Sound: You can expect that when I opened the Coldplay website and I saw the butterfly, I thought to myself, "Score! Free Coldplay album!", and I'm sure a lot of you thought the same. This CD is a live recording of one of Coldplay's concerts after the release of Prospekt's March, and is still available for free on Coldplay's website.
This album is somewhat a "Greatest Hits" album for Coldplay. It runs for about an hour, and just contains a few of their singles and some songs from their later albums as follows:
01. Glass Of Water - This song from Prospekt's March is rather comparable to some of their older work while sounding new at the same time. The unfortunate thing about this track is that Chris Martin first proclaims "Hello", to the audience, which racks up a tremendous amount of applause and cheering. You'll probably get into a habit of skipping the first 20 seconds of this song. The track itself, is quite good, but is really just a copy of the song on Prospekt's March. If you happen to have Prospekt, you'll find yourself skipping this song quite often.
02. 42 - I really love the live rendition of this song. There's just something about it, maybe it's the rustle of the crowd or something, but it certainly sounds better on this CD. The piano, leading to the guitar fill and the final section just seem to work better for me.
03. Clocks - Some would say the quintessential Coldplay song, the rendition of Clocks is again one that is very similar to the original recording. The clap that begins at the beginning of the song and follows through the middle sometimes gets quite irritating, and like Glass Of Water, if you have the original, you'll end up skipping this quite a bit. Chris tries to vary up the song a bit in the bridge, but really it seems like a bit of a crowd pleaser and a warm-up.
04. Strawberry Swing - This is a song off Viva La Vida and I find this version a bit better than the original actually. The guitar riff is classic, and fills the song's atmosphere quite nicely. Chris's vocals round off this performance. Sure, the clapping does get a little irritating, but this song really shines a bit in the early half of the album.
05. The Hardest Part/Postcards From Far Away - I quite like this track as it's a new take on an older Coldplay song. This rendition of The Hardest Part is a bare-bones piano and vocals version, and Postcards From Far Away, although tacked onto the end, works with the piano of this song.
06. Viva La Vida - Yes, this song. With the audience singing along to the bridge and really a good part of the strings drowned out in the cheering, I really couldn't say I enjoyed this one. Maybe it's the fact that it's a little overplayed, or it's really exactly the same to the original, but this didn't really cut it for me. I found the original to be quite a nice song, and the strings here worked marginally.
07. Death Will Never Conquer - I found this to be quite an interesting snippet. This track is drummer Will Championing donning the guitar and playing a short, 1 and a half minute song. I find his voice quite listenable, and the song was simple yet effective.
08. Fix You - With LeftRightLeftRightLeft, I found that the tracks started improving the further I got in, and this is real proof of that. Fix You has been a staple of Coldplay Concerts since X&Y and it's not really the song but the audience that makes it shine. As the chorus approaches and you hear the thousands of fans singing along to the chorus it really makes you feel better.
09. Death And All His Friends - A decent concert ender, this song was well rounded and sounded better than its rendition on Viva La Vida. The final moments of this song, where the whole band and the audience join in, sounds much fuller and stronger than the album version. // 7
Lyrics: Chris Martin is a very reliable singer, and he doesn't fail to deliver in LeftRightLeftRightLeft. Even if he could not sustain the falsetto for Fix You, his voice was still the standout and its strength is impressive.
Will Champion's vocals also need to be commended for Death Will Never Conquer, and also the audience played a decent part in some of the later songs. Maybe they weren't all on key, but en masse it's forgivable. // 8
Overall Impression: This live album doesn't seem to compare as much to Coldplay's albums. It does, however, give a different insight into some of Coldplay's songs and also, is free. If you've wanted to hear what Coldplay is like without buying an album or single, this is an opportunity. I must say though, I found their albums to be superior to this live recording. // 7