Coldplay
LeftRightLeftRightLeft


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
May 15th, 2009 | 42 replies | 12,880 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is Coldplay, live.

Eleven months ago, UK's Coldplay found themselves once more on the edge of world-beating success with critically acclaimed album Viva La Vida's new brand of experimental and diverse soft-rock. Six months ago, unused songs from the Viva sessions hit the shelves in the form of the Prospekt's March EP. In 2008 and the first five months of 2009, the band have embarked on two US tours and one European visit; they're also working on new material in the studio with Viva's producer Brian Eno. Granted, the group themselves probably had minimal input other than performing, but the free-of-charge release of a new live album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft, is still just a little bit impressive.

I'd love to say that LRLRL is not your typical live album, but really that's exactly what it is, and a short one at that; at 9 tracks and 39 minutes long, it's a short glimpse of the stadium- and arena-rock sound the band have been nurturing since the more ambitious numbers of Rush Of Blood. Unsurprisingly, Coldplay's more recent material dominates the track listing, with Parachutes not even getting a look-in. No, 6 of the 9 songs on offer here are from records released post-2007, and it's a tribute to the talented pop songwriting that these anthems translate well to the big stage; obviously, it's hard to tell without the aid of pictures, but 42 sounds every bit as potent as it does as a studio recording, and Strawberry Swing is enhanced by the fact that it manages to retain its humble, sweet nature even when it's being sung to the rafters. One of the most difficult and overlooked things about pop music is the amount of talent it takes to write music which seems personal to every one of a million people; Coldplay have always been pretty much top of that league table.

Yes, there are hiccups. Death Will Never Conquer is practically a filler track which, given the range of hits on offer to fill its place, is a little bit criminal. It may be that it's meant to set up the finale – the ever-present and -affecting Fix You, complete with the standard crowd vocals, and the closer Death And All His Friends. One of Viva's best tracks, it's a little underwhelming here, and doesn't really have any sense of closure; that said, its a capella introduction is a stand-out moment. Other such parts include the handclap-led percussion when the opening piano riff of Clocks starts up, and the crowd's repetition of the wordless chorus at the end of Viva La Vida, which one gets the impression is now burned brightly on the musical retinas of anybody who has ever seen Coldplay in concert.

Certain quirks, like the noticeable arpeggiated piano at the end of opener Glass Of Water, are welcome differences to those familiar with the album tracks, and The Hardest Part works surprisingly well as a heartfelt Chris Martin solo song (well, except the crowd, obviously.) Champion offers backing vocals throughout and he and Martin are on top-form. The singer's manipulation of the lyrics, especially during penultimate track Fix You, shows that he's by no means a robot when he's singing live, and it's always endearing to see the level of connection with a song which allows you to subtly alter lines' syntax without changing the meaning of the song. Of course, there are some parts they don't change at all, and for good reason. Some choruses just need to be word-perfect.

So yeah, it's a live album. It doesn't surpass that format and it's certainly nothing ground-breaking. But it just might find its way into your CD player ahead of any of the four studio albums, by virtue of its accessibility and the fact it contains at least 8 of the best songs the band have ever written. The fact of the matter is that, were this the first Coldplay album you'd ever heard, you'd be utterly blown away by the way in which such simply-written pop music finds its way onto the lips of a crowd of thousands. The recording is great, the crowd is into it, and all four band members are on top form. There are times you have to close your eyes and just sing your heart out, and this is one of them.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is available to download for free at http://lrlrl.coldplay.com/leftright.html

AtavanHalen
May 15th 2009



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Coldplay were AWESOME when I saw them in March; am getting this now.

Waior
May 15th 2009



11425 Comments


Good review; I had no idea this existed.

fireaboveicebelow
May 15th 2009



6837 Comments


strawberry swing, cool

Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw them in november david, they were equally awesome. crowd was a bit lame but they were astounding.

it's existed as of today waior, and thxX

Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

strawberry swing might well be the best song on here

AtavanHalen
May 15th 2009



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The giant confetti-filled balloons in Yellow = win.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

more about the butterfly confetti in lovers in japan,

which im surprised isn't on here, but it's really tough to choose.

glad yellow isn't on it though.

fireaboveicebelow
May 15th 2009



6837 Comments


why only 9 songs though?

Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dunno, if i had to pay for it i'd complain.

Waior
May 15th 2009



11425 Comments


Okay, well, I had no idea that this was going to exist.

Douglas
May 15th 2009



9050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

why only 9 songs though?


Probably because it is free

fireaboveicebelow
May 15th 2009



6837 Comments


does that mean this is a compilation of live tracks?

Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no, it doesn't run from the start of the concert but from there on it all flows as a whole.

(i believe)This Message Edited On 05.15.09

Douglas
May 15th 2009



9050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I heard that they are from all different show... I think the news article said that (from the site)

Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really? wow, that's surprising not least because the transitions are done so well. i mean, i knew there was some editting between THP and VLV because they play the sample in the background as the band return to the main stage and here it just segues into it. doesn't really matter, it doesn't feel forcedly raw or improvised.

Douglas
May 15th 2009



9050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha, yeah they have done it quite well if so.
Though I just looked at the news article, seems that they have edited it since I last read it so maybe, it is the same concert!

Knott-
Emeritus
May 15th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol :S

At the end of the day 39 minutes of music have been put to CD and it's well worth having if you're a fan of Coldplay's studio albums. That's the bottom line (:

Douglas
May 15th 2009



9050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty much

SeaAnemone
May 15th 2009



19677 Comments


I'm seeing Coldplay next weekend.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation



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