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Viva La Vida Or Death and All

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 1 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0019FYOI4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,218 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Track Listings
1. Life In Technicolor
2. Cemeteries Of London
3. Lost!
4. 42
5. Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love
6. Yes
7. Viva La Vida
8. Violet Hill
9. Strawberry Swing
10. Death And All His Friends

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Coldplay moves away from their usual radio-friendly soaring anthems, but still score big with their fourth studio album, which is filled with rich instrumental passages, as in the very first track "Life in Technicolor".

The second track "Cemeteries of London" reminds me of soundtrack music from those old spaghetti westerns, but with deep and introspective lyrics:

"God is in the houses and God is in my head... and all the cemeteries in London...
I see God come in my garden, but I don't know what he said,
For my heart it wasn't open..."

Third track "Lost" is a plaintive song, minus a clearly defined chorus, but not missing it for a moment.

This is the point where the album really takes off. Chris Martin's vocals stand out from the muted but beautiful background melody of "42", and then it kicks up a notch by the end. The next two tracks are two-fers, each approximately 7 minutes of classic Coldplay. "Lovers in Japan" flows into the introspective "Reign of Love", and then "Yes" leads in the hidden (mostly instrumental) track "Chinese Sleep Chant". On "Yes", Chris Martin reaches deep down into his vocal range, and pulls out some of his lowest notes ever.

This brings us to the best (and most radio friendly) track on the album. The title track "Viva La Vida" comes closest to mainstream, and is an instant favorite on the first listen. Hot on its heels comes the other single "Violet Hill" which features a guitar solo in the middle before Martin comes back in to ask, among other things, "If you love me, Won't you let me know? "

The short ten-track album closes with "Strawberry Swing" and the melancholy "Death and All His Friends".

Slower, darker and more meditative, yes
Mainstream, no
Brilliant, definitely

Amanda Richards, June 17, 2008

*supposed to mean "Long live the new sound", but I'm open to correction.
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It seems strange that both of Coldplay's latest efforts, this album and 'X & Y', were both released as summer blockbuster albums. The wintery darkness and rainy day melancholy that Chris Martin and his band do best seems strange when placed on the shelf with easier, breezier summertime artists such as Rihanna and Weezer. Nonetheless, this sweet, loaded offering by one of the biggest bands in the world right now, doesn't need a timely release date to be successful.

The first single from 'Viva La Vida', the absolutely brilliant "Violet Hill" (perhaps the band's best debut single to date) was the first clue that this album would not only meet, but surpass any Coldplay fans' expectations. The second single 'Viva La Vida' proved that Coldplay is a little more versatile than U2-style guitar riffing and lush, long, rainy day musical interludes. The rest of the album? Well, although not versatile as you may have heard or as 'different', 'Viva La Vida' has its shining moments of grandeur and heartfelt meaning.

It seems as though once again, Martin is attempting to blend his own angry, revolutionary political agenda with his sweet symphonic melodies, much like he did with both 'X & Y' and 'Rush of Blood to the Head'. What Martin lacks however, and the reason that this album is far from perfect, is a story to tell, both musicall and lyrically. While the music is good, it seems that its own sense of self seems somehow lost. What are they advocating for? Viva La Vida's own politics seem too complex and I missed the lyrical content of 'Rush of Blood', which seemed focused on love, soul-searching and the human soul rather than a collective call for revolution.
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Has it all gone `pete tong' for Coldplay ? There are instrumental tracks, long 7 mins tracks, tracks that change tempo and tone half way through. This is certainly their most experimental album.

It's as though they raided their own album collection and referenced different styles that they liked i.e. 42 has piano riffs like john lennon's - imagine, lovers in japan is like 80's pop, yes - take's off nico's venus in furs.

It's an album that's not as easy to get into as their previous ones, but good never the less.
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Coldplay's fourth studio album, "Vida la Vida or Death and All His Friends", was released on June 11th, 2008 and was an immediate success both with the critics as well as with the public. The album went to #1 in numerous countries, and eventually won the Grammy award for the Best Rock Album. Though a relatively short album for these days, only 47 minutes, it is nonetheless large in message and scope. Some have criticized it because it lacks an edge, which often great albums have, but in spite of that, or perhaps because of it, it is noteworthy. In any case, it is true to what the group has always been.

It opens with "Life in Technicolor" a very pleasant instrumental introduction to the album which sets the tone for the whole album. There is a longer version of the song that has lyrics titled "Life in Technicolor II" which appears on the 2008 EP "Prospekt's March". "Cemeteries of London" is a beautiful song, with intriguing lyrics. "Lost!" follows along the same lines as a slow melodic piece. "42" starts off along the same lines, but then transitions into a higher-energy piece. "Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love" continues to play to the strength of the band, with a strong melody and interesting lyrics, the first half having a good driving rhythm, and then transitioning into a very slow a melodic second half.

"Yes" opens up the second half of the album and is another example of how the band can produce similar pieces, and yet make them sound completely different. There is a hidden piece at the end of "Yes" called "Chinese Sleep Chant". The title track "Viva la Vida" is next, and is a piece destined to be around for a long time as a classic. "Violet Hill" is next, the first anti-war piece from the group.
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