on 23 November 2008
Prospekt's March is the EP companion to the multi-platinum seller that was Viva La Vida. There are 6 original songs and 2 remix that were not included in VLV. If you liked the tracks on VLV, you will love this EP: the original new songs follow the sam experimental side of VLV but retain the beautiful melodies we have become accustomed to enjoy from Coldplay. A quick track-by-track commentaries:
Life in Technicolor ii: This is the very same Life in Technicolor of VLV, but this time as a complete song with lyrics. It works and it rocks even harder!
Postcards From Far Away: A short but delightful snippet of piano playing from Mr Martin. It works as a nice interlude between songs.
Glass Of Water: Coldplay at their rockiest moment with a pwerful guitar riff from Johnny and a nod to Muse. A massive track I find myself hearing over and over again
Rainy Day: A very experimental track, a bit pop-esque but with a beautiful guitar melody and gorgeous a-la Viva La Vida violins in the chorus. A lovely mix of instruments that just works!
Prospekt's March: Soft , delicate , partly Parachute-like track with lovely lyrics and sweeping melodies. Unmissable.
Lost +: It is Lost with Jay-z contribution. If you ever thought Lost was a hip hop friendly song, this version will confirm it for you.
Lovers In Japan remix: It's just a bit rockier version of Lovers in Japan. It gives it an extra kick to an already gorgeous melody.
Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground: Acoustic track with another nod to Johnny Cash and a guest appearance by a brass! A nice ending for the EP
All 6 original songs are definitely worth having for Coldplay fans or just Viva La Vida fans. If you are neither, you can still grab the special edition of VLV + Prospekt's March at quite a cheap price and get some of the best music ever made by a band that is at their absolute highest creative peak!
Viva La Vida: Prospekt's March [Deluxe 2 x CD]
Coldplay release outtakes and re-mixes from Viva la Vida and surprise,surprise...it's not half bad. You could never in a million years award it five stars because some of the re-mixes are hardly noticably different from the originals. The much heralded rap version of 'lost' featuring Jay Z is a bit naff if truth be told. However,apart from this needless deviation into R&B territory,the rest of the album chunkers along in a manner expected of the Indie Pop kings.
Described as an 'EP'. Prospekts March is more an album really. After all, eight tracks offers itself as more 'Long Player' than 'extended player'. In my book anyway.
on 14 December 2008
Okay, ignore the Lost version with Jay Z on it (why Jay Z?), and the Lovers In Japan mix which isn't too different from the original one, but the other songs?
They could easily fit on Viva La Vida (okay, maybe Rainy Day may be a bit latino for that album, but that doesn't mean to say it's bad). It's a great extension to Viva La Vida. The highlight for me however was Life In Technicolor II - the one with vocals. It's brilliant. So brilliant that it's one of my favourite Coldplay songs ever. Chris Martins voice has never suited a song so well. I mean, I would get Prospekts March just for that song! You can't go wrong with it.
on 6 January 2009
There are three tracks on this EP that, if added to 'Viva La Vida' would have sealed Coldplay's place amongst the greats. The extended 'Life in Technicolour', 'Prospekt's March/Poppyfields' and 'Glass of Water' would have elevated 'VLV' to classic status. 'Prospekt's March/Poppyfields' could have fitted perfectly on 'Parachutes' or 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' and as such continues the thread from the band's earliest days until now. Whatever, this is an essential purchase and adds to the sum of music that Coldplay have created and also shows that after the misguided 'big music' of 'X & Y' , they have found the emotional whallop that made them so great in the first place.
on 15 March 2009
I bought the double album, this with Viva la Vida, a couple of days ago and I am absolutely thrilled with it.
Life in Technicolor ii is brilliant, as is Glass of Water, Lost+, the Osaka Sun Remix etc. Well worth investing in.
on 5 December 2008
With highly hit successful album `Viva la Vida or Death and all his friends' still on heavy rotation on my iPod. I, along with many other Coldplay fans must have wondered how long they would have to go without new material. Well the answer was within the same year! The album is clearly from the `Viva la Vida' sessions and is also shown through the similar cover art as well as the music. The question is, is it just the leftovers from `Viva la Vida' or have these songs narrowly missed out or just didn't fit.
Well the album can be split into two halves; you have the remixes then you have the new stuff. First of all I'll take you through the remixes. The album kicks off with `Life in Technicolor II' and it is exactly what it says on the tin. What I thought was great about `Life in Technicolor' off `Viva' was that it was an instrumental. Clearly though Martin couldn't keep quiet, making this basically `Life in Technicolor 1 plus vocals. While the instrumental works from the album. This opener works for this EP. It is clear during the `Viva' sessions Martin has changed his vocal style and it fits well with the songs especially laid on top of this track. Meanwhile `Lost +' sees Jay Z rap over the bridge section of the song. It is a small change to the song which works extremely well. Finally `Lovers in Japan (Osaka sun remix) is like playing a game of spot the difference with the original. It must be a really subtle change because it is very difficult to spot any sort of a difference with the original.
Now for the new stuff; you can see from `LIT2', Martin has a tough time staying quiet. So what was the compromise with this EP? That's right a 48 second instrumental, named `Postcards from far away'. When instrumentals are this short they act more as interludes rather than count as a song. It is a nice piano piece but it is far too short. After this comes `Glasses of Water' which in my opinion fit right into `Viva la Vida' and is by far the strongest track on the EP. It is Martin's singing with `Sun' in the chorus which is just fantastic.
The other tracks; `Rainy day', `Prospekt's March' and `Now my feet won't touch the ground' are your lower tempo Coldplay songs. They are good but the standards set through `Viva' were so high it is not quite the same level. In particular `Now my feet won't touch the ground' is an excellent closer to the album.
Overall this is a good solid EP. The remixes are often subtle but on the whole well executed while the new tracks are worth a listen and almost up to the standard of `Viva'. Of course exclude `Glasses of Water' from that list because it is definitely up there with the best of any Coldplay material. On the whole the Ep was more than worthwhile and acts as a bridge between `Viva' and the new album which is set for release late in 2009.
What I was inevitably hoping for when passing over my £6 for this EP is that it would contain some spectacular gem of Yellow or Viva La Vida proportions. Inevitably this is not the case - if Coldplay had another super-hit up their sleeves which just 'wasn't ready' for the album, they would have put the release date back. What we have here, then, does not contain any hit singles. But that doesn't make it remotely bad.
It does feel like an extension of Viva La Vida (the album) - the new songs have a similar feel to the most recent LP. I wonder if Glass of Water could have made it onto the album - perhaps as the last track - it has a set- or album-closing majesty about, much like the final track on Viva La Vida. Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground is a lovely acoustic song, reminding very much of Kingdom Come, but also with a nod to Coldplay's pre-parachute songs. It is probably my highlight.
Of the songs which appear on Viva La Vida, only Life In Technicolor ii has any real value - the familiarity of the instrumental mixed with a wailing melody make for an excellent track, which I look forward to seeing live. Lost and Lovers In Japan provide nothing new in "remixed" form, but it is nice to have some familiar tracks to break up the new ones.
In all, I am enjoying Prospekt's March greatly. And I look forward to enjoying it more as time goes by. As is always the case with Coldplay's records, this is a grower, and the six or seven listens I've given it won't do it justice. But I can feel it coming.
And there aren't any bad tracks on here - it is Coldplay, after all... And it's not very expensive!
on 28 November 2008
When they said that VLV would be experimental, assumptions jumped to Kid A style electronica. Of course Coldplay wern't going this route, and the album of sunny skies and a celebration of the worlds colours and cultures that followed recieved a very varied reception from critics and fans.
Well this is more of the same really, in the aspect that it broadens their pallet in ways VLV did but that these songs for one reason or another didn't fit on the actually CD.
Even so most of these songs would be welcome on the main album quality wise, and some fit thematically. VLV could have been an even stronger CD, but then this EP propably wouldn't be anywhere near as good in this case.
Opening with a lyrical perspecive of VLV's opener LIT, it shows Chris's voice at its most strong and clear yet. It all links back to a wonderful little line about 'feet not touching the ground' fantastic really since this song really does soar through the sky.
Following a 42 second piano peice comes Glass of Water, which is basically a joyfull rocky accompany peice to VLV's more dark epic 42. It's a traditional verse, chorus format and it propably is Coldplay's best rock song yet (its heavy!... really!... if you kick the bass up you'll realise)
Rainy Day is a weird one, after 2 seconds of standard Coldplay it transforms into something that sounds very Demon Day Gorrilaz. Martin's voice is distorted into an clattered whisper. Strings take the chorus to light and xylophone and a groovy bass line make this this biggest suprise of the album. Propably wouldn't fit on VLV, shame its a fantastic song that really shows what CP can achieve.
Prospekt's March, doesn't start off too promising but soon it picks up into an Everybody Hurts style winding incline of guitars. The credenso is a soulful assessment of life, would have made a great middle track on VLV. As it stands it becomes the most beautiful life afferming thing Coldplay have ever done.
And then we have Lost, with Jay-Z who contributes nothing to the song... (rapping about things that begin with C M Chris Martin ectra... )
Osaka Sun remix of Lover's in Japan is basically the same song with a few more backing vocals, its purpose is simple. To replace the other version from VLV on your ipod so you don't need to store Reign of Love (the mediocre accompanying ballad)
Lastly we have Now My Feet Don't touch the ground, its a nice enough acoustic song from the band that use acoustics too much, so it closes the EP in a sweet if relitively none suprising way.
Overall this EP is 5 strong tracks and 3 unneccasary ones, if you loved VLV though, treat yourself as this EP will please you.
On the cusp of a wave, Coldplay appear to have finally stepped out of the shadow of what some might call uncharitably 'Bedwetter Music' into their own. In many ways, they have moved beyond whatever it was they once were - a insipid mishmash of Echo & The Bunnymen and Radiohead B-Sides to become their own men.
"Prospekts March" is an interesting move. Think of it as Album 4.5 from Coldplay. Or, if you prefer, a compilation of b-sides that were never b-sides, songs that never quite matched the patchwork of "Viva La Vida", a sequel, a prequel, an appendix, whatever. Whet it is meanwhile, is three alternate versions of songs from that album and five unreleased songs from the same sessions : in the days when a single was a viable concern except as some flimsy download made of redundant extra tracks and a song you already owned, these songs would have made the 7"/CD/DVD of something from the album. Thankfully, Coldplay have dispensed with exploitative multi-formatting and instead gathered these excellent songs in one place.
The five new songs are the equal of "Viva la Vida" (albeit thinner in duration). There's no indication that these songs are sub-standard filler, hastily concocted to pad out a bside of a single, or a rushed cover version. These songs are crafted, fine moments : "Life In Technicolour ii" takes the brooding instrumental that preceded the "Viva" album, adds a vocal melody and meaning, and escalates the song to new heights. The other songs are almost, but not quite experienmental forays into the sonic territory U2 hinted at with "The Unforgettable Fire". A new direction, yet also recognisably Coldplay. Promising, and of interest to anyone who likes the band. The title track "Prospekts March" is the strongest part of the set, but it's a colelction of fairly strong material anyway.
"Lost+" is fairly redundant. It's the album version, with Jay-Z rapping unimaginatively about the woes of being incredibly rich and well known. Oh, boo hoo. Only two interesting records have ever been made about the conception of fame : REM's obtuse "Monster"and PiL's "Public Image". Nothing is more boring than a song about fame and the road and money. Yawnarama.
The remix of "Lovers In Japan" is alright. Nothing amazing. No radical reinvention, but an alternative view on an established favourite. It's a worthy inclusion, but not exactly 100% absolutely essential to your continued existence on the planet : then again, apart from food and water and heat, little is.
Overall, this EP is an exciting curio, a fine release, well worthy of purchase, a perfect counterpoint to the original / companion album, and if you like that, you should buy this.
It seems that Lost+ with Jay-Z has received most of the attention prior to Prospekt's March being released, but there is so much more to talk about on this great album. And album it definitely feels like, even though it has been released as an EP. Coming in at just under half an hour, there are 8 tracks. Two of them are alternative versions, but Life In Technicolor II is the real surprise here - not an alternative or a continuation, this is the full song with lyrics as it was originally intended to be. Extremely catchy as an instrumental, it is a rousing stadium pleasing song that in itself makes this CD as much a part of Viva La Vida as the original CD was. Glass Of Water and Rainy Day are also fantastic uplifting songs - well written and anthemic. And Prospekt's March/Poppyfields and Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground are more introspective, thought-provoking songs that balance the earlier exuberance.
If you have Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends and enjoyed it, you will really miss out if you don't get Prospekt's March too, as together they basically make CD1 and CD2 of a 2CD set, and fit together to make a classic album to be enjoyed for years to come.
And I seriously can't get Life In Technicolor out of my head.