Review Summary: “Life in Technicolor” is a clear rip-off of Blind Melon’s “No Rain”.
Past all the hullabaloo of thieving and influences, Viva la Vida
is leaps and bounds ahead of X & Y
and maybe even A Rush of Blood to the Head
. I am a big X & Y
appreciator. Every track was so substantial I had the album memorized after a few listens, a lot like with CAKE’s Comfort Eagle
or Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism
, two of my favorite albums of all time. On the flip side however, there is something wearing about Coldplay’s music. Like U2 it balances on that epic scale in an exhausting way. Chris Martin has a signature voice, yet his voice is so accessible and his melodies so familiar they go down easy but rot in my stomach soon after I’ve suffered their ecstasy. I dig them for weeks and then I become repulsed by anything Coldplay. So although when I first spun Viva la Vida
three weeks ago I was ready to declare it King or atleast top-five 2008 material, it’s already worn off on me. Sorry Coldplay.
One track that hasn’t worn on me at all is the opener, and that’s probably because of how unfamiliar it is. It feels more like Caspian then Chris Martin and friends. “Life in Technicolor” has been my driving song since I first heard it. “Lost” is a tremendous track; victim to the aforementioned Coldplay curse, it has such a killer melody it still deserves mention. The verse and refrain are equally dynamic, and the song is one of my favorites. “42” is boring at the start but the end is amazing. Midway through the song it transforms from a wilting piano verse into an uptempo bridge. As Martin croons you thought you might be a ghost / you didn’t get to heaven but you made it close
I can’t help violently tapping my feet and singing along. Then there is “Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love”. This song hits me so hard, it is the one I’ve gone back most to after “Life in Technicolor”. they are turning my head out / to see what I'm all about / keeping my head down / to see what it feels like now
. The meaning of the song has evaded me so far but it packs such musical force I have yet to be bothered by that. There is the trademark emotion in Martin’s voice, propelled by the music, and it has been enough for me. “Yes” is one of the tracks I actually don’t like. The weird violin part turns me off and I skip it when I’m not too lazy. “Death and All of His Friends” is the dynamic closer, a musical odyssey beginning with a grooving piano riff that within three short minutes brings the album full circle, reuniting with the intro of “Life in Technicolor”. It is beautifully done and the song really delivers.
So there you have it. In the end I really enjoy seven out of the ten tracks, and am only really bothered by one of them. Yet will I grovel at Coldplay’s collective feet and fellate to images of the great Chris Martin? Sorry Coldplay. I really love the majority of the group’s music, but there’s just something oppressive about them. Already I’m preparing to file Viva la Vida
away for a few months, maybe years. Coldplay has a unique effect on me; ironic, considering the accusations regarding the possible borrowing and mimicking of other groups and songs. I can't say this isn't great, because I have loved it and still love some of it; yet, when I listen to it it is as though I'm drowning. Listening to Coldplay is a lot like drowning in mint chocolate chip ice cream. It's intoxicating but kills you in a bad way. Now I'm going to go listen to "Lovers in Japan" and get all hyped up. It will probably ruin my day.