Coldplay, ‘Major Minus’ – Track Review’

Sneaky of Coldplay to unveil a new track when almost every music journalist in the country is busy getting sloshed at Glastonbury – but here it is: surprise! The follow-up to ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’.

It’s actually taken from the EP of that name, which – cunningly – is released digitally on Sunday June 26, just hours after Coldplay’s Glastonbury headline appearance on the Pyramid, when presumably the ‘buzz’ will be at its peak. Interestingly, it’s also 11 years to the day since the release of the band’s breakthrough single ‘Yellow’.

The timing could be auspicious. You may remember that ‘Yellow’ was released the Monday after the band’s first Glastonbury performance, on the Other Stage in 2000. It was the summer they became huge.

A cynic might point out that ‘Every Teardrop…’ is no ‘Yellow’ – in fact it might be Coldplay’s least enthusiastically received single to date (check out the response here) – but ‘Major Minus’ is a decent enough B-side, powered by a chunky U2, ‘Elevation’-style riff.

Indeed, signs are that Coldplay are becoming more like U2 with every release, their guitars set perennially to “anthemic chime” mode.

However, ‘Major Minus’ also finds them channeling another of their influences – Radiohead. From the paranoid, finger-pointing lyrics (“They got one eye watching you…”) to Martin’s wobble-headed, gucci-little-piggy-style falsetto wigout at the end, it’s pure Thom Yorke circa ‘OK Computer’.

That’s no bad thing. This is an addictive, tightly melodic little track, a world away from the self-conscious grandiosity of ‘Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends’. You get the impression Coldplay’s forthcoming album will find them dialling back the over-reaching ambition, and will see a return to the simpler, more heartfelt charms of ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, the ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ EP will also include another track, ‘Moving To Mars’, which will be unveiled tomorrow.

Coldplay headline Glastonbury Festival on Saturday 25 June.

‘Major Minus’ was debuted live in Germany last week. Listen to more new Coldplay songs here