james debate
james debate

Thursday 5 June 2008

Today we have a massive big bumper football focused edition of the Ephemeric, but before we get onto that, for all of you not interested in such things, I have a special exclusive review for you.

Coldplay are going to release their new album Viva La Vida this month. Expectations are high, especially with the success of their two singles, one of which is actually good (viva la vida) in fact very very good.
I am lucky enough that I have been sent an advance copy of the album to listen to and review for you now. Which makes you very lucky too for reading this blog. So here you are, all you Coldplay fans, this is what the new album is like.

This album is certainly a change from their last album, X&Y and a welcome one from my point of view. Their last album seemed to focus quite heavily on electro-pop sounds, like it was abandoning all that had made old coldplay songs on parachutes so great and catering to the lowest common denominator. It was no coincidence that the real highlights of that album were when Coldplay returned to their old sound with tracks like Speed of Sound and Fix You.
I am therefore pleased to say that this album takes a much more mature and melodic sound. Coldplay have evolved. What follows is a complex, beautiful and only rarely disappointing, musical experience, full of glittering hooks and haunting melodies.

Much of this album was recorded in churches in South America, and you can almost imagine Chris Martin & co sitting there obsessing over every single note in the album, as it is clear that they have put a lot of work into it. Viva la Vida (the song) is great, we know this. Violet hill, less so. Of the tracks you won't have heard, Cemeteries of London is an atmospheric and layered song that gets better as it goes on. 42 and Strawberry swing are decent enough tracks while Yes and Lost! form the weaker of the songs on this album. However where this album really shines is with its unusual decision to record songs which are actually two songs in one, much like the final track on the Chili Peppers By the Way album (venice queen) However it works well and Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love is a majestic and exotic sounding track which almost sounds very U2-esque. But my personal favorite has to be Death and All His Friends, another 2 in 1 track which takes about a minute to get into, but when it does, it blows you away. Also worthy of note is the introductory track, a completely instrumental song called Life in Technicolor. It is a shame they didn't develop this song into a full one because the music is beautiful and it could have been one of the best tracks easily.

A good album, guaranteed to grow on you if you don't appreciate it at first. If you like any of coldplay's old songs you probably will.


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