Playlist for Political Change: Coldplay’s Arabesque

Playlist for Political Change: Coldplay’s Arabesque

For a long time, Jordan wasn’t a popular destination for famous artists, presumably because of its location and the misconceptions made about its political climate.

However, in Nov. 2019, Coldplay debuted their eighth studio album Everyday Life in dedication to the boundless, multicultural impact of the Middle East. The album consists of two parts, “Sunrise” and “Sunset”, with each part featuring eight songs composed using Arabic elements as the inspiration for the themes, sounds, and motifs. The band decided to premier their newest album in Jordan for its unique location, historical significance, influence on music, and underrated beauty. 

“As a girl who lived in Jordan for her entire life, I finally felt recognized and appreciated —not only for where I’m from, but also everything beautiful my country stands for.”

As a girl who lived in Jordan for her entire life, I finally felt recognized and appreciated —not only for where I’m from, but also everything beautiful my country stands for (the one time I’m am not in Jordan, Coldplay decides to debut an album, just saying).

Chris Martin said that Jordan is “the middle of the world”, making it a central aspect for the concept of their album. However, the band had a bigger mission to immerse themselves and their fans in a culture that is often deemed foreign, misunderstood, and stereotyped by western civilization. The band debuted the album by having a two-part concert, as one part of the album was meant to be performed at sunrise and the other during sunset

The performance took place in the Amman Citadel, making it the perfect location to premiere their album as a spectacle. The Amman Citadel is a historical site in downtown Amman, the capital city of Jordan. While it has the most beautiful view of Amman, its cultural significance and historical relevance also show Coldplay’s genuine concern with exposing the beauty behind this country. The most beautiful part of their show was the performance of their song “Sunrise”, which managed to tape the city of at its most colorful hours. The peaceful melody of the song fell right into place with its time and location, fabricating the perfect essence that the city of Amman captured in all its glory. 

The band’s decision to place certain songs on their respective of the album was meticulously thought out, as demonstrated by their two day concert in the Amman Citadel. The lyrics behind “Church” and “Daddy” are enhanced with emotion and movement during their sunrise performance. There’s something about the interplay between the color of the skies and the lyrics behind their songs that suggest how well this project was thought out. 

What fascinates me the most about this album is that, although Arabic influence overpowers the entirety of the album, Coldplay manages to sneak in some African inspired music and French and Arabic lyrics into individual songs. 

“Jordan is a hidden gem —the beauty behind its culture, values, and historic significance is sometimes disregarded because of people’s assumptions concerning the Middle East.”

Jordan is a hidden gem —the beauty behind its culture, values, and historic significance is sometimes disregarded because of people’s assumptions concerning the Middle East. Coldplay’s Everyday Life is a beacon dedicated to crushing stereotypical ways of thinking about that part of the world.

The goal of the band was to disrupt prejudice against the Middle East on an international scale by giving their music a global presence. The overarching idea of this album goes beyond an appreciation of a misunderstood location, showing the strong and necessary union between nations through music and cultural appreciation. Coldplay took a step to acknowledge and capture the real essence of Middle Eastern culture and the beauty of Jordan. 

Header image Source: Coldplay
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