Heres a post I wrote for a friend's blog. I figured I should put it up here as well. (Why should his blog get all my hard work, hmm?)
I’ve finally got my ears around this album and let me tell you, this is a great piece of work from them. Coldplay’s fourth studio album “Viva la Vida or Death and all his friends” will not disappoint. I’ve been a fan of Coldplay for quite sometime – listening and like a song here and there, but never enough to buy a whole album from them… Until now. One thing you’ll notice is that the tracks have a different feel from their previous works, but they’re still defiantly “Coldplay-ish”. And that's what it appears that they were aiming for – a new sound to give to their fans. My hat is off to them, for they’ve taken that risk and have actually succeeded.
The album starts off with “Life in Technicolor”, which is a nice little song without any lyrics. Yet still, it does a good job at setting up the rest of the songs. Think of it as a sampler of what’s to come later on.
The next three songs are “Cemeteries of London”, “Lost!”, and “42” continue with picking up the album’s momentum. “Cemeteries of London” and “Lost?” are great to get lost in. (particularly “Lost”… Funny, huh?) “42” has this somber feel to it and then switches to a more giddier sound.
The fifth track is actually a two in one – the first of its kind in this album. It starts off with “Lovers in Japan” and then switches over the “Reign of Love”. “Lovers in Japan” is a strong song - it’s far from being at all mellow. On the other hand, “Reign of Love” is calmer than its predecessor. It smoothes out the mood “Lovers in Japan” started and gives a nice end to the track.
Next up is “Yes” along with the hidden track “Chinese Sleep Chant”. “Yes” starts off with a bit of a drawn out melody (hard to say, but you’ll get it when you listen to it) but then changes directions in a very good way. “Chinese Sleep Chant” like the name implies features a sort of chanting voice for the vocals. The music behind it though is a very good rocky tune to listen to.
Afterwards are the two singles that have been released – “Viva la Vida” and “Violet Hill”. I, like Brandon, enjoyed “Violet Hill” but I think I gravitate more towards “Viva la Vida” for some reason. Who doesn’t like a song referring to the aftermath of a revolution?
“Strawberry Swing” is the 9th track and one of my favorites. There is just something about it – maybe it’s in the fairly upswing-ish way it makes me feel as I listen. I can’t say that it’s truly upbeat or anything, but it is definitely one of the more higher tempo songs you’ll find here.
And finally we conclude with the double track “Death and All His Friends” and “The Escapist”. “Death and All His Friends” starts with a catchy tune from a piano, and then after a while adds a whole array of sounds for a great climax. I still walk down the street repeating, “I don’t wanna follow Death and all of his friends!” “The Escapist” ends the album in a similar way that it began – a dreamy like beat with very limited lyrics.
I would personally suggest heading on down to the iTunes store or wherever you download your music and getting it when it’s released. I’ve noticed that after a day or two of continually listing to it, it grew on me. Going along with Coldplay on their latest musical adventure was quite enjoyable and I, for one, am looking forward of whatever else they have in store.
Note: With the iTunes download you get two bonus tracks, acoustic versions of both “Lost” and “Lovers in Japan”. They sounded really nice acoustic, but I still love their original renderings.
Favs: “Lost”, “Strawberry Swing”, “Lovers in Japan”, “Viva la Vida”, and “Death and All his Friends”