Coldplay – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends

June 18, 2008

coldplayThough Coldplay worked with producer Brian Eno for their new album, there’s not a lot on Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends that sounds markedly different. Some of the advance word I’d read on the album indicated this would be “edgier,” and while I don’t find much change in that direction, save for a generally gloomy fixation on death this time around, it’s still a solid album, with a lot of the strongest material appearing in the second half of the ten track album. The touches Eno added to their sound are often subtle, but effective: Several of the tracks feature evocative instrumental pieces, reminiscent of his work with U2 on The Unforgettable Fire, including the opening “Life In Technicolor,” and the songs that make up the center of the album, “Lovers In Japan” and “Yes.” The latter two songs feature instrumental breaks that open up into what constitute second movements, launching them into near-epic status. They tread on more familiar ground with tracks like “Lost!” and “Viva La Vida,” but that’s not really a complaint, as the latter track is one of the album highlights. All in all, this is a good, if not necessarily great, Coldplay album, but with some great moments. Standout cuts: “42,” “Lovers In Japan,” “Viva La Vida” and “Violet Hill.”


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