 'Parachutes' sales, but it also had such hits as 'Clocks', 'The Scientist', and 'In My Place'. Not only that, but it is also considered one of the best albums of all time, mainly by Rolling Stone, who placed it at 486 out of 500 on their list of best albums of all time.

In this article, I will delve into their previous albums to show you the progression the band took and perhaps find some insight as to what the new album will sound like. Stripped down perhaps? Or maybe they'll go even more pop oriented. Let's see what we can find out.

Chris Martin
Chris Martin

First, we will start with everything we know about Coldplay's new album. I'll simply rehash quickly because I already wrote an article on this, which you can find here.

1. Everything points to it being released in 2014 sometime. We just don't have much more information than that. We know they've been in the recording studio for months. If all things go according to play, they should be done relatively soon, and then you have the standard amount of time for the label to promote the album and prepare it for sale. I'm going to go with a mid-to-late 2014 release as probable.

2. It has a name and it will be much easier to pronounce than Mylo Xyloto.

3. A bit a recent rumor here. A french magazine reports that certain sounds are leaking out of the studio. Supposedly, those sounds are a lot like AROBTTH. Of course, take it with a truck of salt. But, here is an article that includes an english translation of said french article.

Below is a chart showing the release dates for each of Coldplay's albums. As you can tell, each one is roughly 3 years apart. So, 2014 is completely plausible.

Release Date
November 2000
A Rush of Blood to the Head
August 2002
X & Y
June 2005
Viva La Vida
June 2008
Mylo Xyloto
October 2011

The latest song from Coldplay

Coldplay's musical progression

Next, we will look at Coldplay's musical progression to see if there are any hints as to where they will go in the post Mylo Xyloto era of their career.

Parachutes: A beautifully melancholic album with themes ranging from unrequited love ('Shiver', 'Yellow') to depression ('Everything's Not Lost'), and oppression ('Spies'). Many reviewers saw this album as "Radiohead-lite," but it was certainly a promising start for the band. "Yellow" became a smash hit on the radio and propelled the band to the stardom it now has.

A Rush of Blood to the Head: A more raw and less melancholy album to be sure, but it was also seen as a major progression for the band. It's themes ranged from anger with politics ('Politik' which was heavily influenced by the September 11th attacks), depression once again ('Amsterdam'), feelings toward a loved one ('Green Eyes'), and isolation ('In My Place').

X & Y: Another evolution for the band, as they started to use more synths. Critically, this album is seen as a step backward. It's been widely publicized that the band was having a rough period during the recording of X & Y. But, many gems came out of this album nonetheless. One of the best was 'Fix You', which is all about feeling someone else's pain (specifically in losing a loved one, as Chris Martin supposedly wrote it for his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, when her dad died) and just wanting so bad to take it away for them. The other themes ranged from losing touch with a loved one ('Talk'), waiting for the right person ('Til Kingdom Come').

Coldplay in Barcelona, 2005.
Coldplay in Barcelona, 2005.

Viva La Vida: A huge, bombastic album with ties to pop, but also Latin influences. It included many different instruments, such as church bells, organ, horns, and a yangqin. It also had some hip hop influences such as the bass line from 'Lost!'. It's themes included political turmoil ('Viva La Vida'), sticking it out during tough times ('Lovers in Japan'), and a whopper of symbolism in 'Violet Hill', where Martin hits banks for becoming too powerful, politicians for being a "carnival of idiots," and for someone not speaking their mind and telling you how they love you.

Mylo Xyloto: This is the album where the band seemed to brush off all the criticism and just have fun. This album is a very, very pop oriented album, with such major hits as 'Every Teardrop is a Waterfall', 'Princess of China ft. Rihanna', 'Hurts Like Heaven', and 'Charlie Brown'. It's actually a concept album, as it follows the story of two lovers. Themes range from fighting for a relationship against all odds ('Us Against the World'), not knowing where your life is going ('U.F.O'), and a relationship crumbling ('Up in Flames').

Untitled LP (2014): It's hard to tell, really. From what we can tell, Coldplay's musical progression has gotten less and less melancholy and more pop oriented. But, as they've done this, they've also kept what made their older music so good. Even on Mylo Xyloto, you had a few songs that hearkened back to the Coldplay of old, such as 'U.F.O', 'Us Against the World'. Honestly, I think whatever they do, it will probably be a blend of new and old, as Coldplay has done since the beginning. To peg it to sounding like one previous album is simply a disservice.

As we head into 2014, we should start hearing more and more about this new album. I, like many others, am absolutely geeked. Yes, I said it.

What do you think it will sound like?

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