Review: Coldplay, BTS – ‘My Universe’

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Uninspiring

A rather chaotic track that did not leave me feeling out of this world.

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As of this year, Coldplay have been gracing our playlists for a quarter of a century. The deep depths of Chris Martin’s voice have, in particular, paved the foundations of my musical repertoire, after being submersed during childhood. Although I am not as fond of their newer releases, I still feel compelled to follow their journey, as a result of my emotional connection – something I feel most people of my age with equally Coldplay-obsessed parents can relate to.

Twelve individuals collaborating on one song seemed excessive – I had visions of the creative process being similar to that of the House of Commons, with pop artists brutally battling it out for their voice to quite literally be heard. I feared that this chaotic energy would translate within the product of their collaboration – this was to be the least of my concerns, however.

It was a collaboration that no one expected – or perhaps wanted – but one that we were given, nonetheless. The blend of the two bands’ voices does not feel merely as out of place as I had anticipated, but that still does not make me any fonder of neither the lyricism nor melody presented.

As a linguist, I do love the fact that the track intertwines between Korean and English in an almost seamless fashion, which does not feel half as cringey as some artists who choose to incorporate Spanish in their music for the sake of jumping on a trend. I feel, too, that the music video – which encapsulates the sentiment of the Star Wars opening credits – adds depth to what is offered to listeners, with the sci-fi theme continuing to be emulated during the entirety of the video.

However, I feel solely listening to the song without the visuals of the music video takes away from the vision that the two groups were trying to present. Only after listening to ‘My Universe’ a second time with the visuals, could I begin to understand the sentiments of the song – something that goes against the point of a single.

Comparable to the rebrand Ed Sheeran is seemingly trying to create, Coldplay – with an average age of forty-four – collaborating with BTS – with an average age of twenty-six – feels like a stunt to maintain their youthful hold; something that ultimately detracts from what their mainly older, more faithful, audience would want to listen to. Becoming involved briefly in the genre of Korean pop could gain them a younger audience, but I would argue that this is beyond reach, with nothing musically similar to follow it up, and being past the peak of their career.

As much as I have admiration for Coldplay, and their hugely successful career, I feel that the release of their ninth studio album may leave people feeling the same way as Arctic Monkeys‘ album Tranquillity Base Hotel did. I can only hope that the next releases from their upcoming album are somewhat comparable to ‘Higher Power’ and not ‘My Universe’.

‘My Universe’ is out now via Parlophone Records. Watch the video here:

 

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