Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Review 3: Coldplay's Viva La Vida


When I heard that Coldplay was releasing their first album since 2005, I said "about damn time". When I heard that Brian Eno was producing it, I was excited. And finally, when I heard they were "branching out", I was scared. Nowadays when bands "branch out", it's their way of saying, we're trying to be different. The album has all the typical aspects that you'd expect from a Coldplay album, but this time with more political references. Don't get me wrong, the music is epic (minus the uninventive guitar licks), but hearing Chris Martin getting political in a falsetto just doesn't do it for me.
The first moments of "Life in Technicolor" are golden. What starts as an electronic tape-loop sort of thing, turns into an epic Coldplay anthem via a Middle-Eastern dulcimer riff. The album drops off at "Yes", where Chris Martin sings lower than a tuba. The proposed flagship, "Viva La Vida" opens with vivacious strings, and evokes Roman influences, the song seems to be sung in the point of view of Julius Caesar himself. The real gems on this album are "Lovers in Japan", "Strawberry Swing" and the final epic "Viva La Vida". Although not Coldplay's best album, some of the songs are the best of the decade.


  1. Life In Technicolor -evokes the feeling of waking up after a long night's rest, a beautiful melody turned into an instrumental anthem, and Middle-Eastern influences too! 5 stars
  2. Cemeteries of London -brings in the political stuff, boring, 3 stars
  3. Lost! -an upbeat song, classic Coldplay but still unique enough to stand out in its own right, 4 stars
  4. 42 -It starts out okay, but by the end all my attention is gone, 3 stars
  5. Lovers in Japan -an ode for runners, lovers, and soldiers to keep on keeping on. If Chris Martin wrote anymore about the soldiers than it would've ruined it, but this song is perfect. The melody, the message, it's epic, 5 stars
  6. Reign of Love -a soft piano ballad, 4 stars
  7. Yes -no. 2 stars
  8. Chinese Sleep Chant -A driving guitar riff leaves the reverb drenched vocals in the dust, but it doesn't matter at all. This song completely surrounds the listener, 4 stars
  9. Viva La Vida -Julius Caesar giving his final testament and reminiscing about his former glory and life. Vivacious strings, and even better....timpanis and bells! The chorus finds the listener humming along and bopping their head, 4 stars
  10. Violet Hill -too dark, too boring, too political. They're trying to say too much but they're saying the same thing over and over again, 3 stars
  11. Strawberry Swing -a Chinese folk style guitar riff, flawless vocals, sweet lyrics of summer love at a swing, this song plays as sweet as strawberries. The best song Coldplay has done in years and years, 5 huge stars
  12. Death and All His Friends -"So come over, just be patient and don't worry", ah if only it were that easy. The piano is perfect, the guitar lines supplement the melody. When the slow piano-driven parts ends, the song is transformed into a driving anthem. The band singing all together pleads "I don't want to follow death and all of his friends", 5 stars
  13. The Escapist -somewhat of a supplement to "Life in Technicolor" to wrap things up. And that it does, perfectly. 4 stars

Flagship: "Strawberry Swing"


No comments: