Coldplay's latest album is "A Head Full of Dreams."

Coldplay's latest album is "A Head Full of Dreams." Credit: Parlophone / Atlantic Records


“A Head Full of Dreams”


BOTTOM LINE Even Coldplay wants to dance away the blues sometimes.

If Coldplay’s new album, “A Head Full of Dreams” (Parlophone/Atlantic), ends up being what singer Chris Martin is calling “the completion of something” and what fans are worrying may be the band’s final record, Martin and friends will go out on a high note.

The band’s seventh album takes everything they have learned since their simple “Yellow” days and applies it to a joyful escape of sorts, usually soaking in current trends in dance music and hip-hop just enough for them to color their trademark sound without changing it too much.

On “Hymn for the Weekend,” they dive into dance music with the help of Beyoncé, even utilizing some Destiny’s Child-like vocal arrangements before sliding back into their own brand of catchy piano pop. On “Everglow,” which features Martin’s ex, Gwyneth Paltrow, on harmonies, they do a lovely piano-driven reworking of what could be Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” to approximate heartbreak with the edge polished off. (The way Martin tries to balance pain and perspective when he wonders “How come cars don’t slow when it feels like the end of my world, when I should but I can’t let you go?” is wrenching.) For “Up & Up,” they seemingly tear a page from Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” to deliver a tender motivational speech, with Noel Gallagher on guitar.

However, Coldplay fares best here when the guys actually let go of their previous sound. The disco extravaganza “Adventure of a Lifetime,” with its Daft Punk-ish groove and its free-spirited vibe, is actually a true surprise that even manages to stay lighthearted as Martin declares earnestly, “We are diamonds taking shape.” For “X Marks the Spot,” they successfully appropriate The Weeknd’s icy synth sound and Drake minimalism to build what could end up being quite a promising future.

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