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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Viva La Vida
Time: 10 Tracks 45:50
Okay, so just about every music fan has heard the stories that has surrounded this release. The title track was used in a commercial for iTunes and helped launch this record into the most downloaded album of the week position on the charts after it’s release in June. The question that comes to mind for any music critic such as myself is “Does this album even come close to deserving all the hype it is getting?” So, as you might expect I had to hear it for myself.
I’ve been a big Coldplay fan since their 2002 release A Rush of Blood To the Head. I thought that that album set the bar very high for bands of this current decade that is quickly now heading for a close (amazing isn’t!!). When X & Y was released in June of 2005, I was pleased, but didn’t think that it was overall as solid of an album as a whole that Rush of Blood was. I was hoping for a stronger album overall this time around. Let me just say that I can say Yes it is a stronger album, and Yes it does deserve all the hype it is receiving!!!
The album opens with a two and half minute instrumental track entitled “Life in Technicolor” that soars into an excellent mix of synthesizer and strings that almost gives you a audio picture of all kinds of colors pixilating across your line of vision.
“Cemeteries of London” is a song about people ‘seeking God in their own way” and talks about how God is really everywhere and can be seen in his Creation. There is also some very slick guitar work in this song that begs for radio airplay!
“Lost!” is a song about trying to find the answer to difficult questions when storms come into a person’s life.
“42” begins as a quiet piano ballad and builds into a more guitar oriented piece by songs end.
The middle of the album features two extended songs (“Lovers in Japan/ Reign of Love” and “Yes”) that transition well into the latter half of the album. The instrumentation and musical arcs that these songs feature is worth the listen and shows just how good of musicians these guys are. Not that I have ever questioned that!
The title track is another masterpiece. It tells that tale of a man who used to ‘rule the world’ but now finds himself in poverty sweeping the streets of the land he once owned and operated. It’s a somewhat sad but powerful piece built around a great synthesizer and drum riff. This song was definitely a perfect choice for the albums first single.
“Strawberry Swing” is a great pop tune about a perfect summer day that everyone dreams of having at some point in their life. This is probably the song on the album that will draw the most comparison to U2.
The closing track “Death and All his Friends” features the same synthesizer riff featured in the opening track (“Life in Technicolor”) as it fades out concluding what is easily the best album of the summer in my opinion!!