Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Coldplay - "Viva la Vida or Death And All His Friends"

I never used to be a big fan of Coldplay. I guess, in honesty, I never really gave them a chance. The first song I ever heard by this band was Clocks back when that song was very popular mainstream ... and after that I just never went out of my way to listen to them.
I received the album Viva la Vida or Death And All His Friends (2008; commonly referred to simply as Viva la Vida) for my birthday this year, and over the past few months I have really fallen in love with most of the tracks on the album. The group's unique soft-rock style, which combine lovely vocal harmonies and captivating instrumental melodies, has really captured my attention and gotten me hooked not only on Coldplay's recent work, but on their past efforts as well.
Please enjoy an album review for Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death And All His Friends.

Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death And All His Friends (2008)

1. Life in Technicolor - A pleasant, simple melody to start the album off. Two and a half minutes long, the piece starts off slow and beings to incorporate more and more parts, becoming more intricate with every repetition of the original theme. The crescendo lasts until the final seconds of the song, before transitioning seamlessly into Track 2.
2. Cemeteries of London - One of my favorites on the album. A steady strumming of acoustic guitars and rhythmic bass underlie the main melodies of this track, while the vocals flow smoothly along, alternating between short verses and long, legato choruses. The lyrics are beautiful and overall, this track is just lovely to listen to.
3. Lost! - This track starts out with hands clapping a steady pulse. This clapping rhythm continues throughout the track, while the simple-but-sweet lyrics continue in a smooth style. The track remains in simple form until just over half the song is over, when a guitar kicks in to add to the appeal. As backing vocals fade out toward and a keyboard wraps things up, you really get a feel for a certain peaceful, yet powerful essence that this song possesses.
4. 42 - This track picks up almost immediately where the previous one ended. Passionate, soulful vocals start off slowly, accompanied by a gorgeous piano melody in the background. About midway, the tempo picks up with a pleasant medley of guitar, string and bass which are later joined by quicker, more upbeat vocals that are again joined by the piano. I enjoy the "second half" of this song more, when the tempo picks up in a more lively style for the last few verses. Just a very pleasant song overall.
5. Lovers In Japan / Reign of Love - Definitely one of my favorites on the album. The track almost seems to be split into two different songs; hence the two separate titles. The first half of the song is an upbeat track with a shot of intuition. The second half is a slower, more subtle track with lyrics delivered in a bittersweet, reminiscent style. The piano melodies are the key factor in both halves of the song and, as a whole, I just love everything about this track.
6. Yes - A deeper vocal range immediately sets this song apart from the rest on the album. Strings start the track off, giving you the impression that maybe this one will be slower as well; however, when the guitar takes over a few seconds in, an entirely different feel takes over the track. The strings do make a re-appearance later in the track, but the repeating guitar theme is the star of this track. The entire song has a sultry, sexy vibe about it, and as a whole it's just a fun one to listen to. A different sound for the band, and I commend that.
7. Viva la Vida - Probably the most recognizable single off of the album,; the minute the strings start off with their staccato melody, you know exactly what song you're listening to. Track Seven has been playing constantly on the radio, has taken over music television, and has been hitting the top of the charts all over the world. The mass support of this song seems to have died down in the public eye, but the song is no less enjoyable to listen to. Just a beautiful song overall.
8. Violet Hill - Another of my favorites on the album. The lyrics themselves are heartbreakingly beautiful, but they are delivered in a way that isn't upsetting; bittersweet, but at the same time, sort of at peace. I love the guitar melodies in the instrumental bridge and the keyboard melodies in the first and last verses. Overall, there just isn't anything about this track that doesn't appeal to me. Beautiful, beautiful track.
9. Strawberry Swing - A very lovely song. The standout of this track is the guitar melody that begins right off the bat and sustains throughout the entire song. The lyrics are soft and simple, giving you a feeling of peace and security. A steady bass line keeps the tempo going, and when an acoustic guitar begins to strum near the end of the track, you get a full feeling for the track's mood. Just a sweet, sweet song.
10. Death And All His Friends - The final track on the album starts out with a simple keyboard melody, quiet vocals, and the eventual addition of a guitar, plucking a few notes here and there. As the song progresses, the guitar begins to adopt a more intricate melody before the tempo picks up and the bass drum stamps out a steady beat. A portion of the song is simply this hard-and-fast melody, but when the mood settles down again, the vocals return with an absolutely gorgeous chorus-style effect. The last two minutes of the song settle down into another combination of vocal and keyboard melodies which really give you a sense of closure as the album finally ends.

I'm really glad I've had the chance to get to know Coldplay a little bit more. I've discovered that they have created the perfect music to play in the car when you're driving down a sunny highway - or to put on and concentrate with when you just need a minute to think.
If you're interested in the music Coldplay has created, check out these links:

Coldplay's website has everything you need to know about the band, from tour dates and discography to contests and news.

Lyrics to all the songs on this album and Coldplay's other works can be found on this website.

And take a minute to look at the post Amy made for another beautiful Coldplay song, titled Yellow.

I'm going to try and branch out past the always popular Viva la Vida and post a video for another of Coldplay's amazing songs. This video is a fairly new release, and I find very captivating, even if it does make me dizzy ;) The song is also one of my album fav's. This video includes the "first half" of the song.
Here's Lovers In Japan by Coldplay.

Coldplay - Lovers In Japan Official Music Video


Taylor-Tot said...

i'm sry, i'll be back to read it soon, i promise, but i dont have much time, but snow is great, its weird to see it, i never do...

Kelly said...

Your review was amazing,
I couldn't agree more.


•¦Amy¦• said...

I love Coldplay.
I recently downloaded the album on Rhapsody. It's amazing.

Great review. =]