Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends



by natey USER (46 Reviews)
June 28th, 2008 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

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.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 28th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Less than 4 for VLV = AUTONEG!!11 Nah, 'twas an alright review. I still think the album is king, though.

June 28th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with a fair amount of it. Lovers in Japan is a great song indeed, but I'm not too fond of 42 or Death and All His Friends.

I do think that since you didn't talk too much about the album's sound as a whole, it would've been nicer if you talked about more songs from it.

June 28th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, this wasn't one of those reviews I worked on for a day; i wrote it just now for my blog and decided to post it here too seeing as it doesn't have to hold up the album (there's a billion other reviews).

edit: about the lack of musical description... Coldplay has a pretty signature sound and they didn't variate a ton from it. new ideas and melodies, but nothing drasticThis Message Edited On 06.28.08

June 29th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I was pleasantly surprised about this follow-up, I think it's a good move since X & Y.

June 29th 2008


Sexy album.

Good Review.

October 25th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I just want to say WTF to your title line?

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