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Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”

June 26, 2008

by Cassie Carson

Coldplay’s fourth studio album “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” is full of
experimental music and nearly void of all heavy guitar riffs that fans have become all
too familiar with.

“Viva La Vida” offers few similarities between it and Coldplay’s three previous
studio albums.

Yet the album exudes an air of assertiveness.
Coldplay worked with producer Brian Eno, who has also worked with U2. Eno’s efforts catapulted the album from piano-driven melodies to hard-hitting drum beats and
claps on tracks such as “Lost!” and “42.” “Yes” is raunchy and evokes images of escaping a siren song. “Yeah we were dying of frustration/ saying “Lord lead
me not into temptation”/”But it’s not easy
when she turns you on.”

Chris Martin drops his falsetto for a
lower octave and raises the bar a notch higher.

Most of the tracks on the album conjure images of war, while the rest of it is heavily laden with religious, especially
Christian, references.

The album’s first single,”Viva La Vida” is a
string-fueled anthem about Catholicism and the French Revolution.

Martin belts, “I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing/ Roman cavalry choirs are singing,” and later adds, “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.”

“Viva La Vida” is riddled with Martin’s political voice.

In “Violet Hill,” he chants, “I don’t want to
be a soldier/Who the captain of some sinking
ship / Would stow, far below.”

Then he contradicts himself by saying, “Bury
me in armor.” It is almost as if Martin is holding back his true feelings in an effort to not offend anyone.

The album’s intro track, “Life in Technicolor” is someday destined to
be in a Kodak commercial. But it is one of the most beautiful songs on “Viva
La Vida…”

The entire album is brimming with creativity and uncommon instruments, which makes “Viva La Vida” an epic, well-crafted
work that strays from the norms of previous albums such as X&Y and Parachutes.

Coldplay fans will be a little disappointed if they bought the album expecting it to be filled with Martin’s famous falsetto.

The remainder of the album brings fans back to the Coldplay that made them a commercial success. Violins and cellos give this album a
full feeling.

True to Coldplay fashion, “Viva La Vida” is
an adequate blend of heavily orchestrated songs and catchy melodies that meander throughout the album makingit impossible to get out of your head.

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