Saturday, August 23, 2008


Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends-
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

From London, Coldplay is one of those few British bands that’s actually popular in the UK and the U.S. With the mad success of ‘Parachutes’ and ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’, and the disappointment that was ‘X&Y’, you could only hope that these four would create something that actually lives up to their debuts. Now in their early thirties, they’ve decided to try a style completely different to that of the last three. ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’ is that follow-up that everyone was hoping for. The album starts out with ‘Life In Technicolour’. A cheery overture starting out and album can only lead one to have expectations grandeur. This song reminds me very heavily of strawberries: just listen, you’ll see. ‘Cemeteries of London’ is dreary enough to fit the title and it’s gloomy enough to make it not sound like a repeat of the previous song. The acoustic guitar helps add to the middle-earth feel. ‘Lost!’ is bit annoying to me. I really don’t like the clapping so much. Though it doesn’t take away from the mood or splendor of the album, I really just don’t like it. It has a coconut sound that sounds stupid compared to the rest. ‘42’ is much better than ‘Lost!’. It’s gloomy and a bit eerie with the whole ‘I’m not dead, they’re just living in my head’ thing, but it has a pure sound to it that envelops you. When the mood changes to the ‘you didn’t get to heaven but you made it close’ thing, it really captivates the eardrums. I really don’t like ‘Lovers in Japan’ for the fact that it sounds too much like U2. Though it sounds a bit stupid compared to the rest of the album, the ‘Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp’ drum sound helps to make it more cohesive to the rest. ‘Reign of Love’ has a very storybook mood. It’s happy, but with that soft piano that further reminds me of fruit, melons to be exact. ‘Yes’ has a very murky, deep feel to it that makes you wonder why they didn’t name it ‘No’. The ‘Russian Folk Dance’ sounding strings helps add to the weird but dramatic sound of the album. ‘Chinese Sleep Chant’ is supposed to be a hidden track, but it’s not really hidden. The airy vocals and upbeat drums create a much more of a ‘YES!’ feel than the previous. It really puts you in a pleasant, very dreamlike mood, one that lasts too. ‘Viva La Vida’ goes right proper with the rest of the album. The strings produce such a clean, almost emotional sound, that’s unbelievably enchanting and the enthralling vocals just tie it together. ‘Violet Hill’ is a completely different sound from the previous but the general gist really goes. The end bit with the poignant and ghostly piano really finishes off the song nicely. ‘Strawberry Swing’ sounds very Irish bag pipe-y. Boysenberries come to mind with the thick drum beat and light acoustic guitar. It’s just a bit long. ‘Death and All His Friends’ finishes the album with a peaches and cream aura. Mid way, it develops a ‘Two of Us’ sort of feel (that’s the cream). The hidden track ‘The Escapist’ sounds like the lead off with the very spacy, strawberry feel. When an album loops it adds a much more finished, complete feel to it. Though a much better addition to their catalogue than ‘X&Y’, it’s still a huge style change to what you’re used to with Coldplay. Containing their biggest hit to date (Viva la Vida), you can easily see why this album sold so well. I’d suggest it to anyone, Coldplay fan or not. Melons and berries, makes a good fruit salad.

"We feel like a new band again, rather than some corporate machine"-Jonny Buckland

Video for Violet Hill

Coldplay's Official Website
Note: It's about time I review this album being that I don't review too many albums that came out this year. I'm going to post more reviews this week, like one a day or something so check back when you can. I hope you enjoy and I love the comments!


J.K. said...

One thing you neglected was that Ken Nelson produced the first 3 albums, while Brian Eno produced Viva la Vida, in addition to producing for the Talking Heads, and 8 U2 albums, including The Joshua Tree, The Unforgetable Fire, Actung Baby, and How to Dismantle an Atmoic bomb.

That's the reason for the U2 sounds right there.

As for strawberries, what?

Double Hawk said...

JK: If not made apparent I don't usually get into the whole producer thing, however, I did know that Brian Eno produced this record because they wanted to move away from what the band called 'Oldplay'. But only the one song sounds U2-y.