‘Kaleidoscope EP’ By Coldplay Review: Takes The Best With The Worst
After spending the past three albums exploring the most radio-friendly pop possible, Coldplay has released Kaleidoscope EP and doesn’t do much in the way of changing their sound.
Of the five tracks on the follow up to 2015’s A Head Full of Dreams, four had previously been released as singles – “All I Can Think About Is You,” “A L I E N S,” “Something Just Like This,” and “Hypnotised.” The only previously unheard track is the second on the EP, “Miracles (Someone Special),” which features a guest verse from rapper Big Sean.
The EP is undoubtably marked by “Something Just Like This,” Coldplay’s collaboration with the most hated group since Nickleback, The Chainsmokers. The version of the radio smash that appears on the EP is called the “Tokyo Mix,” and is a live recording of the song. The live recording, unlike the studio version, has a more human feel to it, naturally, and makes the song slightly more tolerable.
“Something Like This” is one of Coldplay’s most popular songs to date, making it the focal point of the Kaleidoscope EP. Still, there is one track on the EP that plays, ever so slightly, to those fans of Coldplay who have felt betrayed by the band over the past several years.
The opening track “All I Can Think About Is You” inevitably sounds like a Coldplay of old. The song begins with a distant guitar and a thumping kick-drum before quickly swapping the guitar for a rolling bass-line. Soon after, a quiet piano joins the party. Chris Martin doesn’t enter the growing swell until about the one-minute mark.
The track continues its growth, beginning its true ascent at around the 2:40 mark, with a piano riff as close to their hit “Clocks” as any other track ever has featured. The song breaks into a sprawling, stadium engulfing rock song at 3:30 and never turns back. It is the biggest treat of the entire EP – at least listeners don’t have to wait too long to reach it.
“A L I E N S,” Martin’s dedication to the refugees experiencing daily crises around the world, is also a throwback, albeit less so than “All I Can Think About Is You.” The track, defined by its unsettling 5/4 time signature, does retain some of the darkness so present on Coldplay’s first album Parachutes, although the new darkness is now covered in a pop-gloss, sonically subtracting some of the song’s sincerity.
“Miracles (Someone Special)” is again a dedication to immigrants and those who have typically been painted as outcasts. Its lyrics are supposed to be uplifting but read like a cacophony of motivational posters and memes. The instrumentation of the track is just as corny, with a boringly strummed guitar and repetitive R&B drums.
While fans of a Coldplay more dedicated to their rock n’ roll roots may get a slight taste on Kaleidoscope EP, ultimately the inclusion of songs like “Something Just Like This” and “Miracles (Someone Special) makes the EP feel like the same old same old.
Not that many expected any different from the EP, but Coldplay proves here that they aren’t heading in any direction, backwards, forwards, or sideways.