Coldplay’s new track “Higher Power” has Chris Martin singing “you’ve got a higher power” repeatedly for the chorus. And, frankly, that’s ridiculous. No one in the universe has a higher power than Coldplay. I bet if Vegeta scanned Chris Martin, his power level would not only be OVER NINE THOUSAND, but over ten thousand.
So it’s left to us to figure out who Chris Martin is talking about. The cop-out answer is that the speaker of the song isn’t Chris, but instead some normal dude like me talking about Coldplay having that higher power that has got me singing every second, dancing every hour. But, again, that’s a cop-out. I don’t want to consider death of the author when it’s Chris Martin who wrote this track.
It’s no secret Coldplay is religious. They’ve namedropped God a couple of times in their long careers. “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face” has God right in the name, but also A Head Full of Dreams’ track “Birds” had its music video filmed at Salvation Mountain in Colorado and Everyday Life had 8 “tracks” of a church bell ringing that spelled out “G O D = L O V E” in addition to the rest of the religious iconography (both Christian and Muslim, by the way) in the songs on there. Even in the song he claims to have ruled the world, Martin knows St. Peter won’t call his name, subtly revealing his piousness. God that sentence was awful.
So God is a pretty likely candidate as the higher power, considering the line “heavenly phone”. But the things Martin is compelled to do by this higher power are much more, uh, grounded than what people say about God. Like “I’m so happy that I’m alive at the same time as you” doesn’t make sense if the subject’s an immortal being like God. And, quite frankly, God does not make good music that would make Martin sing every second nor dance every hour.
Scanning through the outro lyrics makes me think this article was built on an incorrect premise–that Chris Martin would be singing about someone else. When I personally believe that the final piece of “When for so long I’d been down on my knees/Then your love song saved me over and over/For so long I’d been down on my knees/Till your love song floats me on” is actually about Coldplay, the band, saving Martin and millions like him. Coldplay’s talked a lot about God in the past, but they’ve played with the idea of floating (either like a bird, or with their feet off the ground) for far too long for this closing line of a love song floating Martin on not to be a deliberate reference to Coldplay.
And that is proof that Chris Martin does not in fact think there is a higher power than Coldplay. And he’s right.
I’m very much looking forward to this return to the Mylo Xyloto era. Coldplay in all forms is great.