Yes, Coldplay just scored a No. 1 hit, “My Universe,” with global sensation BTS.
But on the band’s new album “Music of the Spheres,” out Friday, there are some even more special guests: namely Chris Martin’s two children with ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow, Apple and Moses.
Apple, 17, co-wrote the breakup ballad “Let Somebody Go” — a moody duet with another surprising guest, Selena Gomez — on which a forlorn Martin wallows in his feelings: “You gave everything this golden glow/Now turn off all the stars, ’cause this I know/That it hurts like so, to let somebody go.”
Call it the anti-“Yellow.”
That’s also Apple doing the intro countdown on “Higher Power,” the uber-upbeat first single, and she joins the chorus of Coldplay kids — including the children of guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion — on the interlude “Music of the Spheres II.”
Meanwhile, Moses, 15, croons the chorus of “Humankind” — which, with its ’80s synth-pop sheen, shares more than a similar title with the Killers’ “Human” — alongside his old man. You can just feel the proud papa beaming through the father-son singalong.
And the cameos keep on coming on “Music of the Spheres,” Coldplay’s ninth studio album. Both Grammy-winning British musician Jacob Collier and R&B duo We Are King — consisting of twin sisters Amber and Paris Strother — pump life into “Human Heart,” an a cappella that takes you from church to the heavens.
But the most impactful collaborator on “Music of the Spheres” is mega-producer Max Martin, who has worked with everyone from Britney Spears and Katy Perry to Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. With Martin at the helm, Coldplay seems to be ready to totally own being a pop group rather than the alt-rock band that launched into stardom with 2000’s “Parachutes” and 2002’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head.”
After singles such as 2014’s “A Sky Full of Stars” and 2015’s “Adventure of a Lifetime” found them leaning into their pop side, you can hear them fully embracing it on “My Universe,” a song that, for all of its catchy charms, has nothing “alternative” or “rock” about it. (But hey, if they wanted a hit by hopping on the BTS bandwagon, mission accomplished: “My Universe” is only Coldplay’s second chart-topper after 2008’s “Viva La Vida.”)
In fact, it’s almost jarring when you hear the industrial-edged guitars on “People of the Pride,” which reminds you that Coldplay was once a rock band.
But “Music of the Spheres” — which revisits the intergalactic territory that Coldplay has explored from 2005’s “X&Y” to 2011’s “Mylo Xyloto” — also displays some of the adventurous experimentation of 2019’s underappreciated “Everyday Life.” The new album’s 10-minute closer, “Coloratura,” is a proggy, shape-shifting epic that is just weird enough to make you remember when Coldplay was cool.