• Reece Bithrey

Album Of The Week - Coldplay - Orphans/Arabesque


(Picture Credit - Stereogum)

Following on from last week’s eighties masterpiece, we’re coming right up to date with Coldplay’s latest release, the single of Orphans and Arabesque.


Having heard both songs with Annie Mac and Chris Martin on Radio One, it became compulsive for this to be something we talked about. We don’t usually do singles here on UNTITLED, but for one of the twenty-first century’s best bands, an exception had to be made.


Orphans is signature Coldplay; Chris Martin’s dreamy vocal is backed by a tightly-knit band sound with some fabulous overarching bass tones and choral backing vocals. There’s a real Viva La Vida-esque sound present on Orphans that makes it instantly accessible, whether you’re a fan or not. By way of sound alone, it's one of the most uplifting songs I've heard in a very long time. With its trademark Coldplay sound, Orphans is almost certainly set to do well, being recognisable from miles off. That's no bad thing. One thing that is worth mentioning is their intriguing usage of juxtaposition. There's this evident bittersweetness in the overall construction of Orphans, pitting feel-good instrumentals against Chris Martin's rather depressing lyrics.


By contrast, Arabesque plunges you deep into a bustling Middle Eastern city with its horn-driven backing and rough acoustic guitar placing you right next to a busker in the middle of a city like Damascus. Its gritty sound contrasts Orphans perfectly and these two songs demonstrate Coldplay's versatility in sound which is certainly welcome to see. It's a lot less of a familiar sound when compared with its predecessor, especially with that prevailing saxophone turning Arabesque into more of a modern jazz piece than the normal pop rock we're used to. Following on from this, its section of French lyrics does manage to fuse the Middle Eastern vibes with a Parisian jazz club, and does give the song a lot more substance. Overall, it seems like the kind of thing that you could see Noel Gallagher including on one of his solo records - the lyrics ring like his do and its sound seems out-there enough to be adopted by the Chief himself.


Both of these new songs really do satisfy both my appetite and those of Coldplay fans for new music and start the ball rolling for the promotion of new record Everyday Life when it drops on 22nd November. I've got a feeling it's going to be one of those Marmite albums - some people will love it and others will hate it, but rest-assured that these two singles get us off to a fantastic start.


If you want to pre-order Everyday Life and support us over here at UNTITLED, you can use our affiliate link with the lovely people over at Townsend Music. You get a fabulous record and support us without spending a penny extra than the album pre-order! It's a win-win! For the CD, the link is here: https://townsendmusic.store/cart/product.php?id=57191&affcode=ue98o1 and for the vinyl, that can be found here: https://townsendmusic.store/cart/product.php?id=57193&affcode=ue98o1


More musical magnificence to come next week!


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