Viva La Vida review by Coldplay

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  • Released: Jun 12, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.3 (254 votes)
Coldplay: Viva La Vida
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Sound — 8
The overall sound of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" is without a doubt unique amd like nothing heard for quite a while. The presence of producer Brian Eno on this album is evident on almost every track, and the listener can detect traces from "Music For Airports" and "Another Green World." Songs like Life In Technicolor, Violet Hill, and Death And All His Friends are centered largely around airy soundscapes set by synth pads, where as songs like Lost (which features oriental-style drumming) and Strawberry Swing incorporate progressive, innovative rhythms. It's a new approach for Coldplay, and I greatly welcome is as a change of pace from the usual slick piano tracks. But they will be missed.

Lyrics — 5
The lyrics on "Viva" are bizarre and cryptic, to start off with. Lyrics like "No I don't wanna battle from beginning to end; I don't wanna cycle, recycle revenge; I don't wanna follow death and all his friends" (Death And ALl His Friends), it's become appaernt that Coldplay's view on the world has become more somber and even depressed. Long gone are the beautiful love ballads like Yellow or the Scientist, the uplifting angelic vocals. The album lacks the most here.

Overall Impression — 8
In the long run, I think this album will be just another release--not their best or worse. But as of right now, it's a good fix. I, for one, miss the uplifting lyrics and the smooth piano, but their new found love of the drums and chunkier beats are also welcome. I feel the songs like "Lost!," "Violet Hill," and "Death And All His Friends" will become instant Coldplay classics (especially Death And All His Friends), but they will never draw mainstream attantion. The album is a big change of pace. It's not a adequate replacement for the smooth soft piano rock of yore, but it is still an excellent album.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    desol89
    It seems to me like one of the largest factors influencing peoples' opinion of an album is the artists' previous work. Previous albums set expectation and tastes in a listener's head and they will perceive their album based on previous work. It's hard to say there's a fixed pattern to that though. As for me, I only got into Coldplay after their release of X&Y, so I imbibed all of their work in one big intake and loved it all. Personally I think this new album is an absolute masterpiece! They've developed a darker and more instrumental edge to themselves while still churning out beautiful chimes and echoes all over the place. I will agree that Chris Martin's vocals are drowned out quite a bit- but not enough to bring down the album by any means. Simply put- if you loved Coldplay all the way through X&Y I guarantee you'll love the album.
    Deepkanwal
    devzors wrote: Chris Martin made a reference to Bob Dylan in describing how Rock has no soft, heavy, right, or wrong. This statement is certainly true, so argue on about which preferences or opinions are true. I love the controversy over this band though. Tip of the cap to Death and All His Friends(How I prefer to call the album). Very unpredictable and IMO creative. I am not an elaborate musician and therefore cannot give that justification to my argument, but this album takes so many twists and plateaus that I'm still listening to it several times per day. Great. Also... I encourage people to investigate Coldplay more, for they are contagious.
    I agree about the twists and turns on this album. Definitely increases the re-play value for the album.
    BaconFrenzy117
    devzors wrote: Chris Martin made a reference to Bob Dylan in describing how Rock has no soft, heavy, right, or wrong. This statement is certainly true, so argue on about which preferences or opinions are true. I love the controversy over this band though. Tip of the cap to Death and All His Friends(How I prefer to call the album). Very unpredictable and IMO creative. I am not an elaborate musician and therefore cannot give that justification to my argument, but this album takes so many twists and plateaus that I'm still listening to it several times per day. Great. Also... I encourage people to investigate Coldplay more, for they are contagious.
    I agree, this is a great album.... While nothing can compete with "Parachutes" it is good in its own right..... And no more comparisons to Radiohead. The two bands are differnt. Different styles completely.
    Chosenfro68
    I enjoyed the album. If you hated it, put a review about it. Afterall, that's what this page is about.
    Loki0012
    Im a person who's open to any kind of music and coldplay has caught my ear so far especially their other albums its just pure excellence i wouldnt expect soft rock to be my fav... I like Disturbed songs,Muse, THe killers, green day and all those rock bands but overall coldplay is still the best ... after hearing the first to singles im expecting and knowing that the others would be as grand as the two... so i give the album a 9/10 becoz im not sure yet coz i havent got the whole album yet but listened to some songs! Good stuuff! Coldplay will be my influence in my music life.
    Third3ye
    SixStrings wrote: x&y wasn't a bad album either, but it was the closest coldplay has ever come to selling out to the fans of theirs that only like them for their songs "the scientist", and/or "clocks". with all of this being said i absolutely love coldplay and what they have done for music so quickly in their careers!
    Well said. X&Y was such an uninspired re-hash of typical Coldplay sound that I was very doubtful about anything that would come afterward. But reading this page has changed my mind. I don't care whether it sounds like Eno had too much influence or if it sounds like they became a mariachi band, I just want something new from a band that has proven to be worth a damn.