The Bottom Line
If you are already a Coldplay fan, which amounts to millions around the world, you will most likely welcome "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" to the band's repertoire. If, on the other hand, you think the band risks authenticity when they wear their hearts on their sleeves, the new single will not alter that image. "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" is unabashedly cheerful and mines Coldplay's anthemic guitar pop style once again. It is not epic like "Viva La Vida," but the song is likely to inspire warm feelings and smiles in more than a few listeners.
- Upbeat, positive lyrics
- Surging, anthemic sound
- Instantly familiar Coldplay sound
- Unabashedly emotional, if you see that as a Coldplay failing
- Written by Coldplay
- Produced by Brian Eno
- Released June 2011 by Capitol Records
Guide Review - Coldplay - "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall"
In interviews, Chris Martin has said that a significant influence on the lyrics for songs on Coldplay's upcoming fifth studio album is "old school American graffiti." Seen in that context, the phrase, "Every teardrop is a waterfall," makes perfect sense. It is a declamatory statement that does bring to mind the spirit of messages left as nuggets of wisdom on public walls and surfaces designed for us all to read. Coldplay chooses to deconstruct the message as part of being swept up into the joyful experience of listening to favorite music. Following the lyrics, perhaps the best way to listen to "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" is with headphones on, volume up, the world shut out, and dancing in private ecstasy.
Musically, "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" is driven by the opening keyboard figure and looped guitar. The impact is familiar for Coldplay fans. The song slowly builds into a grand, cathartic climax. "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" closes with a brief solo drum segment that provides a pleasing, unique coda.
The overall effect of this song is Coldplay moving forward into new explorations while keeping the elements that endear them to their fans wholly intact. "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" is unlikely to be hailed as an instant classic to match the very best of Coldplay's past work, but a strong argument could be made that the band has never released their best material as the first single from any of their albums. As an appetizer, "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" is very pleasing and will leave fans eagerly anticipating much, much more.