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on 7 April 2011
Coldplay have without doubt produced some of the most euphoric and uplifting songs, those which raise the hairs on your arm to those which bring a tear to your eyes. On listening to their first three albums, however, it soon becomes clear that if you take away the tracks which were released onto the global audience as singles, and study what is left, the material is distinctly average, and three or four great tracks don't make for a five star album.

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).
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on 9 January 2009
Plain and simple - I've never been a big Coldplay fan but this is honestly one of the best albums I have ever listened to and I have listened to thousands and thousands - most of which have been over-rated. This is a must buy for both the hardcore Coldplay fans and for anyone who respect and enjoy quality music.

Give respect where respect is due!

Jamie Frayne
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VINE VOICEon 13 June 2008
Despite what the pretentious 'Peelites' might say about the new Coldplay album,like its forerunners,it's a nice blend of melodic, Indie melancholia. Catchy riffs,rasping drums and soaring vocals before it's ratcheted back down to plodding piano chords,sombre organs and swirling synths then.... hey ho it's off we go again with an up tempo anthem or two.
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.
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on 11 July 2008
Been a long time fan of Coldplay, their albums often seemed to add up to much more than the sum of all the parts, you would usually find that the commercial success they got from the individual singles wasn't much - what I mean is they hadn't ever reached a number 1 single in the UK however their albums always sold loads and were the sort of albums you could find yourself playing years later at Bar-B-Ques. So when I saw that the songs released from this album unusually had done particularly well in the charts (I think Viva la Vida hit No 1) my initial thought was that maybe the band had gone a little mainstream and decided to get some pop chart success?

Either way, I bought the album and listened eagerly to what Chris Martin claimed would "Be the album people remember them by"

At first glance I was a little taken back by the ten-tracks that were on offer, I mean it had been three years since X&Y, I expected a few more, but on listening a few of the title tracks there are infact a couple of extra songs, classed as `hidden' bolted onto the end of tracks 5, 6 & 10 following 20 seconds of silence - why they done this I don't know.

So in keeping with it taking them their standard 3 years per album to make, I whacked it on in the car on the way to work and sadly was quite under-whelmed. The first track was a throwaway instrumental and most of the lyrics I was hearing throughout the songs were simple to say the least. I listened to it again on the way back from work and had pretty much written it off as a disappointment. Gutted.

I once saw Gwyneth in an interview say that Chris is one of the most talented poets of our generation...I think she must be looking at those lyrics through a pair of Versace rose coloured glasses based on some of this stuff I was hearing - not much depth, but on the other hand you got to give it to him, they're catchy, which is pretty much the highlight for me in most of the songs - they have great intro's, interestingly different instruments beating out a foot tapping rhythm and generally all consisting of a melodic ooohhh laaa la laayy or a la la la layee and such, but Martins voice is so well suited to this you wouldn't want anything else.

Following my initial disappointment as I mentioned, a funny thing happened...I started hearing the songs a few more times on the radio and saw that live performance they did outside the BBC studios and that album grew on me faster than a cold sore in winter. Now all I have to say about it following this are positive things, from the ace `Lost' onto the overplayed Violet Hill this really is a well produced effort - probably because it came from Brian Eno but none the less it's great.

I hear that there were a few songs left over from this album that they're going to stick in the next one - probably due in another three years time which I think is a bit of a shame because it is a little short like I say, but other than that expect to hear these ballads ringing in episodes of the OC and major Hollywood rom-coms for years to come - that's the calibre of what's in this gatefold digi-pack. Go enjoyeee ye la la la la layee...

Given there are 10 listed tracks on this one, going back to my sum of all parts balony; I would give it 11 out 10.
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I'm not a big Coldplay fan and basically got this because of the hit singles on it. But surprise, surprise the rest are good as well. Well done Coldplay - I will be sampling more of their work on the back of this. The only slight downside (slight enough not to loose a star) is the packaging. I would have preferred a sturdy plastic case but as for the songs themselves, fantastic.
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on 17 June 2008
know everybody who approaches this album will have a few things in their mind. If you are a dire hard fan of a particular Coldplay album, its probably easier to compare tracks to past albums.

For 'Parachutes'fans, you are looking for more chilled out acoustic sound, which you see glimpses of in Strawberry Swing and Death & All His Friends. Strawberry Swing has a real summer sound, clearly the group were looking for a more throwaway upbeat feel to the song. It's no single, but then it never makes any pretentions to be so.

'Death And All His Friends' however leans towards the Parachutes track 'Everything's Not Lost'. It's a subtle piano opening which builds and reaches its eventual crescendo and then reprises the opening track 'Life In Technicolor'.

The second set of people will be those who judge the album against 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head'. Those fans will be looking for songs with a more political edge whilst embracing a more pop sound. Tracks such as Lost!, a gospel bundle of joy which catches you unaware with church organs and hand clapping in large supply. It's in my opinion Coldplay's version of 'I Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For' by U2. Ironic, as the albums producer is one Brian Eno, producer of the U2 album which 'Still Haven't Found' comes from.

The track follows the more ghostly 'Cemeteries Of London' which leans on a more eery opening, conguring up images of a misty graveyard walks coupled with a double hand clap drum beat.

Another track, '42' has by far one of the best lines i've ever heard in an album; 'those who are dead are not dead, there just living inside my head'. As you can tell from the line, the track deals with the theme of death, and is very downbeat for the first two minutes before drums and another killer guitar rift kicks and the second half of the song takes over, with Chris Martin indicating that the subject matter thought they would become a ghost and they made it just short of heaven. Again, the theme of the album is two parts to most of the tracks, with '42' being the perfect example, rounding off the song as it began with a more downbeat piano and string section.

For those X&Y fans (which includes me) you are going to instantly be drawn to the likes of Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love which is just crying out for a stadium to try and contain its upbeat catchy sound. The high tempo piano rift which runs through the track is catchy as hell and the guitars have been treated to an echo feel, leaving the listener with one of the rare songs that could be considered for single release.

The other X&Y moment is 'Yes', which is by far my favorite track. The song opens with a stealth orchestral snippet followed by Chris Martin taking on his lowest octive vocal ever. You then get a quick burst of arabian strings before more of his low octive singing and slide guitar. Trust me, its a corker and includes a double back drum beat which you find yourself tapping along to long after the song is finished. Yes is followed by the secret song 'Chinese Sleeping Chant' which is all big guitars and upbeat tempo, but the vocals have been minipulated, so you can't quite work out what they are singing....again, superb.

The remaining tracks still maintain the quality. The opening 'Life In Technicolor' builds and builds and is so X&Y its painful, but just as the vocals are about to kick in the song finishes...so frustrating.

Viva La Vida has already been offered to the world via the current I-Tunes, and is an epic orchestrial moment describing the downfall of royalty, and is a particular highlight of the album. It's Coldplay doing BIG and they pull it off well.

Violet Hill, the first single on its own didn't really in my view stand up well compared to previous singles. However, when placed in the context of the album overall, the song sounds more polished, with a great guitar rift and continues the milatary theme.

To sum this album up is simple. If you are looking for singles, they are clearly hard to find. Coldplay clearly decided they wanted to create an album, not just four or five singles and then fillers. It is a change of direction, but at the same time, they haven't lost their sound completely. It just sounds like a group who want to give their songs a chance to breath and grow, and from a dire hard 'X&Y' fan, i think they have done that, and convinced me at least that this is their most complete album to date. Roll on the tour dates!
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on 22 August 2008
This is Coldplay, but with a bit of a twist. I doubt these guys want to create an album that sounds generically similar every time they decide to release a collection of tracks.

So what's the big fuss, and why is everyone having a go at them? Is it because it's Coldplay and it's 'cool' to criticise them? Or is it because they are boring and dull and unimaginative? Or is it because all of their stuff sounds similar?

On the last few counts, I can say that 'Viva La Vida' is NOT boring and NOT dull. Neither is it unimaginative. It is probably the most diverse record Coldplay have produced...but does that necessarily mean that it's their best?

Flip a coin.

On one side, you have the critics who hate it for not being Coldplay - too different, too experimental, too 'bits and pieces'.

On the other hand, you have the people who enjoy it for being a diverse record, with plenty of variety shown in the songs in structure and in how they sound.

I admit myself, it's the kind of record that grows on you. They do say that the best records tend to do so.

'Viva La Vida' is a great album. And it's great because Coldplay create wonderful music.

The standout tracks are: 'Lost!', '42', 'Lovers in Japan', 'Violet Hill', and the title-track, 'Viva La Vida'.

However, there isn't one bad track on it, despite many people dismissing the album. Other tracks, 'Life in Technicolor', 'Cemeteries of London', 'Yes', 'Strawberry Swing', and 'Death and All of His Friends' are good, but don't grab you by the scruff of the neck and beg for your listening attention.

Maybe we take Coldplay for granted. They create excellent music, but some people fail to recognize this. They perceive them as dull and unimaginative. But 'Viva La Vida' is anything but. It is the bravest Coldplay album yet. And quite possibly one of the best, if only because of that. 8/10.
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on 20 September 2015
Coldplay on vinyl a must buy for fans of vinyl, it has some amazing songs on including

Viva la Vida
Violet hill
Fourty two
Contains a small bit of living in technicolor

It's also on the new 180 gm thicker vinyl, which my hubby loves.
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on 7 June 2011
I listened to this on a long car journey and was impressed how good it was, so good in fact that i didn't change the cd going there or coming back.
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on 2 July 2008
This album is what I've been waiting for from Coldplay. I was worried they were going to smash out another album of ballads with piano tinkles and a high pitched aaaaaah's. That would have been it for me. But, fear not. They have instead made me eat my words because Viva has amazed me. It has masterful pace. At times its Hans Zimmer soundtrack, then its U2 stadium filler, then its 70's Floyd. And it all sits so well together and as a Coldplay album.

The first good sign was that I didnt like it immediately. Worryingly, there seem to be people reviewing it after 2 listens. Songs here are more epic than pop rock. And I fail to see how a fan of the previous albums cant enjoy it. Brian Eno has taken them to a place beyond the charts. The samples and instrumentals on this album are what were needed all along. That ambience is no longer left solely to Chris Martin and his piano. I love the last track fading back into the first.

Oh, and one last thing... play it loud.
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