Coldplay
Prospekt's March


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
November 21st, 2008 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When it comes down to it, Prospekt's March is an inconsistent, but incredibly exciting half-hour of music.

Viva La Vida is, as I write this review, the biggest-selling album of 2008. Granted, that doesn't mean as much as X&Y's 13 million copies in 2005, but the point still stands - the panic at EMI has settled considerably since June. So with their first UK number 1 under their belts - the epic title-track - numerous prestige awards, and even a brief spell of critical semi-acclaim, we have just one question. Why on EARTH are Coldplay giving us more?

Wrapped pretentiously in another Eugene Delacroix painting and billed as an extension of the band's 4th LP, the curiously named Prospekt's March comes just 5 months after Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends hit the shelves. It is an 8-track release from arguably the world's biggest band, it features a collaboration from Jay-Z and three of its tracks are actually remakes of tracks from Viva. Surely, this is commercial rubbish to be avoided at all costs.

The first thing to note is that this is not an album in the traditional sense. The inclusion of Lost+ (that's the Jay-Z effort) and Lovers In Japan [Osaka Sun Mix] (basically a radio edit) renders the EP's flow somewhat fractured in nature. What is strange is that the band clearly acknowledged this - the two aforementioned tracks are 6 and 7 respectively - but still chose to place a new song AFTER them on the tracklisting. So who knows; maybe it was meant to flow after all.

Life in Technicolor ii, the re-working of Viva's opening instrumental, sounds as much as anything like a cop-out - a way of squeezing the last ounces of life out of a very credible song. In actual fact, the LP track did originally have the vocals anyway, but they were stripped off because it sounded like an 'obvious single'. It's very hard to argue with that point of view, but when you ignore its role as a marketing tool and just play the damn song, it stuns you into silence. Coupled with some of Martin's best lyrical work ever (granted, that doesn't say TOO much) - 'gravity, release me/don't you ever hold me down/now my feet won't touch the ground' - the uplifting twang of Buckland's guitar, amongst the rest, provides for an inspiring and infectuous chorus. The decision to remove the sample of Jon Hopkins' ambient 'Light Through The Veins' from the beginning of the song is also a good move for the sake of immediacy.

Postcards From Far Away is a very intriguing piano piece lasting just 48 seconds, but it serves as a very compelling interlude between two songs so bombasting they would otherwise be competing for attention; it's slightly more than that, of course, and serves as evidence that Martin could probably write film scores were he that way inclined. Then Glass of Water kicks in. With a vaguely interesting guitar line, the mid-tempo beat and the trademark piano, you could be forgiven for thinking this would turn into Coldplay-by-numbers right until just after the minute mark where the song explodes into an anthemic chorus with raging riffs, earthquake-sized drums and Martin's falsetto pleading through it all. At the end of track 3, you are wondering whether it's the best thing they've ever done. It's certainly, save Politik, the heaviest.

The rest of the EP, ignoring Lost+ and LiJ, is much more mellow than tracks 1 and 3 would have you believe; Rainy Day is an odd, often confusing number which edges a little too close to video game music, but is still strangely captivating, and Davide Rossi's violectra adds an extra layer of experimentation. The first verse is also probably drummer Will Champion's finest hour of both Viva and Prospekt's March, although he is strangely anonymous in the second half of the song. The title-track is a frankly beautiful Parachutes-esque effort with the rawest vocals Martin has released since that very album, and it works to fantastic effect; lyrically brilliant and emotionally uplifting, the song jostles with Glass of Water as the best on offer here.

The closer, Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground, smacks of Johnny Cash and actually pays homage to Til' Kingdom Come, the hidden track of X&Y. It's almost filler, but really, it's just a sweet way to close out the album, and it ties up some of the lyrically loose-ended threads that run through Viva and Prospekt's March.

It's fair to say that Prospekt's March is Coldplay's most eclectic collection of songs ever. With bitesize incorporations of rap, strings and horns alongside the typical Coldplay arrangement, it promises something for everyone. You can't help but wonder if, had two or three of these tracks been worked into Viva somewhere, they would have held a truly masterful album in their hands. At times, Rainy Day is too odd to label as 'different'; at others, it is dance-able and quirky. When it comes down to it, Prospekt's March is an inconsistent, but incredibly exciting half-hour of music.



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What are we drinking when we're done? Glasses of water....


Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2008


7427 Comments


Nice review.

I'm not a huge fan of Coldplay, but I might give this a listen cos I thought Viva La Vida was ok.

One problem is there isnt album art.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 21st 2008


10198 Comments


Thanks. If you like Viva La Vida you'll probably get on pretty well with this EP; when they said it was an extension it's fair to see how that works.

Re: album art, I have it, and have tried twice to put it up there, but it isn't working :/

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2008


7427 Comments


Try going to edit my reviews on your profile, I think you can put it on there.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 21st 2008


10198 Comments


I have, three times already, still nothing shows up. Confusedface.

rotterdog
November 21st 2008


489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very good review.

ninjuice
November 21st 2008


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very good review, pos'd. This all sounds pretty interesting and I hope the Jay-Z collaboration is better than the previous one (Martin producing Jay's song "Beach Chair").
I'm not sure the mods will really care - seeing as how an article with the stream came up not long before this - but you're supposed to link to the stream if the album isn't out yet.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 21st 2008


10198 Comments


It was released in Sweden and digitally in Japan, along with other places, today.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 21st 2008


10198 Comments


Also, does anybody have a clue re: the album art and why it isn't showing up. It did the same with a review I wrote of JoFo's Waited Up 'Til It Was Light

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2008


17231 Comments


the file for the art can only be so big and has to be in jpeg. try reupping a smaller pic.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2008


7427 Comments


Much better. I'll pos review btw

ninjuice
November 21st 2008


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jay-Z's rapping on Lost+ doesn't really fit. It might have worked better on one of the more upbeat/faster paced songs.

rasputin
November 21st 2008


14555 Comments


Lack of avatars in this thread pisses me off.

AtavanHalen
November 21st 2008


17927 Comments


Word to that.
Anyway, Lost+ is excellent.

Captain North
November 21st 2008


6792 Comments


I'd have an avatar but I can't do shit through the forums. My account won't activate or some stupid shit.

Need to check this out at some point.

AtavanHalen
November 21st 2008


17927 Comments


a) Lol.
b) Yes, yes you do.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 22nd 2008


10198 Comments


I actually think that owing to the fact Jay-Z's rap is quite down-tempo it works quite well. And I really don't think it would fit anywhere else on the EP...or the LP for that matter.

robin
Emeritus
November 22nd 2008


4261 Comments


this ep makes no sense : (

Cnunes15
November 22nd 2008


2 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i liked this better than viva la vida tht says alot to

Granfalloon
November 23rd 2008


176 Comments


Viva la Vida wasn't great, just good... but this is better, "Prospekt's March" is a great song.

Auldy
November 25th 2008


351 Comments


great addition to the album



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