Viva La Vida Review

19 Jun

Dear readers (if there are still any of you out there),

I want to apologise for the lack of posts on the blog lately. Last minute cramming for the exams has been distracting us from our more important job of blogging! I promise that you will have plenty of posts over the summer, especially in the next few weeks as posts which have languished as ideas in the back of our minds as we’ve tried to revise will arrive online. Now for something a little different to normal on DMFWS, an album review of Coldplay’s latest work by friend of the blog Alistiar Rolleston. Glad to see he’s recovered from his slagging because of his hairdryer in the Nantes Report!

Don’t Make Friends With Salad

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“Since Coldplay’s last album, X&Y, the Voyager 2 Space probe has travelled 1,481,020,200 kilometres. But since I promised James I wouldn’t fill this article with completely useless information, I’ll start focusing on their new album, the oddly titled “Viva La Vida or Death and all his Friends”.

Coldplay fans of old will not be disappointed with this latest outing from the quartet of Chris Martin, Will Champion, Guy Berryman and John Buckland. Fans of the soaring piano melodies of A Rush of Blood to the Head are especially in for a treat, with Chris busily hammering out some new tunes on the piano. “Cemeteries of London” certainly has these aspects of the “old” Coldplay, starting out sounding like a old folk tune, before transforming into something more pop-like with electric guitar and plenty of drums.

But where the album really shines is where Coldplay venture into new, unfamiliar territory. Chris has been reported as saying that there would be a lot of Hispanic influence on this new album, but for me the source of inspiration seems to come straight from Japan, with this new sound no more evident in the song “Lovers in Japan” (funnily enough), a personal favourite of mine, along with its sister track, “Reign of Love”, and appearing also in “Lost?” and “Strawberry Swing” (another favourite). The opening track, “life in Technicolor”, is a very well written hype track, completely devoid of any form of complex lyrics, and it’s good to hear that the band can still rely on proper musical ability should Chris ever develop laryngitis.


The singles on this album are easy to pick out, but that’s not to say the rest are just plain old fillers. The first single, “Violet Hill”, must be commended on its sheer catchiness. The track is vaguely religious in a secular kind of way, and some of the lyrics seem to be pointing to the way money has become the God of this world. The title track, “Viva La Vida” also shows this vaguely religious aspect, with the lines “I hear Jerusalem’s bells are ringing” and “I know Saint Peter will call my name”. But the star of that song is the drummer, Will Champion, playing not the usual kit, but only a floor tom, with a kettle drum (timp for those in the know), and what can only be assumed to be a very, very large bell. The inspired use of strings at the start of the track will certainly make it stand out on the radio and get people listening.

Chris Martin’s lyrics are as usual something that can be easily sung along to, and I guarantee that within hours of buying this album you’ll be singing along to your personal favourites like the songs themselves are old friends.

With the future of EMI basically pinned on the success of this hour of music, Coldplay really had to produce something exceptional. It’s not quite up there with the epics of “The Joshua tree” or “Absolution”, but I think it’s safe to say that that’s not out of Coldplay’s grasp in the future.

Watch this space people. Watch this space.”

Alistair Rolleston

Coldplay’s gig at BBC

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2 Responses to “Viva La Vida Review”

  1. rob dp June 25, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    i was an old coldplay fan, even got the rush of blood to the head tour dvd. x&y was beginning of the downhill. the first and second albums were the best. hope chris will avoid wearing stuff from gap and keep up the fair trade.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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