Review Summary: Coldplay produce a valiant record and a nice bouceback from "X&Y"
Coldplay wasn’t Coldplay on their last album. As cliché as that sounds, on “X&Y” there weren’t as many hooks, as many brilliant spouts of lyrics, and as many moments that made you say “wow”. This drove Coldplay into a hiatus, were they had time to rest and come back refreshed into the studio. When they came back in the studio and started recording my question was: could they make something even close to the quality of “Parachutes” or “A Rush Of Blood To The Head”?
Coldplay show how they have progressed on this new album with their opening song, “Life In Technicolor”. The song introduces the album properly as it has a lot of freaky noises and piano driven rock. This song really shows off a more focused side of the band and that they are ready to experiment more in there music. What is really cool about the song is how it flows perfectly into the next song “Cemeteries Of London”, what Coldplay does hear is create a haunting atmosphere, while still dishing out pretty poppy and catchy lyrics and having swift instrument changes. The song is very atmospheric but it still seem like it is feeding too much off the intro “Life In Technicolor”. The breakdown here is lacking emotion and the voice is distorted too much by the noises the instruments are making. The song finishes off with a pretty abrupt piano solo, which is a nice addition.
The album really reaches its peak with “Lost”. “Lost” is a song driven by club like beats and swift rhythm changes that we have really never seen from Coldplay before. The song is very catchy and switches tone quickly. This has some of the best lyrics Coldplay have done in a while:
“You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn't mean you've won
'Cause along may come
A bigger one
And you'll be lost
Every river that you tried to cross
Every gun you ever held went off
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the firing starts”
This song is a brilliant and it once again leads perfectly into the next song, “42”. “42”, starts out with a pretty nice intro and it is filled with beautiful atmospheric piano and with scary lyrics. The song is so catchy in the begging that it really sets up nicely for the jam session, which is very well done. It features every sort of instruments with the guitar roaring in the background, when this part of the song reaches its climax you hear the best breakdown on the album as the band screams: “You thought you might be a ghost/ you didn’t get to heaven but you made it close”. Wrapping up this song with this good of a breakdown makes the song instantly one of the many highlights from the album.
The next two tracks aren’t as high in quality as the two previous tracks but they do add a soft and touching feel to the album. “Lovers In Japan”, is probably a love song [wow am I smart] and has sort of a Japanese techno feel to its intro. The singing in this song has a very retrospective feel to it and though the song nears 7 minutes in length there aren’t many qualities to it. It is just a straight up piano rock love song; with lyrics that may be some of the weakest of the album. “Yes”, is another soft song as it has a gigantic orchestra like intro that swiftly introduces an acoustic guitar. I really like Chris’s voice in this song; it has a very mellow feel, and this song enters a new complexion lyrically for him. The orchestra like noises in the background makes this one enjoyable, but one of its glaring errors is how it doesn’t speed up dramatically during the chorus. If it sped up dramatically in the chorus and had sort of a jam session for a while I think the song would be the best song on the album. I think these songs are good songs, but I think “Lovers In Japan” and “Yes” have potential to be a lot better.
The next 3 of 4 tracks are very good though as we have “Viva La Vida”, “Violent Hill”, and “Death And All His Friends”. “Viva La Vida”, is a very catchy and a great choice for a single. The beautiful noises in the background combined with the solid playing of the guitar make this one excellent. I also like how the bands lyrics again sound retrospective and the lyric “That is when I ruled the world”, shows off that the band is actually taking chances in there lyrics and not just writing simple love songs. “Violet Hill”, is a special song to me because it is the most experimental song on the album yet it is still one of the catchiest. The song starts out with sort of a techno background beat and it progresses into a piano driven beat for a little while then you finally hear some electric guitar being shredded in the background. The background vocals and distortion add unique features to this song that other songs on this album just do not have, there is even a mini guitar solo and jam session. This new experimentation is what makes Coldplay album unique from their other albums. “Death And All His Friends”, is a perfect closer to the album. I really like how it is piano driven and how his voice matches the beat perfectly.
Does this album match “Parachutes” or “A Rush Of Blood To The Head”? To be honest the answer to that question is no. But it was like it was a valiant effort, if Coldplay would have given the same boring and dull effort that they gave on “X&Y” then there would be nothing to look forward to as we look at Coldplay’s albums in the future. But Coldplay mixing in guitar solos, jam sessions, techno driven beats, and piano driven beats all into one album makes me realize that the sky is the limit for this band. And that is saying something in today’s mainstream music.
New things added
Sometimes to reflective
Life In Technicolor: 3.5/5
Cemeteries Of London 4/5
Lovers In Japan 3.5/5
Viva La Vida 4.3/5
Violent Hill 4.2/5
Strawberry Swing 2.7/5
Death And All His Friends 4.5/5