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Coldplay - Prospekts March

Coldplay, Prospekt's March EP

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

HATS off to Coldplay… rather than merely trotting out a Deluxe edition of their most recent album Viva La Vida…, they’ve put the bonus material – better known as the material that wasn’t finished in time to make the LP itself – onto a special extended mini-album.

Hence, you can still buy both the EP and LP as a deluxe package, but if you’ve already forked out for the album then the moderately priced EP is a welcome bonus.

What’s more, instead of just three new songs, fans are presented with eight – and they’re all pretty darn good too.

Sceptics might argue that the offerings here weren’t good enough to make the LP, while optimists might be seeking the edginess that reportedly rendered the songs “too risky” for the album.

But truth be told, it’s pretty much service as usual – and given the high standards of Coldplay service, it’s well worth adding to your collection.

Album opener Life In Technicolour II may be an extended sung version of the instrumental opener on Viva La Vida, but it embellishes and enhances an already great bit of William Orbit-inspired songwriting that still sounds fresh, as well as marking the slight change in focus.

Admittedly, Postcards From Far Away is a bit of an oddity, a piano piece that has classical tendencies, but it’s a short interlude, and normal service is resumed with the sweeping guitar anthem that is Glass of Water – a beautifully uplifting piece that is sure to be warmly embraced by every Coldplay fan. The chorus is an epic slice of euphoria that really belongs in a stadium venue.

Rainy Day drops a funky back-beat and some cute electronics, over a breezy guitar melody, and maintains the momentum in pleasing fashion. Chris Martin even employs some vocal variations – which, I guess, could pass as edgy.

Prospekt’s March/Poppyfields, meanwhile, is a slow-building ballad that strips everything back early on to a lone acoustic strum and Martin’s serene vocals. It’s full of emotive observations and a yearning style that is very definitely the sound of Coldplay at their atmospheric best. Come the chorus, when the instruments slowly embellish Martin’s falsetto highs, you’ll have swooned.

Current single Lost crops up with a new guest vocal from Jay-Z (presumably in preparation for a duet, of sorts, when the rap icon joins them on next year’s UK tour dates). You’ll probably be divided over whether the rap adds anything, or detracts from it, but it’s a clever ploy that will bring even more listeners to the band by virtue of Jay-Z’s presence. And given that Martin did, once, provide guest vocals to Jay-Z (the excellent Beach Chair from the Kingdom Come LP), the rapper’s only returning the favour.

An Osaka Sun Mix of my personal album favourite Lovers In Japan adds even more sparkle to an otherwise shimmering synth/guitar combo that never fails to put me in a good place, while acoustic closing track Now My Feet Won’t Touch The Ground is a pleasing end to another brilliant slice of Coldplay magic.

If only other artists followed their lead and put out new material as strong and as frequently as this…

Download picks: Life In Technicolour II, Glass of Water, Rainy Day, Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)

Track listing:

  1. Life In Technicolour II
  2. Postcards From Far Away
  3. Glass of Water
  4. Rainy Day
  5. Prospekt’s March/Poppyfields
  6. Lost
  7. Loves in Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)
  8. Now My Feet Won’t Touch The Ground