The Every Teardrop is a Waterfall EP is the seemingly spontaneous release of three new tracks from the stadium-sized British rockers. After significantly shifting their sound toward more organic and holistic mixes in Viva La Vida, the band is attempting to followup that incredibly successful album from 2008.
In what frontman Chris Martin called the end of "Oldplay", Viva La Vida marked a distinct change in the populist band's sound and image. Much thanks to the addition of producer Brian Eno, gone were both the sensitive acoustic strumming of albums like Parachutes and the synth-heavy, brit-pop of X&Y. Instead, Coldplay was embracing influences from across the musical spectrum: everything from world music and Spanish folk music to pop, indie rock, and dance music. In what was truly an effort to be as inclusive as possible, Viva La Vida was more mainstream pop than any previous albums, but also more experimental as well. The album had enough singles like "Viva La Vida" and "Lost?" to please the masses looking for a big beat and enough experimentation in songs like "Death and All His Friends" and "Violet Hill" to please indie fans and critics alike.
The Every Teardrop is a Waterfall EP features three new songs: "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall", "Major Minus", and "Moving to Mars". Chances are you've already heard the single, "Every Teardrop is Waterfall", which follows the pop sensibilities of songs like "Viva La Vida", but unfortunately lacks any of the interesting lyrical ideas of that song. Nonetheless, the song is definitely the track on the album that marks the most distinct change in sound for the band, combining distinctly U2-esque guitar and vocal work with the synth-dance sounds of "Ritmo De La Noche".
The other songs on the album fit a bit more directly into the typical Coldplay canon with the upbeat "Major Minus" reminding me a bit of "Cemeteries Of London" and the piano-led "Moving to Mars", hearkening back to earlier albums. I really enjoyed the opening half of "Moving to Mars", as Martin explored some deep vocals and interesting chords. However, I can't help but wish the song didn't take the rather standard direction that it takes once the full band comes in. My guess would be that the song will end up being something of a B-side and perhaps not make the final cut of the next album.
Ultimately, as a big fan of Viva La Vida, this EP was a bit underwhelming to me. I could definitely pick up the clear direction that the band wanted to move in in "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall", but am not quite convinced because of the familiarity of the other two tracks. However, I still very much look forward to their forthcoming LP and am curious to see what musical trends the band picks up and lets go of.
For an article I wrote on Viva La Vida and how Coldplay took over the world, click here.