Friday, June 06, 2008

Viva La Vida

Song: Viva La Vida
Artist: Coldplay
Album: Viva La Vida

Since it wasn’t until their second record in which Coldplay really blew up (and outgrew the Radiohead comparisons) it was their third and last record, “X&Y” that they got their sophomore slump. The slump wasn’t sales related, it sold a ton, but artistically it stalled, which the band has even recently admitted. Regardless, they are one of the biggest bands on the planet right now so much anticipation comes with their 4th album, “Viva La Vida.”

It was widely reported that at the onset of writing their third record, lead Chris Martin labored over trying to create a “perfect” Coldplay record. The result was bland and felt forced… it did have highlights, but wasn’t nearly as good as their sophomore album “A Rush of Blood to the Head.” Actually, it’s probably what we would have heard if Radiohead had decided to copy “The Bends” vs. pushing themselves forward with “O.K. Computer.” Since they have themselves admitted “X&Y” had its problems, I was interested in hearing what the follow up would be like, especially since they were working with the legendary Brian Eno as producer.

As I had reported, they released first “single” “Violet Hill” for free off their website. I ended up digging the song, despite it being an odd choice for first single. (It wasn’t super catchy.) They saved that for “Viva La Vida,” which you have no doubt heard in the latest iTunes/iPod commercials. The merger has worked for the band as the new record holds the record for pre-sales on iTunes, and already on the cusp of breaking the single week sales record for the online music store. So they’re doing something right.

Actually, I found both “Violet Hill” and “Viva La Vida” quite compelling and better than the majority of tunes off “X&Y.” “Viva” is a catchy little tune that seems epic without going overboard. It doesn’t quite give you everything that you want (as X&Y’s songs did) but that makes it more interesting and dynamic. I foresee this one being a good size hit for the band.

I got a chance to listen to the full record this AM and holding off my full opinion. It seems much more interesting than “X&Y,” but also seems a bit slow to me. But I am still digesting.


Violet Hill

Viva La Vida (Live at MTV Movie Awards)

No comments: