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Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends (Gatefold Digipack) Limited Edition, Special Edition
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Grammy Award-winning fourth studio album from the popular British rock band. Also the best-selling album worldwide in 2008, the record includes the hit singles 'Viva La Vida', 'Violet Hill' and 'Lost!'.
To say there has been a lot of anticipation for Coldplays fourth album, Viva La Vida, is an understatement. Having enlisted legendary leftfield producer Brian Eno, borrowed their album title from a painting by renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and made tantalising remarks about sonic reinvention, the world has been curious (to say the least) to hear what the new Coldplay might sound like. Viva La Vida definitely makes some departures from the bands usual formula, which happens to be one of the most commercially successful rock-pop blueprints of recent years. The plangent chords, emotive melodies, stadium-rock rhythms and universal lyrical concerns remain, but Martin and co. have gone out on several limbs here, incorporating instrumental tracks ("Life In Technicolour"), using subtle North African and Latin elements ("Yes", "Strawberry Swing"), and overhauling previously strict verse-chorus-verse structures in favour of slightly more avant arrangements. The old Coldplay still shine through (see tracks like "Violet Hill" and the title song) but even their classic sound feels more muscular and confident. The bands new flourishes, cosmetic and self-conscious as they may be, are enough to make Viva La Vida a welcome break from the old routine--Danny McKenna
Top Customer Reviews
On Viva La Vida, however, they have addressed this issue, not only do we have the uplifting crescendo singles we instantly recognise, but the tracks inbetween are also worthy of note and recognition. A mature album that takes one step forward from the others in its experimental ways, and is all the better for it. A crisp production really takes you into the heart of the Coldplay sound, unlike X&Y, where the sound production lost the euphoria that should have been felt when listening to 'Fix You' for example, and, as such, led to the albums detriment.
So, probably the first Coldplay album that you can tolerate from start to finish, without having to skip two tracks or more, (well one isn't that bad).
Personally my favourite Coldplay album is 'A Rush of Blood...', also one of their most underrated songs. The early B sides take some beating too IMO (Help is Around the Corner reaches levels of pathos that are perhaps no longer attainable once you have oodles of dosh).
Personally I like 'Viva' every bit as much as X&Y, with the varying sounds generally falling safely within the boundaries of rock. The Hammond organ and tribal sounding rhythm on Lost! are a high point for me. I think Brian Eno's production has a lot to be said for it, but the songs are strong melodically and interesting lyrically too.
Violet Hill will please the rock fans, while Viva La Vida was something very different from Coldplay at the time (their Eleanor Rigby?), giving the band their first UK number one single. The Indian instrumentation on the opening track reminds me of Fairground Attraction's 'Find my Love' but it's still nice and the two-songs-in-one 'Yes' is also a high point, with a rare low register vocal from Chris Martin.
Sadly for me, Coldplay went too poppy after this album. Maybe I view percussion technologies that sound post-nineties as the work of the devil and this hampers my enjoyment. The changes in style have however prolonged Coldplay's career in appealing to the Rhianna / Beyoncé market and I imagine they would say that they haven't left the self-Christened 'limestone rock' genre at all. For me, 'Viva' is their last good album. I did enjoy hearing the live performance at Glastonbury in 2016 nonetheless.
Give respect where respect is due!
Unlike their many pretenders like Athlete and Snow Patrol, Coldplay actually do the tuneful Indie pop thing very well. Consistently consistent you might say.
Indeed some tracks are as stirring as anything heard previously on X & Y, Rush of Blood or Parachutes.
Unfortunately Coldplay no longer appear to get objective reviews anymore. Even so called serious reviewers like The Independent's Andy Gill fall over themselves to pour scorn on the band. Picking up on everything from the name of Chris Martin's child to the charities they support...pathetic!
Listen up and don't let the negativity weigh you down and you will like what you hear I'm sure.