Everyday Life, is the 8th studio album released by the British rock band Coldplay, it was released last November on the 22nd. It is one of their first double album released with sixteen tracks (but was released as a single cd). It is their first album in almost four years, their last album being A Head Full of Dreams back in 2015. This entire record sees Coldplay taking a huge turn on their last album more of pop material. This record sees Coldplay taking a really weird and interesting direction, using more gospel influences, more alternative influences, and more of a less commercial type of songs on some of these songs, their version of "World Music". The album is separated into two sections "Sunrise" and "Sunset" both around the 25-27 minute mark, not too long.
So how is the album? It's not bad.. It's not that bad, their are great things on this album. For instance on the first side of the album "Sunrise" the introduction song is a nice atmospheric instrumental, setting the character and the world of the album, then going into Church another great song, followed by Trouble in Town, great old Coldplay sounds, really experimental, although not something too far in left field. The first BrokEn is like Coldplay's version of gospel music. The song Daddy is a great softer piano number after the first couple "louder" tracks as far as Coldplay is concerned. The next track WOTW/POTP sounds like a nicer modern version of track Parachutes off the album of the same name, the bands first album. A very good transition into the next song on the album, and one of the best tracks Arabesque, featuring a saxophone in the middle to the end. The first side, really good. Now the next side...
Part two of the album, Sunset, isn't the best Coldplay has ever written, the first three songs Guns, Orphans, and Eko, they aren't great songs, they just sound kinda forced. However, after those, the rest of the songs on this album is great, Cry Cry Cry, Old Friends, The poem, Champion of the World, and the title track Everyday Life. These songs are really great, Cry Cry Cry is another gospel inspired song, Old Friends and The Poem, are also great songs with lots of great parts to them whether it be the atmospheric synthesizers in the back or the piano, or the vocal delivery, great songs. The last two songs are what made this album what it is for me, Champion of the World, and Everyday Life are some of the best music Coldplay have released this decade. It is Coldplay at its best.
Overall, while this album has some great parts the middle of it is not very good and sorta does bring it down. Definitely recommend giving this album a listen!
The next installment in the Star Wars franchise is here, Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. For those of you who live under a rock, Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker is a 2019 American science fantasy film film produced, co-written, and directed by J. J. Abrams. This film is the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, (also known as the Disney trilogy), following The Force Awakens which came out in 2015 and The Last Jedi which came out in 2017. This movie is the final episode of the nine-part "Skywalker saga", starting back about 42 years ago with first Star Wars film, now known as A New Hope.
A little bit of back story, this film was produced by Lucasfilm and Abrams's production company Bad Robot Productions, and was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The ensemble cast includes Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams, and on and on and on.
Now for those that know me and those that do not know me, I love Star Wars, I have loved it ever since I saw the first film which was A New Hope. But I really got into Star Wars from the animated television show which was on Cartoon Network at the time, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (more on that show in a different review), and so after seeing some of those episodes I went back and watched the original trilogy and then the prequel trilogy. However, after all of that I ended up diving straight into all of the lore and some of the books. And so, that brings us to today, with a brand new film, the end of a 42 year journey.
*Warning: The following contains spoilers for the film (I mean how else do you want me to review it) if you have not seen this film (which you should go see) and you do not want it spoiled then DON'T READ THIS!!)*
I have seen this film twice now, around the holiday season and another just last week. There are some issues I have with this film, but overall given what JJ Abrams had to work with, he made a great movie! The end of the Last Jedi was sort of an abrupt ending, it had drawn a resolution to all the major plot holes and characters, however both the Resistance and the First Order were at the same point at the end as they were in the beginning. With the Resistance being even smaller than before, with the remnants escaping on the Millennium Falcon and the First Order becoming even more of the dominant force over the galaxy than before. And so with that movie ending JJ Abrams has to figure out where to go from here, the last director killed off a big bad enemy halfway through the last film, that being Snoke, and leaving the confused Kylo Ren as the Supreme Leader. And so the best thing JJ could think of was to resurrect the Emperor. Now I am aware there is a directors cut of this film which at the point of this review has not been released, however from my understanding of it, it is a three hour long cut that possibly could give more backstory into Palpatine's return. The Emperor's return while I wish we got a little more backstory on it in the film, I was okay with letting it slide and accepting it.
There are several parts of this movie that make me think of it like a cartoon though, like its not taking itself seriously at all. The one thing that made this film feel like a cartoon was the infinitely large and infinitely overpowered Star Destroyer fleet each equipped with a planet-killing weapon. That is one of the dumbest parts of this film is the fact that not only has Palpatine returned (which again I will allow to slide), but the fact that he has been able to organize the largest fleet ever seen in any of these movies on a single planet EACH with a planet killing weapon on them, that seems too much like FanFiction for me. The next part that made me feel that way was how fast the first act of the film was, almost like an episode of Rick & Morty, from hoping around from one scene to the next, kinda like rapid fire, it was way to fast to take everything in.
There are also very interesting things this film does with the Force, especially with Force Healing and Force Teleportation (which was hinted at in the last film). I was all for that, I like that they are trying new and interesting things with the force, otherwise it would get extremely boring really quickly with Jedi and Sith always doing the same tricks within every film. I had no issues with those and I thought they were used very well to advance the plot.
However, a couple of the issues I had with this movie was the mcguffins, which there are two, one being the Sith wayfinder, which I didn't have an issue with I just wished they called it a holocron cause it was shaped exactly like a holocron and served the same purpose. The other issue was the Sith dagger, the film called it an ancient Sith dagger, but how could the dagger be ancient if the second Death Star (which is what it points to) was destroyed in the last 30+ years of cannon (also when the Sith have been extinct so they think). Alas, moving on, there are more important things to talk about with this film, like the characters.
The characters in this film, and more the trilogy as a whole, I think have been wasted potential. From the very beginning it is shown that Rey is overpowered and is better at everything than anyone else. While I do not think she is a Mary Sue, she is easily the most powerful resistance pilot, fighter, etc. It is even stated by Poe Dameron that Rey wouldn't have done any better, so it is clear that even he believes that she is a better pilot than him. In my mind Rey is a Disney Princess in a Star Wars movie, she never has a moment where you think she could turn or any moment of weakness or any real danger in any of the past three films. The rest of the cast was decent, however as I said before, they wasted potential with Finn, in the first film of the trilogy The Force Awakens, the entire first act is pretty much him exploring his life as a getaway stormtrooper, showing his morality issues with being a stormtrooper, and then he immediately stops caring and starts shooting stormtroopers. That all being said, throughout this whole new trilogy, my favorite character hands down has been Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. With him being fully conflicted by the darkside after killing his father in Episode 7, to then not being able to kill his mother in Episode 8, to then turning back to the light side after being visited by his father in a scene that plays exactly like the scene in the force awakens where Kylo Ren kills his father, accept its a memory which plays out entirely different with this time with Ben Solo returning to the light side of the force.
The scene with Luke and Rey in this film was a really great, even-though it sorta seemed like a knock at Episode 8, I liked the querky nostalgia that was in this scene, specifically with Luke picking his old x-wing out of the water (again a copy from Yoda on Dagobah in Episode 5).
As far as the third act of the film, the final Return of the Jedi-esk montage I would say it was some of the best parts of the trilogy. There are some great moments between Rey and Ben in this scene where they are communicating through teleportation, transferring lightsabers back and forth, and fighting off the emperors guards. However, the idea of the emperor becoming powerful enough that he can shoot force lightning into the sky and attack all of the rebel ships at once, I'm sorry thats just too unbelievable. The duel between Rey and the Emperor seemed like it was too straight out of endgame with the emperor stating "I am all the Sith" and Rey saying "I am all the Jedi". Another issue I had with the duel on second viewing was that the duel was also something pulled straight-out of an old Star Wars video game called The Force Unleashed where the final battle you the character, Galen Marek, fight the Emperor and it ends with you sacrificing your life in a lightning battle between Galen and the Emperor. And for Rey to just then standup and her and the emperor have a very much a Thanos versus Iron Man final duel seemed way too rushed with not that much build up.
So here is my one huge issue with this film, the kiss, that seemed like the most forced thing in this entire franchise as a whole, and honestly it might be my least favorite part of all of Star Wars, yes even the prequels. That seemed like one of the most forced parts of this movie was the kiss between Ben and Rey. The next part of this film, the part where Kylo Ren dies, while I was expecting him to die, I was hoping Disney had the balls to kill off Rey and leave Kylo Ren alive, I think it would have made for a much more interesting ending to the film and the franchise as a whole.
So if you have made it this far, it seems that I hated this movie, which is false, I really enjoyed this movie I just have several problems with it. One of my favorite scenes from this movie is actually the very last scene, Rey's pilgrimage to Tatooine, is it knocking on nostalgia, yes, is it done well, absolutely. With Rey burying both of the lightsabers in the sand (hopefully) never to be seen again. I think it also is Disney saying they are ready to end the Skywalker Saga as well, by starting it right where it began, with our protagonist staring into the twin suns as the credits roll.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (7.5/10)
Brand new 6 track EP out now!!! Spontaneous, Quick, Short. Bits & Pieces is a collection of short instrumental demos that were created during the process of the first EP Remixes and Reanimations! Out now on Bandcamp/Soundcloud! Soon to be out on Spotify, iTunes, and more!!