|UserReviews 19Approval 93%Soundoffs 2Album Ratings 693Objectivity 69%Last Active 10-17-13 4:03 pmJoined 01-30-09Forum Posts 0Review Comments 90
|How To Make Viva La Vida Into A Great Album|
When Coldplay released "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends" last June, the responses
(with, of course, plenty of exceptions) generally fit into one of three categories:
(1) it's the greatest album ever made (Coldplay fanatics)
(2) it's decent-good-very good but not a classic or anything (most critics and music fans)
(3) it's awful (pretentious snobs)
No matter how much I read and how many people I talked to, I could never find anybody
who shared my reaction. I thought there was some truly wonderful music on the album,
enough to make it "great", but that Coldplay shot itself in the foot with the organization. For
only ten tracks there are far, far too many painful gimmicks that make the whole thing
difficult to enjoy. On their own none were too bad, but they added up and hurt the album
quite a bit.
So here's "Viva la Vida (good version)" as it's called in my iTunes. All that's needed is to
make a copy of each track under the new album name and a few tracks from the Prospetki's
March edition and a little bit of editing and you have it.
I'd give the original album 3/5 and this version 4.5/5.
Life in Technicolor
Alright, the first track. Like most of the album, it's something new for the group, which I appreciate.
Why this annoyed me originally: the entire song is essentially a long buildup that dies as soon as it gets interesting,
dropping right back to near-nothingness for the quiet opening segment of "Cemeteries of London". Truly frustrating.
The fix: drop "Cemeteries of London" (which I never much liked) and set the track to end at 2:25
Why this originally annoyed me: because it was "Cemeteries of London", which, in addition to being mediocre,
is the worst one to put after "Life in Technicolor". The immediate transition from the end of "Life in
Technicolor" to the loud pulse of the beginning of "Lost!" is completely badass.
|3||Lovers in Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)|
Why this annoyed me originally: I loved "Lovers in Japan" (it's right ahead of "Daylight" as my favorite song
from the group), but it annoyed the hell out of me that "Reign of Love" was pointlessly slapped onto it. They
sound nothing alike and have nothing in common (other than sharing "Love" in the title). If I ever wanted to
listen to "Lovers in Japan", I'd have to go manually switch to the next song to avoid the tedious "Reign of
Love". Plus, the Osaka Sun remix sounds even better anyway.
|4||Chinese Sleep Chant|
Why this annoyed me originally: Because "42" is essentially two songs that sound nothing alike with an endless transition in
the middle (which makes sense considering the song was progressing from two completely dissimilar points). Both parts were
well-lyricised, and the final minute was amazing, but the structure impeded any enjoyment. So I insist on replacing it with
"Chinese Sleep Chant". You'll have to make an additional copy of "Yes" for this. Just set it to start at 4:05 and change the
title. I absolutely love this song - it's mysterious, original, cool: everything a great song needs. I have no idea why it's hidden
in "Yes", as the two songs sound nothing at all alike and benefit in no way from being together. Take "Birdcage" (with hidden
track "Baby Bird" from "Breach by the Wallflowers as a counterexample: the two songs are great on their own and similar
enough to feel like a cohesive 7+ minute piece.
"Yes" is another great song. The use of strings (continued in "Viva la Vida") and Chris Martin's baritone are both fresh ideas
that work quite well. Just set the second copy to stop at 4:03.
|6||Viva La Vida|
An energetic, brilliantly written piece with all the depth many accuse Coldplay of not having. Leave this as it is.
Why this annoyed me originally: the 35 second introduction. 35 seconds of absolutely nothing. Really, nothing. I
get the point (a recovery from the previous songs and a buildup to this one), but really, nothing for 35 seconds?
Phenomenal song otherwise. Just set it to start at 0:30.
The only song outside of "Viva la Vida" and maybe "Lost" that's brilliant and perfectly enjoyable on its own.
Refreshing, with brilliant use of Martin's falsetto.
|9||Death and All His Friends|
Why this annoyed me originally: Three and half minutes of great music very much in the spirit of the album followed by an
ending that's pointlessly tacked onto the same track and undeserved. The return of "Life in Technicolor" is good for the
album and all, but I don't understand why it can't just be track 11. Look at Radiohead's transition from "Optimistic" to "In
Limbo" on "Kid A". It's short, interesting, and at the end of the song, unlike the endless silence at the beginning of "Violet
Hill". If I want to listen to "Kid A", the transitions are there. If I want to listen to "Optimistic" or "In Limbo", I can without
any trouble (except for maybe being a tiny bit confused by the transitional segment at the end of "Optimistic"). If I want to
listen to "Death and All His Friends", I can't unless I manually change the track, because the return to "Life in Technicolor" is
tacked on. It's a movement that could help the album but doesn't and just hurts the song.
|10||Life in Technicolor ii|
An excellent return to the beginning in a jolly, fun fashion. Get it from Prospekts March. A perfect ending.
|this is nice... i wanna hear Waior's reaction.|
|or you could stop whining and deal with it|
|9's additional section is called The Escapist and holds the most important lyric of the record.|
Apparently 3 is at a slightly faster tempo than the LP track.
Much as I think this is kinda a futile exercise (I once wrote a massive fucking post on a message board about how well I think this album is organised) I'm going to check out how this runs.
|how do you set songs to start / finish at certain times?|
|Pretenctious snobs hate Coldplay? I thought pretentcious snobs liked coldplay.. |
|Strikey, if you're using iTunes you can change a song's start and stop times under the options tab of its info. As for the post, while some might bash you for wanting to tamper with the album, I thought this was one of the more interesting lists I've read in a while since the organization of albums is sort of intriguing to me.|
|Yeah I have a massive thing about the make-up of records. Thanks, although I'd found it anyway. I now have 145 Coldplay tracks on my iTunes.|
|One of the coolest lists I've seen in a while|
|strikey, i'm very interested in a defense of the organization. do you have a link to the post you mention?|
|This is why we write reviews|
|I think the only way to make a coldplay album good is by throwing it high in the air and shooting it with a shotgun. Fire! BOOOM!. |
Interesting list. It would have been better if you picked someone other than coldplay.
|This actually works pretty well, although I would end Life in Technicolor a few seconds early and start Violet Hill at :35 rather than :30. I would recommend this to someone who dislikes their slower material.|
|i def agree w/ some stuff on here (like cutting down some of the double-songs and the violet hill intro), but getting rid of cemetaries of london and 42 is an awful idea. both those songs are the fucking shit. i'll admit i originally got pissed at 42's 2-in-1 thing, but i've come to REALLY dig that song. it's some good shit.|