Music Reviews

posted: February 25, 2009


Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

Capitol/EMI LP and CD
Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

If you’ve been watching TV at all for the last few weeks, you’ve seen that psychedelic colored iTunes ad featuring Coldplay.  Just the fact that Apple deviated from the standard monochromatic iTunes ad made me think that we might be in for something really big.  According to the chatter on the Internet (the record was released June 12 in the UK), the masses are very polarized about the current Coldplay project because it is a major departure from their past efforts.

My favorite Coldplay album is still their first one; the two that followed it (X&Y and A Rush of Blood to the Head) never really gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling I got from Parachutes.  So kill me.

Chris Martin is quoted as saying, “After the last record, we felt that no one would really want to work with us,” but their connection with Brian Eno is just what the doctor ordered.  Eno tore apart the way they did things and sent them back to the drawing board – and it works quite well.  Eno’s influence is everywhere; Vida bursts with texture and has an enormous soundscape that fills the room. The trademark Coldplay falsetto only shows up briefly on track four.  The dogs have indeed learned some new tricks.

After listening to both the LP and CD versions, I think the LP wins hands down.  It has a much warmer tonal balance and is much more dynamic than the CD.  Those who purchase the LP get the best of both worlds, as a CD of the entire record is included as a bonus, so if you have any inkling of wanting both, just buy the LP.

Love it or hate it, Coldplay has definitely expanded their craft significantly with this record.  Mark me down in the “love” column.

–Jeff Dorgay