When it comes to music, Coldplay is one of those bands that defy easy categorization.
Some people say they are a brit-pop band, while others might call them anthemic rock with electronic influences.
But what does that mean, exactly? And where do they belong?
Below you’ll find out their music genre and how their music style developed over the albums.
Coldplay’s general music genre
Coldplay is a band that is often associated with Brit-pop. Their music has been described as having “a Brit-pop feel” to it.
Brit-pop on itself is a genre that originated in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s. It combines elements of alternative rock, indie rock, and pop music.
In short, many Coldplay fans, first of all, consider the music genre of Coldplay to be Brit-pop.
Now, while music fans agree that Coldplay can be considered to be Brit-pop, others would argue that their music genre can also be classified as anthemic rock.
Anthemic rock is a type of rock music that is characterized by its large and sweeping melodies.
Songs of Coldplay often build to powerful crescendos, with the lyrics serving as rallying cries for the listener.
This is undoubtedly true of many Coldplay songs. Think for example about “Clocks” and “Viva La Vida”.
We have already discussed the Brit-pop category, Anthemic Rock and lastly we argue that you could also say electronic as music genre for Coldplay.
Those who classify Coldplay’s music as electronic often point to the band’s use of synthesizers and other electronic instruments in their songs.
They also cite the heavy use of effects and production techniques in the band’s music, which gives it a distinctly electronic sound.
For example “Something Just Like This” is almost only Electronic.
It is good to note critics of this view argue that many Coldplay songs are acoustic in nature, and that the band only uses synthesizers as a means to enhance their sound. It is not defining for their music.
How did Coldplay’s music style develop?
Coldplay is a band that is known for its ever-changing music style. While they definitely have a signature sound, their music has evolved significantly over the years.
Their first album, Parachutes, was a very acoustic-based record. The songs were written by Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland on acoustic guitars.
There was very little use of synthesizers and other electronic instruments on the album.
This was the album that propelled them to global fame. Parachutes went multi-platinum in several countries and earned the band its first Grammy
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “Parachutes” are:
A Rush of Blood to the Head
The band’s sophomore album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, saw them experiment with more electronic genres.
This was in part due to the influence of producer Ken Nelson, who encouraged them to use more keyboards and synthesizers in their songs.
The result was an album with a little more electronic feel to it.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head” are:
- The Scientist
Their third album, X&Y, continued in this vein.
It featured even more electronic sounds and production techniques than the previous albums.
It went so far that fans criticized the album for being too electronic and synthetic sounding. They wanted Coldplay to return to their original genres.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “X&Y” are:
- Fix you
- Speed of Sound
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
In the meantime, Coldplay was on the same commercial level as U2.
Coldplay’s fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, saw them return to their anthemic rock genre.
The album was much more stripped down than their previous efforts.
This shift was likely due to the band’s experimentation with different sounds on their previous album.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” are:
- Viva La Vida
- Violet Hill
Coldplay’s fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, marked another shift in style for the band. This time around, they incorporated more elements of dance-pop into their music.
The album was produced by Markus Dravs, who had previously worked with bands like Arcade Fire and Björk.
The result was an eclectic mix of sounds that drew from both pop, rock, and electronic dance music.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” are:
- Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
Ghost Stories was Coldplay’s sixth studio album. It was released in 2014 and saw the band taking a more minimalistic approach musically.
The album featured fewer instruments and a lot of pop culture-influenced sounds.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories” are:
- A Sky Full of Stars
A Head Full of Dreams
A Head Full of Dreams is a departure from Coldplay’s previous piano-based albums. It features upbeat sounds made with synthesizers and electric guitars. Songs contain elements of rock, funk, and disco.
Drummer Will Champion has said that this is due to the band’s fatigue from playing with a piano for so long.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams” are:
- Hymn for the Weekend
- Adventure of a Lifetime
Coldplay’s seventh album, Everyday Life, was released on November 22, 2019. The album sees the band returning to their acoustic roots.
Many of the songs on the album deal with themes of love and loss. ‘Everyday Life’ was praised by critics for its raw and emotional lyrics.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “Everyday Life” are:
- Everyday Life
Music of the Spheres
On Coldplay’s most recent album, Music of the Spheres, the band chooses a very pop-py sound. The album features minimal acoustic instrumentation.
Many of the songs on the album are about love and loss.
The most popular tracks from Coldplay’s “Music Of The Spheres” are:
- Higher Power
- Let Somebody Go
Coldplay is a band that has evolved over the years, incorporating different styles into its music.
In short, their genre can be described as brit-pop and anthemic rock with electronic influences.
One thing is sure, Coldplay’s music has evolved over the years and itt encompasses a variety of genres and styles.