(Image via billboard.com)
Somehow, Coldplay has managed to continue their successful musical reign for a long and hard 20 years in the industry. Not many bands can say the same.
A Head Full of Dreams begins with a recorded conversation between director Mat Whitecross and Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin. Whitecross asks if Martin has seen the film yet and he responds with, “I trust you. You make the movie you want to make about us.” That right there is a testament to who Chris Martin is at his core; an artist who understands art more than anything else in the world. He feels too much and might be a workaholic, but in the end, it’s rewarding enough to say it was all worth it. When you’re standing on a stage in a stadium full of millions of people singing your diary back at you, it’s worth it.
Fans are swiftly whirled back to the humble beginnings. Videos and photos of all four band members with greasy hair, braces, and maybe a little bit of the freshman 15 grace the screen as we start to see the formation of Coldplay. All these guys had one thing in common; music was their passion. It was clear from the start that Martin would be the engineer behind the machine, as we saw through intense meetings, long studio sessions, and exuberant on-stage performances. But, there’s no doubt each member found their footing in a band that would soon become an international phenomenon.
Whitecross dug into the backstory of several songs/albums and all the bumps along the way. He says, “For me, it’s a story about love and friendship.” We see Beyoncé singing her part in the joyous “Hymn For The Weekend” in Chris’ son’s bedroom which he made into a makeshift studio for the day. Martin is also shown banging out the first couple chords of the timeless and heartbreaking “Fix You” and “The Scientist”. Not only did we see hit songs come to life, but also the impact they had on the band going forward. I might be biased in saying this, but to me, Coldplay has never made a bad album. Different? Yes. Experimental? Absolutely. But bad? Nope. Not a chance. While discussing the A Head Full of Dreams tour, Martin says he doesn’t care if people call the album “hippie nonsense”, to him it’s an important record that combined all of their favorite things (his kids, ex-wife, and other admirable artists appear on the album). Pride in his work is something Martin took a long time to achieve.
Through the acoustic and simple Parachutes, the experimental Viva La Vida, the emotional Ghost Stories, the uplifting and hopeful A Head Full of Dreams, and so many other albums, fans truly see the evolution of a band growing older and even more talented and in love with their craft.
Martin always says “this album could be our last” but it never really is. They don’t know when the end will come, but maybe it’s better that way.