Viva La Vida
As an unashamed Coldplay fan (insert 40-Year-Old Virgin joke here), I looked forward to today with excitement (particularly given that I fully believe the band’s 2005 release X&Y to be one of the great rock albums of this decade) and some anxiety. Seeing my favorite band on television every fourteen seconds plugging their new record and being less than excited about that song (though encouraged by the first single, Violet Hill), made me a little nervous and I wasn’t alone.
My friend L-Mo, a fellow Coldplay fan, had the following to say in an e-mail I don’t think she’ll mind she sharing here about the upcoming release of the band’s fourth studio album:
“Ok, did you buy the new Coldplay? Because the song that’s on the Apple commercial sounds exactly like their last album. I’m wondering if the new one is a departure at all, or is it just same old same old.”
Any comparisons that can be drawn to X&Y begin and end with the album’s namesake track. The album is an absolute departure from anything the band has put out thus far. This record won’t convert anyone not already a Coldplay fan but will do little to dissipate any admiration that the band’s hardcore fans (I include myself in their ranks) already has for the band.
I won’t go through the album track-by-track and this is a preliminary review given that I haven’t heard the album all the way through more than once. I’ve always said, to many eye rolls by my friends, that Coldplay was our generations U2 and in keeping with that analogy, if X&Y was The Joshua Tree, then Viva La Vida is Achtung Baby. The record is more sweeping, dramatic and experimental and less anthemic than their previous efforts. The album is not chock-full of radio-ready singles and features more than a couple misses but for the most part is pretty enjoyable for the most part.
Early favorites: Lost!, Violet Hill, Reign of Love