I find the EP Kaleidoscope by Coldplay a little confusing. Is it a bridge between their album A Head Full Of Dreams (2015) and a more experimental sound to come, as heard in the track ALIENS? Kaleidoscope contains a mishmash of styles, from dream pop and post rock to world music and hip hop. It also includes their recent smash hit Something Just Like This, as if to serve as a reminder, “Hey remember us, your old buddy Coldplay. We wrote that song you all liked with that super popular group, The Chainsmokers. Well, here’s a live version for you! It doesn’t sound as good as the original, but remember that we wrote it and you liked it, so we just threw it in with some other stuff and called it an EP.”
Does Kaleidoscope serve as a market tester? Are Coldplay assessing the market’s response to their music, using the feedback to determine the direction of their next album? I suppose it’s a sensible move from a business perspective, but it doesn’t connect with me as a listener when there’s not much direction. It doesn’t communicate a great amount of confidence in the creative step they will take next. It does not leave me sitting on the edge of my seat for the the album that would presumably follow.
With all my concerns aired, I would like to say that I love the tracks, All I Can Think About Is You, Miracles (Someone Special)- which features Big Sean- and ALIENS-with its uncentered rhythm and disjointed melody- as individual tracks. I don’t think they flow very well when placed next to each other. If you consider that a kaleidoscope has a sensibility about it in the way patterns repeat- its balance and symmetry, a more fitting title for the latest EP released by Coldplay would be Collage.