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Coldplay, ‘Princess of China’ Feat. Rihanna – Song Review

Rihanna Chris Martin
Dave J Hogan / Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Rihanna and Coldplay have collided on ‘Princess of China,’ a new song from the Brit pop/rock band’s latest ‘Mylo Xyloto.’ Somewhat shocking in theory? Yes, since big name features aren’t usually part and parcel of a rock band’s repertoire. But once you listen to it, you’ll be grooving. These two opposite forces mesh rather than resist once another. That’s rare in pop music, but this collab is fierce.

Overall, ‘The Princess of China’ is a bit different than what we are used to from Coldplay. Chris Martin’s voice is the most distinct and familiar element, as he sings over a thumping, roaring beat that’s looped underneath for much of the song. We expect guitars and drums to assert themselves in Coldplay songs, but here, it’s all Martin, RiRi and a beat in the forefront.

RiRi shows up to sing the second verse over that same thunderous beat and then her voice pulls alongside Martin’s. It’s really the most dancey song we’ve ever heard from Coldplay. But while it might appear like a headscratcher on paper, the execution is rather flawless. No, really. Coldplay doing electro pop? Well, consider the hands that this attempt is in and you’ll realize it’s quality. It’s not like Coldplay haven’t used electronics before; it’s just this is the most prominent example of it!

It’s a moody song that’s heavy on the synths. Both Martin’s and RiRi’s distinct voices blend to create a haunting, thick and somewhat maudlin overtone.

It’s not a familiar structure for Coldplay and it sounds like something you’d expect to live on Rihanna’s record as opposed to Coldplay’s. But Coldplay have earned the right to take chances and risks in their music. The reward here is two thumbs up.


Listen to Coldplay, ‘Princes of China’

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