INSTA-REVIEW: Coldplay Viva La Vida


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ED_KING_1.jpgBY ED KING ROCK SNOB As you might imagine, I’m a huge Coldplay fan. I first heard them playing over the sound system at a Restoration Hardware, and damn if I didn’t march right up to Customer Service until I got an answer on who was playing. As soon as I got home I downloaded as much Coldplay as I could find on iTunes, and I haven’t been able to get enough of them since then. Man, I don’t recall being hooked on something this right since wine coolers first hit the market. Remember sipping those bad boys while Simple Minds albums played in the background? Yeah, neither do I. So, let’s have a listen to the leaked tracks from this new one!

“Violet Hill”: I’d been reading on the blogs that Chris Martin, since becoming a father, had been investigating some of the music that would have been playing around his house when he was a young boy, like Foreigner and Styx. This track, while playing to the band’s strengths, shows the more muscular, classic rock influence of those past masters.

“Lost (acoustic)”: Does the title of this track promise a more dynamic, electric version as well? That would begwyneth_1.jpg awesome. This tune makes me remember it’s been too long since I’ve watched season 4 of The Gilmore Girls.

“Viva La Vida”: I know this one! I keep seeing the band play it in ads for this upcoming album. What’s pretty cool is how they make the ad look like it’s going to be for iPod, with splashes of pastel colors mixed into the video. I like the whole fife & drum band aspect of the ad, and hearing the song in full now better explains the revolutionary nature of the brief video clip. This may be the band’s most uplifting number yet. Now I feel bad that I didn’t drag my sorry ass to church yesterday. I got really loaded Saturday night. I’ll have to play this track again for the spiritual rejuvenation I need after this long weekend. Damn, last night was something else as well, now that I think about it.

“Life in Technicolor”: This one’s pretty cool. It’s been playing for a while now as an instrumental, save for a brief “whoa.” Yeah, that’s all she wrote. Remember U2’s second album, the one where Bono lost all his lyrics and had to make up shit on the spot? That album had a lot of atmospheric stuff like that. I’ll tell you the truth, it was almost a blessing that Bono lost his lyrics and had to wing it.

“42”: This one’s off to a pretty start. It must have been a song like this that sealed the deal with Gwyneth. Boy, she’s a real sweetheart after all these years – hey, what’s going on with this song? It’s getting into some Paul McCartney instrumental segue, and now it’s rolling along like something off Band On the Run. Pretty catchy – whoops, it just got mellow for the final line. Real mellow. Chicks like Gwyneth must dig this stuff!

“Cemetaries of London”: This one’s spooky, but it’s cool – I’m confident Chris and the boys aren’t going to take me down some path that Bryan Ferry and his boys would have taken me down years ago. Sure enough Coldplay’s “singing ‘la-la-la-la-la” like Duran Duran playing pirates on a boat off Monte Carlo.

“Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love”: No offense, but in the parlance of a third grader, this may be the gayest song title ever. The music delivers appropriately: it’s anthemic U2 on saltpeter. If it was meant to rally troops it would have been appropriate to the launch of the Falklands War. This one winds down with a mellow half, “Reign of Love”, of course. The music’s not bad. It also speaks to Martin’s youth playing tennis racquet in front of his mirror while The Unforgettable Fire blasted away in the background. The sad thing about Coldplay in terms of coldplay_1.jpgtheir ability to be hip is that they’re ahead of their time. Had they come out with this U2 Lite music in 3 years, touting some Ivy League roots, on some indie label they’d be hailed as conquering heroes for a solid 4 weeks of indie-blogger buzz. Instead they will forever be fated to sell millions of units but absorb the slings and arrows of hipster tastemakers – you know, the folks who really count.

“Yes/Chinese Sleep Chant”: Can a non-prog-rock band have back-to-back virgule-linked songs? I’m in the first half of this one, and the exotic, Eastern feel is a welcome respite from what I’ve been hearing so far. I think I like the Dark Chris better. You think he had a fight with Gwyneth the nght he and the boys wrote this one? Chris probably stormed out of the house with his iPod blasting some Siouxsie & the Banshees. Relative to Coldplay’s output over the years, this song’s fucking “Kashmir”! I bet Gwyneth skips this one when she’s listening to it by herself. She strikes me as the type of woman who wouldn’t have much of a taste for Eastern-influenced blues rock. But fear not, Sweet Gwyneth! The second half of this pair of songs, “Chinese Sleep Chant”, is atmospheric and longing as all hell. We can work it out, baby. Do you still have any of that thick eyeliner you wore in The Royal Tenenbaums? Slap some of that on and have a good cry. Then invite Sofia Coppola over so the two of you can crank it up and jump on your big comfy bed in your pink cotton panties. I could see you two spending an afternoon like that. Chris comes home and the three of you crack open some Häagen-Dazs.

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