Atlas (Coldplay song)

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"Atlas"
Single by Coldplay
from the album The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released 6 September 2013 (2013-09-06)
Format Digital download
Recorded April–July 2013[1]
London, United Kingdom
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:56
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
Producer(s) Coldplay, Daniel Green, Rik Simpson
Coldplay singles chronology
"Up in Flames"
(2012)
"Atlas"
(2013)
"Magic"
(2014)
Music video
"Atlas" (Lyric video) on YouTube

"Atlas" is a song written and recorded by British alternative rock band Coldplay for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the soundtrack to the 2013 American science-fiction adventure film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.[2] It was released digitally as the lead single from the soundtrack on 6 September 2013 worldwide, and on 8 September in the United Kingdom. The song was accompanied by a lyric video, which also premiered on 6 September.

"Atlas" has charted in 16 countries and reached top ten positions in three of them, and has also received mostly positive reviews from music critics. The ballad, which is the first song ever written and recorded by Coldplay for a film, won the Hollywood Song Award at the 17th Hollywood Film Awards,[3] and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.[4]

Background[edit]

"Atlas" is Coldplay's first new track in almost two years, as the band's fifth studio album Mylo Xyloto was released in October 2011. The song was written specifically for Catching Fire and marks the first time that Coldplay have ever recorded an original song for a motion picture, or any piece of media outside the music industry.[5] According to Billboard magazine, "the lyrics abstractly touch upon main characters Katniss and Peeta's mutual reliance."[2]

"I have great respect and admiration for Coldplay, and we are thrilled with how well they have connected to the themes and ideas within the film. Their unwavering passion and excitement for the project elevated the collaboration even further, and we can't wait to share this music with audiences around the world," said the film's director Francis Lawrence.[5]

"We are so honored that Coldplay, one of the iconic rock bands of our generation, will perform the first song out on the new soundtrack. Knowing that Chris Martin is a fan of the books makes this even more meaningful. The Coldplay single underscores the stature of recording artists we've assembled for this powerful soundtrack," added Tracy McKnight, Lionsgate's Head of Film Music.[6]

Composition, recording and production[edit]

"Atlas" carries a similar production style to the band's fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto.

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"Atlas" was written by Coldplay members, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin, and recorded in London between April and July 2013.[1]

The song is a down-tempo ballad, featuring delicate piano refrain with a "moody, haunting melody", and showcasing Martin's lower-register vocals.[7] According to some reviewers, it sounds "less like more recent Coldplay tracks and more like a throwback to their sound on A Rush of Blood to the Head,"[8] and "like a tossed-off remnant from the outfit's early days, before it began experimenting with deep rhythms and vivid textures."[1] The piano builds to a bolder,[8] "anthemic-quality" chorus with richly layered production,[7] reminiscent of the band's fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto. The song was produced by Coldplay, Rik Simpson (with whom the band has previously worked on the Grammy Award-winning album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and Mylo Xyloto), and Daniel Green (Mylo Xyloto).[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon release, "Atlas" received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Michael Nelson of Stereogum called the track "a swooning, appropriately cinematic ballad."[9] Erin Coulehan of Rolling Stone magazine wrote, "The dreamy tune features a classic Coldplay presentation, with twinkling piano that builds as Chris Martin croons 'I'll carry your world'."[10] "The dreamy, piano-driven track was clearly written specifically for ‘Catching Fire,’ with lyrics like “some bend the bow” — about bow-and-arrow-wielding heroine Katniss, presumably — and “caught in the fire” (pretty self-explanatory)," wrote Karen Lanza of PopCrush.[11]

The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano complimented Coldplay for returning to their sound prior to Mylo Xyloto. Fantano praised the contrast between the "soaring, beautiful, uplifting" chorus and "dark, dreary" verses, also comparing its verses to Radiohead. In the same collaborative review with Fantano, Sami Jarroush of the Rock it Out! Blog stated the song was similar to a "religious experience" and praised Martin for utilizing a lower vocal register in the song and complimented the uplifting emotions in the song, although both reviews noted that, while the song had "epic" moments, it was generally uninteresting and would likely be played during the end credits of the film.[12]

Upon release of the soundtrack album, Consequence of Sound's Rob Hakimian called the song "spirited",[13] and AllMusic's Heather Phares described it as "typically sweeping and earnest".[14] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Coldplay is here too, but in a battle with Lorde's haunting version of Tears for Fears' 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World', Lorde would forever reign supreme."[1] Slant Magazine's Blue Sullivan commented that "'Atlas' is autopilot Coldplay dipping into its back catalogue for a paycheck, but at least it approximates a pulse. Though the band may have zero insider-cred, 'Atlas' proves that 'Clocks' played at three-quarter speed with most of the chorus scooped out still runs rings around most of the current zeitgeist."[15]

Awards and accolades[edit]

On 15 October 2013, it was announced that "Atlas" would receive the Hollywood Song Award at the 17th Hollywood Film Awards. The song was also performed at the gala ceremony, which took place on 21 October 2013 at the Beverly Hilton hotel. Carlos de Abreau, the Hollywood Film Awards founder and executive director, told The Hollywood Reporter, "The Hollywood Film Awards is thrilled to present the Hollywood Song Award to a band as globally respected and prolific as Coldplay. They continue to build their legacy and, with 'Atlas' marking the first time they have recorded for a motion picture, we cannot think of an artist better deserving of this honor."[3]

On 7 December 2013, "Atlas" received a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category.[4][16] On 12 December 2013, it was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Commercial performance[edit]

"Atlas" has achieved moderate chart success, having charted in 16 countries. The song debuted at number twelve in the United Kingdom with sales of 19,546,[17] and has reached top ten positions in the Netherlands,[18] Italy[19] and Switzerland.[20] In the United States, it has reached number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[21] number 12 on the Rock Songs chart,[22] and number 18 on the Alternative Songs chart.[23] "Atlas" was also reported to have reached number one positions on iTunes Store charts in 43 countries upon its release.[24] As of August 2014, "Atlas" has sold 246,000 downloads in the US.[25]

Music video[edit]

The lyric video makes numerous allusions to space phenomena, such as star trails (pictured) and mythological constellations.

A lyric video, reflecting the art style associated with The Hunger Games, premiered on music video website Vevo on the day of the single's release.[26] It was directed by Mario Hugo and featured illustration by Micah Lidberg.[26][27] The video "follows a shooting star coursing through the universe while tracing various constellations in the zodiac to the point of supernova."[10]

Ray Rahman of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Three things the internet is definitely not tired of yet — Coldplay, The Hunger Games, and high-production lyric videos — have all converged in the form of “Atlas.” (...) The just-released visual is an intense affair set on an astral plane, full of all sorts of Olympian imagery designed to get you excited for Katniss’ return to the big screen this November."[28]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Atlas"   3:56

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from liner notes of the "Atlas" single.[29]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[30] 30
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[31] 31
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[32] 17
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[33] 20
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[34] 33
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[35] 80
Denmark (Tracklisten)[36] 20
France (SNEP)[37] 31
Germany (Media Control Charts)[38] 19
Ireland (IRMA)[39] 12
Italy (FIMI)[19] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[18] 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[40] 20
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[41] 13
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[42] 18
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[20] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[43] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 69
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[22] 12
US Rock Airplay (Billboard)[44] 26
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[45] 8
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[23] 18

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Italy[46] 6 September 2013 Contemporary hit radio Universal Music
United States[47] Digital download Parlophone
United Kingdom[48] 8 September 2013
United States[49][50][51][52] 9 September 2013 Adult album alternative radio Republic Records
10 September 2013 Modern rock radio
14 October 2013 Hot adult contemporary radio
15 October 2013 Contemporary hit radio

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wood, Mikael (6 September 2013). "Listen to 'Atlas,' Coldplay's single for the new 'Hunger Games' film". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Coldplay Heads To 'Hunger Games' on 'Atlas' Single: Listen". Billboard. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Feinberg, Scott (15 October 2013). "Coldplay to Receive Honor for 'Hunger Games' Song at Hollywood Film Awards (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees". Grammy Awards. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Coldplay reveal new song 'Atlas', taken from 'The Hunger Games' soundtrack - listen". NME. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Coldplay's 'Atlas' is first single from 'Hunger Games' soundtrack". Los Angeles Times. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Coldplay unveils their new single "Atlas"". Radio Creme Brulee. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b O'Keefe, Meghan (6 September 2013). "Does Coldplay’s New Catching Fire Single "Atlas" Sound Like Their Old Stuff?". VH1. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Nelson, Michael (6 September 2013). "Coldplay – "Atlas"". Stereogum. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Coulehan, Erin (6 September 2013). "Coldplay Return With 'Atlas'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Lanza, Karen (7 September 2013). "Listen to Coldplay, 'Atlas' From 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'". PopCrush. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Jarroush, Sami (7 September 2013). "Rock it Out! Blog and The Needle Drop unite to review Coldplay’s "Atlas"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Hakimiar, Rob (19 November 2013). "Album Review: Various Artists – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack". Consequence of Sound. 
  14. ^ Phares, Heather. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Various Artists". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Sullivan, Blue (24 November 2013). "Original Soundtrack The Hunger Games: Catching Fire". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Atlas nominated for Grammy Award!". Coldplay.com. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Jones, Alan (16 September 2013). "Official Charts Analysis: Arctic Monkeys' AM doubles predecessor's week-one sales". Music Week. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Coldplay – Atlas" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Top Digital Download - Classifica settimanale WK 36 (dal 02-09-2013 al 08-09-2013)" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Coldplay – Atlas – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Coldplay. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  22. ^ a b "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Coldplay. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Coldplay. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  24. ^ Grow, Kory (15 October 2013). "Coldplay to Be Honored for 'Hunger Games' Song". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  25. ^ Gallo, Phil (8 August 2014). "The Inside Story of How Lorde Came to Rule 'The Hunger Games'". Billboard. 
  26. ^ a b "Coldplay - Atlas (Hunger Games: Catching Fire)(Lyric)". YouTube. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "Coldplay - Atlas". MarioHugo.com. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  28. ^ Rahman, Ray (6 September 2013). "Coldplay debut 'Hunger Games' song 'Atlas' via elaborate lyric video: Watch it here". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  29. ^ "Atlas" (liner notes). Coldplay. Parlophone. 2013. 
  30. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Coldplay – Atlas". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  31. ^ "Coldplay – Atlas – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  32. ^ "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – Atlas" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – Atlas" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  34. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Coldplay. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  35. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201339 into search. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  36. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Coldplay – Atlas". Tracklisten. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  37. ^ "Lescharts.com – Coldplay – Atlas" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  38. ^ "Coldplay – Atlas". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  39. ^ "Chart Track: Week 37, 2013". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Coldplay – Atlas". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  41. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  42. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Coldplay – Atlas" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  43. ^ "Archive Chart: 2013-09-21" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  44. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Rock Airplay for Coldplay. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  45. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Coldplay. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  46. ^ Mompellio, Gabriel. "Coldplay – Atlas (Universal)" (in Italian). Radio Airplay SRL. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  47. ^ "Atlas – Coldplay". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  48. ^ Anchorman (30 August 2013). "Pre-order Atlas from UK iTunes". Coldplay.com. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  49. ^ "Triple A > Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  50. ^ "Alternative > Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  51. ^ "Hot/Modern/AC Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  52. ^ "Top 40/M Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.