“Global Citizen – EP 1”, A Collaborative Experiment from Coldplay’s Side Project “Los Unidades”

Los Unidades - Global Citizen - EP 1

by Zessa Ghaisani

In November 2018, Parlophone released an announcement about their newly signed artist, a group called “Los Unidades” in a mysterious teaser picture of the group. Who would’ve thought that the group was revealed to be Coldplay in disguise before the artist finally released their single “E-Lo” featuring artists Pharrell and Jozzy.

As we all know, Coldplay has been trying to experiment with their sounds since their “Viva La Vida” era, directing towards more mainstream market with more joyous beats and harmonies, concluding in “A Head Full of Dreams”, which influenced by mainly pop and electro pop music. When it sounded less like their alternative rock and British pop roots, Coldplay finally decided to create a new identity to finally break free under the name “Los Unidades”. The “Global Citizen – EP 1” proves that Coldplay still can’t break free from their trademark sound—even under a new name.

Los Unidades released an extended play entitled “Global Citizen – EP 1” on November 30, 2018. In case you haven’t known, Global Citizen itself has a meaningful cause, which aims to end global poverty around the world by 2030. Their sounds are influenced by “music from around the world”, with elements from Arab, African, and Latin music, also collaborators from various kind of genres.

The EP starts with Rise Up, an upbeat pop song with thumping beats and jaunty horns, featuring Nelson Mandela’s sample voice. It feels weird to listen to Mandela’s voice in the song but overall, the song is pretty catchy and gives us impressions that “this ain’t Coldplay, this ain’t it.” but it doesn’t stop the song to be the banger from the EP.

It later continues to E-Lo, the first single from the album. This song is by far the most “Coldplay”-ish song from the album. Starting with Chris Martin’s voice, singing the chorus to the song—with Pharrell in the background. An infectious shouts “ooh-lo, ee-ooh-lo-lo” will haunt you for a while—personally can’t get it off my head.

The third track entitled Timbuktu, featuring Cassper Nyosvest, Stormzy, and Jess Kent. The song sounds very distinct from any other Coldplay’s songs—and even from the other songs in the EP. It’s understandable that Chris Martin and co. wanted to try different sounds for the song, and it resulted in such an experimental song.

Last but not least, it’s Voodoo, a collaboration track with Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Danny Ocean, and David Guetta. Starting with Jonny Buckland’s guitar strums which sounds very recognizable. The song reminds us to Coldplay in “A Head Full of Dreams” era, with those thumping beats and heavily pop-influenced sound, with catchy background vocals and rap verse delivered by Tiwa Savage and Wizkid.

Overall, the EP itself is an enjoyable pack of pop songs—even though the transition from E-Lo to Timbuktu and to Voodoo may sound a little awkward at first due to their very distinctive sound with each other, “Global Citizen – EP 1” still worth a listen. Quoting their quotes from “A Head Full Of Dreams” movie, where they want to make music for their pleasure, not to please the critics or anything, Los Unidades mayhaps be the actual proof for that. If there’s a sequel to the EP—which I shouldn’t be doubting about since it’s very obvious—I will be very glad to give them a listen.

Overall Rating : 8 out of 10

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