Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Reviews - Coldplay - Viva la Vida


I have never been a huge Coldplay fan. I am not sure what it was about them that never got me excited. It is not that I disliked them, but they just lacked that something special.

That attitude has changed upon listening to their new album Viva La Vida.

This album is one of my favorite albums in recent months. Coldplay has traded in their piano driven, falsetto singing,soundtrack music sound for a more guitar driven album. Chris Martin sings lower on this album which makes them sound even better.

The album starts out with the worst song on the album, "Life in Technicolor" which is just a simple riff that is repeated over and over again with small changes and added instruments. If personally am not a fan of instrumental album openers unless they are done by Sufjan Stevens.

The second track "Cemeteries of London" is a great blend of slower melody with faster drums, I have always loved songs that do this.

The fourth track "42" sounds like a more typical Coldplay song which is not bad, but I could take it or leave it.

Following "42" Coldplay launches into "Lovers in Japan" which is one of my favorite songs. Probably because it sounds a lot like a Smiths song, and to add to the effect, the first 3 seconds of Chris Martin's voice on this track sound eerily like Morrisey.

The song "Yes" is full of great instrumentation and is easy for a guy to sing a long to without feeling it in the genitals.

Everyone has heard Viva La Vida thanks to Apple commercials. I do love this song. I am not sure what it is about. There is a great deal of religious imagery on this song (as well as the whole album) but this one seems to stick out. It strikes me like it is a song from God who is no longer in power...which makes me think of the God of a lot of some of the emerging church leaders...but that might just be because I am biased.

"Violet Hill" reminds me a little bit of later Beatles songs...so obviously this is not a bad thing.

"Strawberry Hill" is my favorite song on the album. The intro sounds like a bluegrass riff played on an electric guitar. Very cool

The last two songs close out the album nicely. I highly recommend this album, in fact I recommend that you buy it on vinyl since the vinyl version comes with a free CD of the album.

Songs to skip:
-Life in Technicolor
-42

Songs to listen to:
-Viva La Vida
-Strawberry Hill
-Yes
-Violet Hill

2 comments:

Isaac said...

well... i like the entire album b/c they actually wrote songs as an album and not just trying to have one good single and have mediocre songs for the rest of the album.

And i enjoy all of it...including Technicolor and 42.

You made good points and the only flaw i have with Technicolor is it's abrupt ending. I love how it builds but then i hate how it suddenly cuts off...if that would have had a cool decrescendo to lead into Cemeteries would have been a lot cooler. I also like this track b/c it ties into the very last track of the album...if you are playing it on CD and it loops around to the 1st track again...you can't really notice the break from album's end to it's beginning.

And 42 is OK, but what keeps me liking it is the driving 2nd half of the song. The second half of 42is going to be killer live.


my two cents, for what it's worth.

L&A said...

You sold me...I'm definitely going to buy this now. I'm so out of the loop though, I wouldn't have even known they had a new album if I hadn't read about it on the blog. That's sad.