Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends – Coldpay (2008); Track-by-Track review

…an album I promised myself I would neither buy nor like…but in the end I did both…

I was the first person in Australia to like Coldplay — you could say I discovered them — and was blown away by the understated Parachutes.

Next came the incredible achievement, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, our generation’s answer to The Beatles on mogadon.

Fame beckoned, songs about trying your best, Tokyo lights and being swallowed in the sea: X&Y was garbage.

And so it was that I thought their time had come, the fires had died and their play had turned cold…

But the embers were merely smouldering, waiting for a burst of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity…

Eugene Delacroix painted this especially for Chris Martin, or so I am led to believe.

Eugene Delacroix painted this especially for Chris Martin, or so I am led to believe.

(song titles in caps)

Vibrancy and urgent strumming welcome the curious listener to LIFE IN TECHNICOLOUR, which now has vocals but was an instrumental on the CD.

Darkness broods in the Dickensian fairytale hosting percussional wonder, slide guitar and slightly off-key singing in CEMETERIES OF LONDON.

A talent for hitting things is found on LOST!: conflates mesmeric rhythm with the desperation that only comes from marrying Gwyneth Paltrow.

The mysteries of life are explored in three movements on 42: sombre for breakfast, singalong for lunch and melancholy for dinner.

An English album with a French sleeve and a Spanish title so the hiraeth is unsurprising, but for the Far East? Be moved by LOVERS IN JAPAN.

REIGN OF LOVE is like a good Yeats poem: so understated that you almost don’t notice the complex and captivating columbine composition.

Rhyming frustration with temptation on YES is an unfortunate morsel of X&Y, an album that I hope to vex and die. Otherwise, quite pleasant.

(YES includes CHINESE SLEEP CHANT, a hidden song that sounds like it was preemptively written for the Drive soundtrack. I do love that LP.)

The distinctive violin intro on VIVA LA VIDA welcomes us on an unforgettable journey into Coldplay’s vacillating talent at it zenith. Wonderful to sing as to pound along, the chanting bridge and the escaping chorus means it’s now always a case of when they ruled the world.

Sylvan symbolism and Nick Cave-esque fatalism terrify on our march to VIOLET HILL. Sung this while walking through the sequoias at Yosemite.

Merseybeat muddled with Madchester — a battle for the Glory Hunters — the prize is a taste of STRAWBERRY SWING. Listen for the sharp keys.

Patience through a cold opening and accelerating middle is rewarded with a splendid finale to DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS. Magnificent album.

One thought on “Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends – Coldpay (2008); Track-by-Track review

  1. Pingback: Culture Points for January 2016: The White Tiger, Joy, The Hateful Eight, Bloc Party, Pandora | completepatrick

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