Simon Vozick-Levinson
November 01, 2007 AT 10:55 PM EDT

So, Coldplay are well on their way to completing their fourth album. They’ve got a lot riding on this one, considering how their world-beating success started to curdle into an only partially-deserved backlash on their last effort. And now that Radiohead themselves have already released by far the most awesome early-Radiohead throwback ever, the competition’s looking pretty stiff for Chris Martin and his merry crew of dudes who really, really like The Bends. Despite all that, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing what Coldplay’s got in store for LP4 — especially since the band has indicated that they’re interested in switching up their familiar sound this time around. So what can we glean from their recent announcement? It’s light on details, but two points worth noting:

• Sounds like the possible Timbaland collaboration that reported in February hasn’t materialized. I guess Chris Martin’s taste for hip-hop only runs so far. Still, it’s hard to be disappointed when the band’s been working instead with a producer as legendary as Brian Eno (Roxy Music, U2) — no slouch in the experimental-genius department.

• The band’s note promises that “the music still has integrity. It’s real and honest. There’s no posturing or bombast.” Wait, no posturing or bombast? On a Coldplay record?! Talk about a way more radical departure than anything Timbaland could’ve cooked up…

That’s about all we get for now, aside from some references to “dense” sound and “so many melodies and colours packed into a relatively short space (42 mins)”. Color me cautiously intrigued. And you?

addCredit(“Coldplay: Erlend Aas/Retna”)

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