Charlie Brown - Music Video

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One of the dancers as featured in the Charlie Brown video

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Charlie Brown video

The video for Charlie Brown was released online at 8am (GMT) on 3rd February 2012 via VEVO, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the official Coldplay website. A preview of the music video in the form of a gif image was released via Coldplay's Twitter on 2nd February 2012.[1]

It was revealed on 13th December 2011 via the Coldplaying messageboard [2] that the video features 50 painted dancers and was shot in a church in Brentford, North London over a period of three days between 12th and 14th December 2011. The director of the video is long-time Coldplay friend, Mat Whitecross, who also directed the Paradise music video just two months earlier in South Africa in October 2011.


Media reviews

The Improper: Chris Martin and Coldplay seem like an odd band to channel teen angst. But the new video for “Charlie Brown” is all about a restless, devil-may-care world where nothing matters but the music… and love. If the rave scene is a little clichéd, so be it. The point is about getting lost in the moment, forgetting the real world and its dismal reality and letting loose like there is no tomorrow. As the video unwinds, the gray urban landscape gives way to a pulsating, colorful world where it’s easy to lose yourself in a gyrating mass of bodies and thumping electronica. The tune is the third video from Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto, the alt-rock band’s fifth studio album, which dropped in October last year. “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” was released last June followed by “Paradise” in September. “Charlie Brown” landed Jan. 24. Martin has described Mylo Xyloto as a concept album about a love story that blossoms in an “oppressive, dystopian, urban environment.” With inspiration drawn from HBO’s “The Wire,” life in a gang is part of the theme. In that sense, the visage created by the “Charlie Brown” video suggest that the rave is neutral ground, where loyalties and hatreds are check at the door and two people from different sides can meet and be together. Rolling Stone called it “a bear-hug record for a bear-market world,” and “Charlie Brown” is a reflection of that. Needless to say, the night ends well. It’s a Coldplay song right?[3]

MTV: When we think Coldplay videos, we think melodramatic slow-motion visuals (see: "Fix You") that ache with so much emotion you want to re-think every decision you've ever made in your life. But their latest, "Charlie Brown," ditches sad, philosophical dramatics for a crazy night out at a glow-in-the-dark club. The infamous "Peanuts" character that shares the song's name doesn't make an appearance, but instead we get clips of a young couple on a mission to find each other. Quick glimpses offer the pair racing through the city to meet while montages of the band rocking out in full rave attire -- glow paint, glow sticks and glowing instruments -- are interspersed between the suspenseful narrative. Later, the couple whoops it up while recklessly speeding in a car, and that's when we learn why they were in such a rush: they're running late to the band's concert, duh. No one wants to be tardy for a Coldplay party.[4]

Billboard: It seems music stars have voted Feb. 3 the perfect date to release new videos, with Madonna, Drake, Adam Lambert, M.I.A. and now Coldplay debuting fresh clips today. In Coldplay's clip for third "Mylo Xyloto" single "Charlie Brown," Chris Martin and the boys lead a black light rave comprised of mischievous teens covered in neon paint. It's a little less warm and fuzzy than, say, the globe-trotting elephant of their "Paradise" video, but less of a downer than the eternally cool clip for "The Scientist." If it weren't for the shots of Martin spiritedly strumming his acoustic guitar on the dance floor (right, because raves are typically soundtracked by feel-good pop rock), the video plays like a scene straight out of U.K. TV hit "Skins." Good-looking teens making out and partying? Check. Spray paint-related vandalism? Check.[5]

PopCrush: It doesn’t include any cartoons or Vince Guaraldi piano, but Coldplay‘s new video clip for ‘Charlie Brown,’ their latest single from the chart-topping ‘Mylo Xyloto,’ does feature plenty of eye-catching visuals — along with all the soaring melody you’ve come to expect from the band. Helmed by Mat Whitecross, who directed the 2006 documentary ‘The Road to Guantanamo,’ the ‘Charlie Brown’ video depicts the band playing in the middle of a rowdy crowd, most of whom are bedecked with glowing wristbands that light up in time to the music, with pulsing neon lights strobing the audience. Interspersed with the rave clips are scenes of a young couple (the female played by Antonia Thomas from the British sci-fi series ‘Misfits’) who make romance on the streets of London. The third single from ‘Mylo Xyloto,’ ‘Charlie Brown’ finds Coldplay in urgent, uptempo form, and singer Chris Martin indicated it was one of his favorite tracks from the record last year, when he told NME “We know our lyrics are a bit s— … But the ones for ‘Charlie Brown,’ I like them a lot.”[6]

PrefixMag: “Charlie Brown” is the third single to be lifted from Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto, and it follows in the breezy footsteps of the prior “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” Anyone who prefers Chris Martin’s band in bittersweet “Yellow” mode isn’t going to find what they’re looking for here—this is the kind of bombastic pop that feels specifically tailored for gigantic stadium and arena audiences. The video features the band playing at the most sanitized rave you’ll ever see in your life, complete with lasers, glow sticks, face paint and a few make-out sessions. Martin jumps up and down like a wild-eyed bobblehead doll for most of it, perhaps in an attempt to relive his pre-Gwynnie youth.[7]

Dose: So your Friday night plans involve stealing a Volvo, picking up your hot ASBO girlfriend and making out 'til dawn at some underground dance party. But hey -- it's OK, it's cool, it's as chill as a '90s Chill Out compilation. It's not like your mom will be sitting home, crying over your preschool graduation photos and Googling the title of the new Madonna album, trying to figure out where you went astray. Or at least she won't once you show her Coldplay's new video for "Charlie Brown." All raves involve nice, adult, superfamous British chaperones, don't you know? (We're referring to Coldplay, of course, who perform their latest Mylo Xyloto single from the middle of a glow-stick-illuminated club full of kids.) But Coldplay's good, clean, soft-rocking fun isn't all that's going on in the Mat Whitecross-directed clip. (Fun fact: Whitecross and the band go way back; he directed their first-ever video, "Bigger Stronger"). Just like Mylo Xyloto, the video for "Charlie Brown" is a sorta vague love story, and fans of UK sci-fi series Misfits will recognize Antonia Thomas as the female romantic lead -- the Xyoloto (?) to one wiry, hoodied thug's Mylo.[8]

Huffington Post: It's not every day you get to attend a rave headlined by Coldplay. Raves are for young folk, and young folk aren't going to Coldplay concerts anymore. They're at, like Kreayshawn house parties or something? But in this shiny new video for "Charlie Brown," off last year's Mylo Xyloto, Chris Martin is officially the coolest cat at what Prefix rightly calls "the most sanitized rave you'll ever see in your life." It kind of looks like a Lite-Brite exploded in everyone's face at this rave, and you know what? It's kind of nice! The kids look happy and healthy, and they're wearing nice practical sneakers, and sure, there's some young love, but it looks responsible. And meanwhile, Chris Martin is in his own world of one, spinning in a circle while no one tries to violate him in any way, having a grand ol' time. So sure, if this is the rave Coldplay wants to play their most dollhousey jam at, we're down. One no-drug, pure sugar pixie stick over here, please![9]

Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin pictured during the filming
Hit Fix: For all their yearning ballads and poetic imagery, it turns out that Coldplay just wants to dance. Chris Martin and co. travel to a colorful U.K. rave in their latest video, for the new single "Charlie Brown," although the music itself is very un-rave like. "Charlie" is as Coldplay as it gets: Soaring melodies powered by a catchy circular riff meshing jangly guitars and high-pitched keyboards give way to Martin's sexy croon, as he sings about going out at night to get his freak on. It also includes a lyric that wouldn't sound out-of-place in a Craig Finn song: "Took a car downtown/where the lost boys meet/took a car downtown/and took what they offered me." Things slow down and get acoustic so the hot young couple at the center of the video can make out. Then the video explodes again -- literally -- as they watch fireworks and maybe vandalize a car (it's hard to tell). It's all a bit too silly and overly earnest, but in a very inoffensive way (like Coldplay themselves).[10]

Idolator: If new videos from Madonna, Adam Lambert, and M.I.A. weren’t quite enough for you on this clip-heavy Friday, then we are sorry you’re so picky, but perhaps Coldplay is more your speed. The boys behind Mylo Xyloto may not be the first to spring to mind when you think of a dark club with plenty of fluorescent lights and hanky panky, but that’s exactly what they deliver in “Charlie Brown,” which manages to depict what looks like an awesome, fun-filled romantic night out and still leave us feeling a little glum in the end (in the best way, most Coldplay-ish way possible). So get your Snoopy dance ready and watch Mr. Paltrow & co. in “Charlie Brown” below. Per usual, Coldplay makes us feel ecstatic, energized, and melancholy all at the same time in this appropriately beautiful video for such a haunting track. Which might be exactly what the titular Peanuts character meant when he always said: “Good grief.” But hey, at least the colors are bright![11]

Spin: Coldplay know how to please a crowd, which isn't as easy or unimportant as snobs would have you think, or else everybody could do it. If there's any justice in the world, "Charlie Brown" will be the most crowd-pleasing song from last year's Mylo Xyloto. Yes, Chris Martin and the lads sound like they're trying to please us — there's one of those whirling "Clocks"-style intro, a language-transcending "woo ooh" hook, and a trace of Arcade Fire's harrowed urgency in the verses — but it'd be churlish to deny how much they succeed. With Valentine's Day approaching, Coldplay has revealed a "Charlie Brown" video that shows exuberant young love in a rave's neon light. Which, as it happily turns out, is yet another hugely appealing way to encounter this song. The MDMA-friendly day-glo color scheme fits the "we'll be glowing in the dark" hook and the swirling vocal intro that recalls the first time electronic dance music was supposed to conquer the States. And the giddy couples tumbling head over heels for each other speak to the sappy, old-fashioned romantic at the heart of every good Coldplay song. Pass the box of chocolates, or the Ecstasy, whichever's handier, and stick around for the piano-and-strings slow dance at the end. [Editor's note: Coldplay went all-out with the editing on this one, attempting to make us feel like we're in the rave with a bazillion quick cuts. There isn't one shot in this video longer than a split second, which we learned while trying to nab a screengrab. Thanks for making our lives hard, Coldplay!][12]

Exclaim!: Despite Top 40 favourites Coldplay's relatively squeaky clean image, things get hot and heavy in the new vid for Mylo Xyloto track "Charlie Brown." The soft rock anthem has the band rocking out in a small club with a bunch of glow-stick wavers, with Chris Martin pogoing into the frosh with an acoustic guitar in tow, but it's the cut scenes that supply the scandal. In it, a young, romantic, hoodied hooligan pulls off some rooftop acrobatics before smashing a car window to grab his ride for the night. He then picks up his girlfriend (Misfits star Antonia-Rose Laura Thomas), and they canoodle for a bit before heading out to the concert spot. Beneath the lasers, they party it up, and then every neon-paint-smeared patron starts making out. As exciting as it all seems, we can't help but notice we're always seated in the sexless 30-somethings section each time we catch the band in action. In fact, this vid is almost the exact opposite of an actual Coldplay concert.[13]

The NJ Underground: Coldplay have let go the official music video for their new single "Charlie Brown". The track originally appears on the UK group's fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto, which hit stores back in October via Parlophone Records. The Mat Whitecross-directed visual was filmed in London and seems to capitalize on the resurging rave culture. It's about those times when you stay out all night partying at a club that has an internationally known rock band performing in the middle of the dance floor, instead of just a DJ spinning records.[14]

More of the dancers as featured in the Charlie Brown video

'Topless women' rumours false

It seemed like the media were getting very excited about the video in December 2011, as the internet was full of reports [15] that Coldplay hired 'topless ladies' to feature in their new video for Charlie Brown. According to The Sun, Coldplay laced an advert offering to pay extras £100 if they went topless for the video. However, this was discredited from within the camp, as the maker of the Xylobands, Jason Regler (who was involved in the video shoot from a glowband perspective), tweeted[16] on 16th December 2011 that it wasn't as rauchy as the media would have liked, saying, "No breasts." He also said that the video would be released in the new year, and this matches the rumour that it is set to be released on 10 January 2012.

A source said: "There was a huge response. Of course there would be, it's Coldplay. Adding: "The venue it took place in was a little chilly but, on the whole, everyone was well looked after. It was a long one though, starting from 9am to just before midnight over three days. The video is going to look brilliant once it's finished." [17]

The Sun then continued with their series of articles drip-feeding us with information from the event. Their latest one reads like this: "Coldplay are hard taskmasters. Girls who applied to feature in the video for the band's forthcoming single, Charlie Brown, had to dance for EIGHT HOURS caked in luminous make-up. Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion made up for the gruelling day's work though. They footed the bill for lunch at the pub next door to the church in Brentford, West London, where filming took place – then sorted a free bar. Doubt the boozer had much Red Bull left."

Roadie #42 blogs about the making of Charlie Brown video

Following the directions from the car park to the video shoot location, I pass the pub that’s noted on the map. I look in the windows to see if there’s anyone I recognise in there. The pub is completely awash with folks covered in luminous paint. Clearly I’m getting close. They’re quite a striking sight, all crazy hairdos, raving outfits and glow in the dark splashes - yet they’re all sat quietly chatting, drinking and reading the paper like it’s the most normal thing in the world. I have to wonder what the old fella in the corner who’s nipped in for a quiet lunchtime half is thinking.

The shoot site itself is classic Mat Whitecross. I trudge in over the mud and into a very musty abandoned old wreck. It’s about the least glamorous location you can imagine, but you can instantly see it’s going to look great. On the way, I pass Paris, the band’s resident graffiti artist. He’s recounting a tale to his friend. Apparently, he turned up last night to get started Mylo-ing up the interior. When he arrived, he found that the key he’d been given didn’t appear to match the padlock.

Now, Paris is a graffiti artist from Bristol with a backpack full of spray cans and a job to do. It will come as a surprise to absolutely no-one that a locked door poses less of a problem to him than to many in this situation. Soon, he’s inside working his way around the walls weaving his magic. Equally unsurprising is the fact that he’s shortly finding himself trying to explain to a local bobby that he really was allowed to be in here and that he really *wasn’t* planning an illegal party. [18]

Live prequel video

On 7th December 2011, Coldplay posted a live version of the Charlie Brown video, as a prelude to the official video that would later be released in January 2011. The footage came from the headline festival appearances around the world, earlier in 2011. The live prequel also came with the message: "Happy memories of playing this song at festivals over the summer. Directed by the brilliant Mat Whitecross and Mark Rowbotham. 'Proper' Charlie Brown vid coming later... Love Will" [19]

The Oracle on the Charlie Brown video

March 27, 2012 - submitted by Mega Elizabeth, Indonesia
Q. Hey Oracle I have seen coldplay video.. Charlie Brown. who the boy in ya video? Thx .. handsome boy.
The Oracle replies:
His name is Elliott Tittensor.

December 29, 2011 - submitted by Conor, Australia
Q. Hey there Oracle,
I remember the Charlie Brown Summer Tour video as saying to expect a real Charlie Brown video soon - any hints at what could possibly follow after Paradise's great clip?
Cheers,
Conor.
The Oracle replies:
Dancing and illuminous day glo paint. Oh, but there are no topless female dancers as has been rumoured. That's all I'm saying!

Charlie Brown discussion links

  • Messageboard sub-forum for Charlie Brown [20]
  • Charlie Brown Video - Topless Girls? [21]
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