With Noel Gallagher On Guitar, Coldplay’s ‘Up&Up’ Hints At Their Old Rock Magic – Track Review

There was a moment during new single ’Adventure Of A Lifetime’ – the bit where the disco backing track mutes out for a few lines as if Chris Martin has just stepped out of the club for a breather, the old techno trick – when Coldplay finally seemed to shut the door on any tattered remnants of ‘guitar band’ status. If theirs has been a gradual inching towards the mainstream from day one, and 2011’s ‘Mylo Xyloto’ saw them fully embrace prevailing pop tropes on ‘Paradise’, the lead single from ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ was total immersion, practically ‘Uptown Funk’, right down to the auto-tuned gospel backing droids.


In which context, the emergence of another new song ‘Up&Up’ (debuted in Los Angeles on Saturday night, where Chris Martin described it as “kind of the song we’ve been waiting to write for 15 years,”) grants the long-term fan a little hope. Sure, it seems odd they’ve been waiting so long to write something this Coldplay-by-numbers, a mildly upbeat ‘Fix You’ basically, drenched in electro beats and gospel choirs. But there’s a glimmer of Coldplay’s old anthemic rock magic in there that suggests there might be surprises to come. Oh, and Noel Gallagher plays guitar on it. Anyone optimistic enough to think ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ might be as bold and experimental as 2008’s ‘Viva La Vida Or Death And All Of His Friends’ would probably also believe Keeping Up Appearances might come back funny, but ‘Up&Up’ gives us a lobe full of dreams, if not quite a full head.