Coldplay

Album Title: Viva La Vida
Release Date: June 17, 2008
Rating:
Genre: Rock
Since 1997, Coldplay have been wowing audiences with Chris Martin’s signature falsetto, tight rock hooks, and lyrics that encourage closer examination of ourselves and the world around us. Now that Martin & co have completed what they call their trilogy (Parachutes, A Rush of Blood To The Head, and X&Y), these UK think rockers have taken a new direction with Viva La Vida, which is Spanish for “Live Life”. This new direction has allowed them to explore and grow creatively by making music like Barcelona architecture; not being afraid to stretch the boundaries of the imagination. "I'm driven by two things," says frontman Chris Martin. "One is trying to make sense of existence. The other is when I hear something brilliant, trying to write something as good as that.” The band has done just that with their narrative lyrics that speak of the dramatic nature of existence and the new sonic palette of which they have been experimenting with in preparation for this album.

With Martin’s falsetto absent, it brings added focus to the lyrics and overall rhythm of the songs. Experimenting with subtle sounds of Latin America with guitar and rhythmic hand claps are found on such tracks as “Life in Technicolor”, “Cemeteries of London”, and “Lost!”, with “Lost!” also including church organ from the band’s inspiring recording sessions in churches in Spain. North African-styled strings and tablas are evident on “Yes” and four-to-the-floor rhythms and climactic strings of “Viva La Vida” bringing brightness to what would otherwise be more melancholy grabbing hold of the listener on the album.

While Coldplay paints a darker picture lyrically, musically the album is filled with fun syncopation, an assortment of tones and instruments, and is a very inviting listen. Almost like the world we live in; a place where darkness resides and joy beckons like music to bring us back to the light. Coldplay have painted an accurate portrait in Viva La Vida of what it means to “Live Life” at this time in history while humming a tune of hope for tomorrow.


Writer: Lindsay Whitfield


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