It seems hard to believe it’s been five years since Coldplay released A Head Full of Dreams. Their previous album, Ghost Stories, was a rather depressing response to Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s very public ‘conscious uncoupling’, and was seen by some fans as lacklustre in comparison to their older works. A Head Full of Dreams, however, was hailed as a return to form, full of vibrant colours and singalong melodies that have become integral to the band’s continued success since 2012’s Mylo Xyloto.
The lead single, ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’, could be heard everywhere you went in 2015 (and beyond), with its distinctive guitar riff and ‘woo hoo’ finale helping it become a hugely popular hit at their concerts. They also had some fantastic collaborations on this album – ‘Fun’ featuring stunning harmonies from Tove Lo seems to reference Paltrow, but in a much more hopeful, uplifting way than Ghost Stories was. Of course, ‘Hymn for the Weekend’ featured backing vocals from none other than Beyoncé herself, and was co-produced by the wonderful Avicii, who had previously collaborated with Coldplay on ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ and would continue to make music with them until his tragic death in 2018. The album ends on a soaring high with ‘Up & Up’, featuring Noel Gallagher on the guitar and a choir made up of the band’s friends and family – including Beyoncé, Peaky Blinders actress Annabelle Wallis, American soul singer Merry Clayton and producer Brian Eno.
My favourite song on the album is the title track, ‘A Head Full of Dreams’; it takes me back to one of the most surreal experiences of my life seeing Coldplay perform after the 2016 BRIT Awards in aid of War Child. Watching them walk on stage to this song just a few metres in front of me is a moment I will never forget, and I will always treasure this album for giving me that opportunity.
If you’re feeling down about the state of the world at the moment, have a listen to this album – it might just make you feel a little bit better.
A Head Full of Dreams is out now via Parlophone. Watch the video for ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ below: