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After hearing Viva La Vida, and loving it, I decided to ask for the album for Christmas. However, after a first listen, I was disappointed, and was finding the album very slow-paced.
After listening to it more though since last christmas, 'Viva La Vida' has grown on me, and has quality tracks. Opening with an intro, this sets the scene for a story/journey. With an intro, it is a complete work, and this is another reason why I would discourage people from buying just 'Viva la Vida' song on download, as they won't experience the whole album as a work.
For me, the key tracks are 'Lost', 'Viva la Vida' 'Violet Hill' and 'Lover's In Japan'. 'Lost' has a great beat to it, one which immediately draws you in, and has lyrics about self-belief and inspiration. With lyrics such as 'You might be a big fish in a little pond, doesn't mean you've won...' it shows the witty side to the lyrics.
'Viva La Vida' has the iconic opening bars, with the strings, and could almost be described as an anthem. This track is well produced, sounding very full, but not so much so it sounds 'false' and over-produced.
I absolutely love this record. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. I love all of the songs on it, and I especially love the continuous nature of the album. The album is really a soundtrack for life, as it starts with "Life in Technicolor", which is like a description of the first few years of our life where we do not speak (the song has no words). The album finishes with "Death And All of His Friends", but then ends in the same tone that "Life in Technicolor begins", which says to me that out of death comes new life. The songs all connect, and I think it really shows how events in our lives are connected. There are definitely more metaphors and symbols to be found in this album, and that is one of the reasons why I love it. There is always something new to discover about the songs themselves or the album as a whole. I'm not sure just who's idea it was to make the album like this, but I can't thank that individual enough for giving such a gift to the world. Music these days is often just about making it big or trying to be provacative in order to get attention. Coldplay turned that belief on its head with Viva La Vida by allowing the music to speak for itself.
I think everyone should at least give this album a listen. If you like Coldplay, Chris Martin, or just music in general, I think you'll be able to appreciate this album. It really is a masterpiece, and it's probably one of the greatest albums of the last 10 years. It is definitely Coldplay's greatest album to date. I am sitting in anticipation to see what they can come with next to top this album.
Coldplay is a band people tend to love or hate. They are no longer cool to like, but that doesn't stop people secretly buying their records.
The problem is that people think they know what to expect from Coldplay. Chris Martin's voice is distinctive, and not always in a good way, and even as someone who quite likes the band, it is easy to see that the majority of their albums show little progression or evolution.
Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends is where that changes. From the first melodic offering of "Life in Technicolour", it is obvious we're in for something different. Cemetaries of London follows the trend, if perhaps lulling people into the dauting realisation that the promise isn't going to be justified. It has a nice chorus and lyrics, but it does sound a bit too familiar.
This changes with Lost! The rythum and style is different to what Coldplay have become known as. And it's great.
42 is a slower piece, and again threatens to drag Coldplay back to the old band we all know and mostly dislike. But some will like it.
Lovers in Japan and Reign of Love is where it really kicks off again. It's a different beat, a different approach, and it's definitely a step in the right direction.
Then comes perhaps 5 of Coldplay's best tracks of all time: Yes, Viva La Vida, Violet Hill, Strawberry Swing, Death and All His Friends. They sound distinct and escape from the typcast we've given to Coldplay. Chris Martin's voice no longer seems like the prominent feature.
If that wasn't enough, they dip into some shoegaze, ambient and electronic too, usually as short bursts of tunefulness at the end of songs.
It is refreshing, and even if some songs feel like they are from Coldplay of old, it does seem as if they might be starting to break from the mold, and carving out a new direction for themselves.
Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)
Producer: Brian Eno, Markus Dravs, Jon Hopkins, Rik Simpson
Life in Technicolour
Cemeteries of London
Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love
Viva La Vida
Death and All His Friends
Released in 2008, Viva La Vida is the fourth album by British band Coldplay. Having previously reviewed Coldplay's earlier albums, I have become quite a fan of their material over the years, which is often low on the pretences which have swallowed up some of their peers. I mean what's so wrong with simply writing a bunch of accomplished love songs?
The gimmick this time around (if you can call it a gimmick) is hiring producer Brian Eno, whom is often brought on board to expand a band's musical horizons, while accentuating their strengths and playing down their lesser points. Over the years he has worked wonders with artists as successful and varied as David Bowie, Talking Heads and U2.
Therefore, it is somewhat surprising to find that Viva La Vida is a record which has not been entirely convolved, or manipulated by Brian Eno. Simply put, Coldplay have not reinvented themselves, neither have they given sway to Brain Eno's persuasive ideals. Instead, Viva La Vida is quintessential Coldplay. I am not saying that Eno's influences on Viva La Vida cannot be traced, because they absolutely can, be it the stringent guitar riffs which sometimes dominate (Violet Hill), or the sweet as honey soundscapes which are sometimes brought into existence (Life in Technicolour and Lovers in Japan/Reign of Fire).
However, it is Chris Martin which remains the beating heart behind this rather spectacular band.
Life in Technicolour is as a scintillating anthem as any previous Coldplay opener. It also enjoys the benefit of bookending the start of the album. First impressions are always important and what a fantastic first impression is made here. It is simply rapacious, devouring its slender running time and the record benefits from its inclusion. It's probably their best opener yet. Vocals would later be added to its single release, from EP Prospekt's March, but it is this original which remains the definitive cut.
The haunting 42 invokes strong imagery and could easily draw comparisons with the sombre piano ballads John Lennon penned at the start of his solo career. That is, at least, up until the tumbling Radiohead-esque guitar riffs and divergent melodic motions, which throws 42 into an entirely different sphere half way through its running time. "You thought you might be a ghost," is the knowledge imparted by Chris Martin, "you didn't get to heaven, but you made it close!" Oh well, better luck next time!
Having been passed the Shimmering Baton of Melody (OK, so I just made that up but who cares) from Life in Technicolour, fifth track Lovers in Japan/Reign of Fire effervesces with an unspeakable beauty. Such is its display of grandeur that I feel as if I am discovering it for the very first time upon each listen. The second segment of the song, Reign of Fire, is equally lofty, and although a far more self-effacing affair it is quietly compassionate and touching throughout.
The Oriental flavoured Yes bustles with sweltering verses and a simmering chorus, "If only you'd say yes, whether you will's anybody's guess. God only knows she won't let me rest but I'm tired of this loneliness!" True, at seven minutes long the droll rhythms as found during its final couple of minutes could have been dropped, otherwise it is a superb addition to Viva La Vida.
With its ambient introduction and punishing guitar riffs, Violet Hill brings two very different sides of the band to the table, the whimsical and the gravely serious. Like a couple of watchmen on the guard, Chris Martin, in a war cry, belts out the chorus and Jonny Buckland breaks out Scary Monsters era Bowie guitar riffs. Conducting the song beautifully, Chris Martin unabatedly dictates the strutting nature of this beast.
Strawberry Swing is an often overlooked gem on Viva La Vida. Booming handclaps and Afro-beat rhythms aplenty, they provide a balance when paired alongside Martin's animated vocal performance, which radiates warmth and receives you into its quirky embrace without a second question. It's my highlight on a much personally revered album. As for the lyrics, they are to die for, "They were sitting in the strawberry swing, and every moment was so precious. They were sitting, and they were talking in the strawberry swing. And everybody was fighting... (we) wouldn't want to waste a thing!" The words are ever so congruous for a song of this nature.
Trekking into uncharted territory might be a bit of an overstatement but Viva La Vida sees a band with an already great track record bringing on board enough new influences to keep things fresh, and just enough to push them in the right direction.
Is Viva La Vida Coldplay's best album yet? Yes. Absolutely. Definitely.
Read more reviews at www.danielkempreviews.co.uk
With Brian Eno producing the majority of the album, Coldplay are pushed to the boundaries of what they may be able to achieve, crafting this gorgeous album. Every sound is carefully considered, beautifully mastered and a good shot at doing something new. They shake up their sound, although not with a complete overall on Viva..
The opening chords of Life in Technicolor open the album , and indeed the live show, and when you hear Martin chanting in the background, it is hard to stop yourself from joining in. The album feels warm and inviting, as if it is wanting to share with you what it has inside.
Lost! is at first very jarring in the album's context but as you get used to it, the epic organ sounds just make sense. You feel as though Martin is really trying to do all he can to convey his message, as blurred as it may be through the album, it comes across well here "Just because I'm losing/ doesnt mean I'm lost"
Lover in Japan is the standout track. If you have seen coldplay live you will know all about the butterfly rain, and this pretty much helps to sum the track up.
Yes is the only disappointing song, and the obvious singles Viva la Vida and Violet Hill offer up instant melodies, destined to be lodged in your mind for a long time.
Ultimately, this album is warm, satisfying, but with no obvious singles after viva and violet, sometimes it all becomes a bit of a blur, but what a blur.
Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends is Coldplay's most recent album. Some of the more famous tracks include, 'Viva La Vida', 'Violet Hill', 'Lost!' and 'Strawberry Swing'. The music in this album is different to the usual Coldplay style. The songs vary from the slow starting 'Life In Technicolor' to the upbeat from the beginning 'Viva La Vida'. This new style has split fans' opinion all over the world (if you are struggling to understand what I mean by 'new style' I don't blame you, but I would recommend you buy the album and find out). Apart from the slight change in music Coldplay have again made a top class album. I recently went to the Coldplay Glasgow gig about a month ago and they really got me into this album. They truly are a world class band and if you have a listen to some of the Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends on 'YouTube' you won't be disappointed, and even if it isn't to your taste I highly recommend you listening to their earlier songs for example 'The Scientist', 'Yellow', 'Clocks', 'Fix You', 'The Speed of Sound' and many, many more. I think it would be a good investment for you to buy this album although maybe at a cheaper price than £7.58.
Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends is Coldplay's fourth album following the excellent X & Y. I was suprised when I got this album as it is a lot different musically from Coldplay's previous albums. Normally I am a fan of bands experimenting with their music but on my first listen to this album I was not to sure on Coldplay's new change of direction. Fortunately the album grew on me after a few listens and here is what I thought of each song:
Life in Technicolor
A very interesting short instrumental track featuring an Indian instrument called the santoor. There is a full version with vocals that was released as a single on the EP Prospekt's March which can be bought with the deluxe version of the CD. A great way to start the album off and an uplifting song in which it is easy to see Brian Eno's (who poduces this album) influence.
Cemeteries of London
A song inspired by Charles Dicken's novels, continues with the ambient sound in Life in Technicolor except with acoustic guitar and Chris Martin's slow, dream-like vocals. one of the more average songs on the album.
Starting off with an organ and clapping in the background, Lost is a good mixture of the style of this album and their previous catchy melodies in their previous albums. One of the best songs on the albums.
Nice piano line and again Chris Martin sings as if he is in a church choir. A bit slow and depressing to start off with, but at about 1.35 the direction completely changes and the song becomes much more up-beat and will put a smile instantly on your face.
Lovers in Japan
A beautiful joyous song with a good guitar riff that is so insanely catchy. Similar to "Lost" but more up-beat. One that will get stuck in your head immediately. A few seconds after it ends there is a hidden track which isn't great, sounds like a nursery rhyme or something but it fits the tone of the album well.
One of my least favourite tracks off the album, as it is a bit long-winded and at 7:06 drags on a bit. It is a bit similar to the previous songs as well. That is until you hear yet another hidden track, which is the most rock song on the album. It reminded me of the Stone Roses because of its guitar line and it wouldn't be out of place in a 90s rave.
Viva La Vida
The highlight of the album and one of the best songs I have ever heard. An absolute joy to listen to and I still get shivers up my spine every time I hear them violins start. Coldplay's finest song and it contrasts perfectly with the rest of the album.
This sounds a lot like the old Coldplay - catchy vocals and piano from Chris Martin with emotional lyrics. Stands out on this album because of its difference but it is a bit tiresome.
A return to the ambient style, Strawberry Swing features finger-picked guitar and again Chris Martin is in good form. A good, if slightly boring song.
Death and All His Friends
The finale of the album and what a way to end it. An exciting track that builds up as it goes along until the beautiful hidden track "The Escapist".
It's just one of those albums you can listen to from start to end without skipping tracks. And for me there aren't many albums like that at all. I feel Coldplay brings something special that other bands don't, like an "x" factor or something and i can't quite put my finger on it. The soft, subtle songs like life in technicolour, cemeteries of London and death of all his friends go brilliantly next to more upbeat tracks such as lost and viva la Vida. Each tracks flows on from each other to give a perfect ongoing listening album, whether your in your car, jogging or just listening to music casually this album is for you. Each song's lyrics bring something special to the album and each individual song, they all make sense which is more than can be said for most songs. Coldplay really are brilliant and this latest album shows this true talent off, the mixture of instruments and soft tones are magnificent and create tracks you could listen to all day. A must buy for any music and Coldplay lover. Music you can appreciate!
"Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" is the 4th album from British band Coldplay, and personally it's my favourite. The band really surprised me after a slightly dodgy third album "X&Y". This time, it doesn't sound like you would expect Coldplay to, they have experimented, they have created new sounds, they have broke their mould. Brilliant.
Favourite albums of mine tend to be consistant and flow from beginning to end, as to tell a story, to have a purpose and that's another reason why I love this album. It's strange, as I think about it, most of my favourite albums have 10 tracks on them (well that's counting tracks 5 and 10 only as one track!)
Personal favourites for me on this album are "Life in Technicolour" (Although I do prefer "Life in Technicolour II" !), "Death and All His Friends", "42" and "Cemeteries of London".
Overall a brilliant album and I would recommend it to everyone.
one of coldplays best albums yet. it has a mix of songs which keep you interested, including two huge hits of this year in the form of violet hill and viva la vida which are sandwhiched next to teach other to attract you to listen. the catchy tunes involved within them are typical of coldplay, with chris martin's vocals being brilliant as always. the album contains varied styles of songs with the likes of life in technicolour being instrumental for virtually all the song, this wont appeal to most including me. there are a few uncovered gems involved too though, these being lost and yes in my opinion. these being catchy memorable tunes with hard hitting vocals and beats, to match the singles that were actually released. as you play the album the pace seems to greatly change and alter, from the hard hitting pop based numbers to the more easy listening sounding songs like strawberry swing. altogether though this album is a well put together and thought out affair. its songs are well rearranged and different in many ways to what coldplay have done in previous albums. the songs were chosen from a large list because of the amount of songs they had written and you can tell that because the list of 11 are all high quality, this album is one of my recent favourites and should be included in all music fans collections.
The ever amazing Coldplay released their spectacular third album "Viva la Vida" in 2008, and it got plenty of good reviews. The Album features amazing songs like Viva la Vida,Life in Technicolor and Violet Hill. With the pre released songs Viva la Vida and Voilet Hill, everybody was aniticipating this release. The album didn't dissapoint, and did not fail to keep the same tempo as the previous albums X and Y and Parachutes. This album is a classic , and one of my all time favourites. Shortly after releasing this Coldplay brought out Prospekts March, which featured a version of Life in Technicolour with Vocals and the brilliant Glass of Water. The beautiful songs on this album are really soothing and calming. They are a great listen if you want to relax and enjoy music. A truly perfect Band, a great album , even a great artwork. This album has everything. BUY IT.
I like Coldplay. I know a lot of people do not, but if you ignore all the political whining and just concentrate on what it actually is that Coldplay became famour for, then I think you will be happy enough. Chris Martin is turning into the most recent incarnation of the spirit that possessed Bono, but best to just listen to the music.
We all know what Coldplay are about. There are probably very few people around the globe that have not heard Yellow or Trouble. There is always this fascination in the music industry that bands have to constantly reinevent themselves to be considered truly great - U2 did it on Achtung Baby and Radiohead are probably the most famous band to have diverged, as they are so far removed from the great 'Creep' now. But it is as if Coldplay are steadfastly refusing to reinvent the wheel. They are good at what they do and they are sticking to it. I take my hat off to them. They are definitely more polished that on Parachutes, they know how they want to sound now.
So what of Viva La Vida or Death and all his Friends? Well, it is a strong album, an enjoyable album in my opinion. Yes, there will be plenty of people bored by this stage of the same stuff being released by Coldplay and the bands that strive to replicate their success. It is not great, but as ever there are some very good songs on this album.
"Viva la Vida" is executed on a grand scale, the layers of instrumentation suggesting an enormous, jubilant ensemble. Group handclaps and a church organ, an orchestra, which can bite or tenderly hug depending on the mood. True Coldplay, not to everyone's taste.
The opening track "Life in Technicolor" serves as the group's first-ever instrumental number, replete with tablas, hammered dulcimers and in a strange way, it kind of works - the howling Chris Martin in the background is kind of sing-a-long-able too!
"Strawberry Swing" is the closest the album comes to having a traditional pop single, but even that requires an embracing of Coldplay as a band capable of stepping away from earnest balladry. It is as if Coldplay are scared to step totally out of that comfort zone.
On the stunning, jaw-dropping highlight for me, Lovers in Japan, Chris Martin pounds away at what must be a little child's toy-piano. The melody here is more reminiscent of Dexy's Midnight Runners than Travis, all leading into a chorus where guitarist Jonny Buckland gets to unleash what might be the catchiest guitar riff he's written, well written in a while anyway.
Cemeteries Of London really kicks up some dust when it rolls into a tension-filled tumbler of riffs, screeching strings, and cymbal crashes. Martin starts off quietly warning, "Those that are dead are not dead / They're just living in my head", over a sparse piano before the song's rock eruption.
If you like Coldplay, you will love this album. It has Coldplay written all over it. They seem to have taken the fragile acoustic sounds of Parachutes, the edgier side of A Rush Of Blood To The Head, and the silky sounds of X & Y and cobbled together the best bits of each to expand upon each bit.
Anyone would be a fool to compare Viva La Vida to Coldplay's other albums. It would be akin to comparing The Killer's Day And Age to Hot Fuss, or maybe Chopin to U2. The album is different to anything else Coldplay have done, yet is still undoubtedly Coldplay. The music, the fusion of sound and the overall style is unprecedented to anything the successful alternative band have produced. I am not by any means speaking down on Coldplay's other albums, merely that no review of this album should be based upon their previous work. In it's own right the album is brilliant. From the instrumental killer opening of Life in Technicolour to the war-drum sounds of Viva La Vida and Violet Hill. Every track has it's own personal Coldplay touch and every track is brilliant. Probably not my favourite Coldplay album, but nonetheless mind-blowing and an exciting move for the band. Buy this album!
I wasn't really much of a fan of Coldplay when I bought this album. I had previously heard Violet Hill and was impressed by this song so I went and bought the album.
Coldplay seem to have got bigger and bigger over the years and I thought we might be in for a different sound and style when I heard Violet Hill. This I thought was backed up by the sound in the opener of the album.
The album starts off with "Life in Technicolor" which is an instrumental but for some reason I have heard a full version of this being played on the radio, which is much better. This has slightly changed my opinion as I like the full version which has Chris Martin singing in it and it's a pity the album version doesn't burst into life.
I think that Coldplay are trying to broaden their horizon a bit and give their music a different direction. Although if you are looking for stadium rocking anthems you will be disappointed. There are possibly 3 or 4 tracks that would get your arms waving in the air on this album.
Although Coldplay have tried hard on this album it doesn't go down as a classic. Maybe the best is yet to come from Coldplay, but for me there are still a few songs that never really get going.
Recommended tracks on the album for me are "Viva La Vida", "Violet Hill", "Lost" and "Life in Technicolor".
Not a bad effort overall but would like to see more upbeat songs from them.
The fourth album from one of the more intellectual bands and a tour de force to be reckoned with. Coldplay decided to take a bold step in a new musical direction, enlisting the help of producer Brian Eno to give the album an edge and some panache.
On the album:
If you're a Coldplay fan, you cannot fail to bauk at some tracks. The lead singles 'Viva La Vida' and 'Viloet Hill' have that commercial streak but saw Chris Martin and co exploring new exciting rhythms and melodies that had not yet been touched upon by the band. I really like 'Lovers In Japan' which has a superb melody and a great upbeat vibe to it that makes you want to dance.
Martin seemed to find a new lease of life with this album, stretching his vocal range and also drawing upon African influences to shape and form some of the rhythms. This adds a worldy feeling to the album and makes it sound more complete than their previous works. The production is crisp and the melodies are exhilirating and uplifting.
Verdict: One of the best of 2008, own it
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Life In Technicolor
2 Cemeteries Of London
5 Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love
7 Viva La Vida
8 Violet Hill
9 Strawberry Swing
10 Death And All His Friends