Coldplay - Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends (June 11, 2008)

Coldplay is one of those bands that are meant to create definitely winning songs and definitely you're not gonna be able to resist them no matter whether you are listening to any kind of rock, pop, or jazz. They are irresistibly melodic, unbelievably soft and deep and are usually totally approved by musical critiques and fans. Seems this can only happen when you talk about a pop band. But what they have common with a pop band is their perfect ability to keep up with the current mood and musical preferences. In the meantime they remain unique and experimental, not primitive which is again justified by their latest album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. And of course Chris's velvet vocal has far not an insignificant role in all this success. Another reason for remembering this brilliant band is their recent "Strawberry Swing" wonderful innovative clip release on September 14.
The red line in their new album is historical spirit present in all of the songs both in terms of the music and lyrics: there is some pattern of majesty and "British Highness" in most of the songs. This is probably reasoned by Chris Martins' intensive reading of Dickens during the creation of the songs. There is also an evident influence of eastern culture on many songs such as Lovers in Japan, Yes. Yes has eastern solo parts performed by a violin that add an inner spice to the song besides you can feel Chris Martin's vocal change from high falsetto to sighing mumbling which is no less attractive and beautiful though. The song has a very different "whispering" outro. Death and all his friends is a really "chameleon" song that changes so often that in case you listened it part by part you would never guess these were parts of the same song. It is a very nice and despite the name positively sounding song with very surrealistic lyrics "I don't want to cycle or recycle revenge I don't want to follow death and all his friends".
There comes sweet, sunny, lovable, romantic flowery and ...Strawberry Swing. This song is so pure just like the source pouring in a green fine meadow bringing you the real feeling of a perfection and harmony. The guitar solo is so beautiful and all the song is so wonderful that in case i never heard Coldplay before i would ADORE them due to only this song.

Violet Hill, the "darkest" (if one can say so) in this album both in terms of the philosophical lyrics and "heavier" music is a song-masterpiece: a very strong and expressive, in terms of visual associations that are quite emphasized in this song particularly. Lost! is a very "dancy" with the African style drums and organ sound unusual combination. A very catchy song with again wonderful lyrics making you think and rethink...
Lovers in Japan is another oriental song with interesting effect of a "badly tuned" instrument's sound. The song suddenly stops in the middle and flows into a gentle piano solo.
42 has a changing nature as well: it starts in a rather Coldplay style manner: with a traditional piano playing softly in the background. Then it turns into a more aggressive instrumental solo and changes totally with Chris singing ironic "You didn't get to heaven but you made it close" managing to change back to the beginning part motives at the very end. Cemeteries of London sounds very similar to the "House of the rising sun" melody and to me it's the least appealing song in the album yet it is a great song taken as separate. Life in technicolor II is a very motivating, inspiring song with a cute video having the band members as puppets playing for the kids. It makes you feel a rush of thousands of imaginary colors penetrating in you together with the song's sounds...
Viva la Vida is very corresponding to it's name and being the first single totally transfers the album general mood. It has a "big" sound and medieval spirit with its chimes and orchestral swells it describes the tragedy of a person thrown out of a throne.
In general this album is very positive, optimistic and upraising having more "active" and less "sleepy, cold" songs as usually Coldplay albums do and is much more visual. It is a real proof of Coldplay's ability of always staying interesting, new and wonderful making their songs worth saying Long Life Coldplay, a.k.a. Viva Coldplay!

1. "Life in Technicolor"
2. "Cemeteries of London"
3. "Lost!"
4. "42"
5. "Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love"
6. "Yes" (includes hidden track "Chinese Sleep Chant")
7. "Viva la Vida"
8. "Violet Hill"
9. "Strawberry Swing"
10. "Death and All His Friends"

And don't forget to fall into a fairy tale of Strawberry Swing ...


Mari said...

I guess my playslist is already ready for today! :) Thank you Manu for such a great post! Love Coldplay, especially the last album, well Strawberry Swing is number one on my list :D
Viva la Vida!!!!!!! :)))))

Anonymous said...

First I listened this album I was truly in love with it. Awesome work ! (ZL)

Davit said...

Good woke Manu!!! Love ya , love Coldplay!!!