Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

( 121 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
When Coldplay sampled Kraftwerk on their third album, X&Y, it was a signifier for the British band, telegraphing their classicist good taste while signaling how they prefer the eternally hip to the truly adventurous; it was stylish window dressing for soft arena rock. Hiring Brian Eno to produce the bulk of their fourth album, Viva la Vida, is another matter entirely. Eno pushes them, not necessarily to experiment but rather to focus and refine, to not leave their comfort zone but to find some tremulous discomfort within it. In his hands, this most staid of bands looks to shake things up, albeit politely, but such good manners are so inherent to Coldplay's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
When Coldplay sampled Kraftwerk on their third album, X&Y, it was a signifier for the British band, telegraphing their classicist good taste while signaling how they prefer the eternally hip to the truly adventurous; it was stylish window dressing for soft arena rock. Hiring Brian Eno to produce the bulk of their fourth album, Viva la Vida, is another matter entirely. Eno pushes them, not necessarily to experiment but rather to focus and refine, to not leave their comfort zone but to find some tremulous discomfort within it. In his hands, this most staid of bands looks to shake things up, albeit politely, but such good manners are so inherent to Coldplay's DNA that they remain courteous even when they experiment. With his big-budget production, Eno has a knack for amplifying an artist's personality, as he allows bands to be just as risky as they want to be -- which is quite a lot in the case of U2 and James and even Paul Simon, but not quite so much with Coldplay. And yet this gentle encouragement -- he's almost a kindly uncle giving his nephews permission to rummage through his study -- pays great dividends for Coldplay, as it winds up changing the specifics without altering the core. They wind up with the same self-styled grandiosity; they've just found a more interesting way to get to the same point. Gone are Chris Martin's piano recitals and gone are the washes of meticulously majestic guitar, replaced by orchestrations of sound, sometimes literally consisting of strings but usually a tapestry of synthesizers, percussion, organs, electronics, and guitars that avoid playing riffs. Gone too are simpering schoolboy ballads like "Fix You," and along with them the soaring melodies designed to fill arenas. In fact, there are no insistent hooks to be found anywhere on Viva la Vida, and there are no clear singles in this collection of insinuatingly ingratiating songs. This reliance on elliptical melodies isn't off-putting -- alienation is alien to Coldplay -- and this is where Eno's guidance pays off, as he helps sculpt Viva la Vida to work as a musical whole, where there are long stretches of instrumentals and where only "Strawberry Swing," with its light, gently infectious melody and insistent rhythmic pulse, breaks from the album's appealingly meditative murk. Whatever iciness there is to the sound of Viva la Vida is warmed by Martin's voice, but the music is by design an heir to the earnest British art rock of '80s Peter Gabriel and U2 -- arty enough to convey sober intelligence without seeming snobby, the kind of album that deserves to take its title from Frida Kahlo and album art from Eugene Delacroix. That Delacroix painting depicts the French Revolution, so it does fit that Martin tones down his relentless self-obsession -- the songs aren't heavy on lyrics and some are shockingly written in character -- which is a development as welcome as the expanded sonic palette. Martin's refined writing topics may be outpaced by the band's guided adventure, but they're both indicative that Coldplay are desperate to not just strive for the title of great band -- a title they seem to believe that they're to the manor born -- but to actually burrow into the explorative work of creating music. And so the greatest thing Coldplay may have learned from Eno is his work ethic, as they demonstrate a focused concentration throughout this tight album -- it's only 47 minutes yet covers more ground than X&Y and arguably A Rush of Blood to the Head -- that turns Viva la Vida into something quietly satisfying.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/17/2008
  • Label: Capitol
  • EAN: 5099921688607
  • Catalog Number: 16886

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Life in Technicolor (2:29)
  2. 2 Cemeteries of London (3:21)
  3. 3 Lost! (3:55)
  4. 4 42 (3:57)
  5. 5 Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love (6:51)
  6. 6 Yes (7:06)
  7. 7 Viva la Vida (4:01)
  8. 8 Violet Hill (3:42)
  9. 9 Strawberry Swing (4:09)
  10. 10 Death and All His Friends (6:18)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Coldplay Primary Artist
Phil Harvey Group Member
Chris Martin Group Member
Will Champion Group Member
Guy Berryman Group Member
Davide Rossi Strings
Technical Credits
Markus Dravs Producer
Brian Eno Producer, Sonic Environment
Bob Ludwig Mastering
William Paden Hensley Engineer
Rik Simpson Producer
Coldplay Artwork
Andy Rugg Engineer
Chris Martin Composer
Will Champion Composer
Guy Berryman Composer
Jon Buckland Composer
Jon Hopkins Producer, Coloring
Dan Green Engineer
Jason Lader Engineer
Olga Fitzroy Engineer
Tappin Gofton Art Direction
Dominic Monks Engineer
Brian Thorn Engineer
Jan Petrov Engineer
Michael Trepagnier Engineer
Vanessa Parr Engineer
François Chevallier Engineer
Dave Holmes Management
Eugène Delacroix Cover Painting
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Truly Outstanding

    Even by just looking at the cover of this album you can tell that it is different than Coldplay's previous releases. Where those ones were minimalistic and spare, Viva La Vida is exploding with color in every inch and so the same can be said for the music. Departing from their usual mellow, Chris-dominated formula that was gradually becoming stale (Speed of sound = Clocks?)Coldplay uses this opportunity to show off a much richer, more vibrant album than any of their previous ones. Here Chris takes a step back and Will, Guy and Jon step up, resulting in a very well-rounded sound. I've listened to this whole album on repeat for a good couple of hours and I likely won't stop anytime soon.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I’d rather pull my fingernails out slowly with pliers than listen to this CD

    I am so mad at myself for buying this CD. I downloaded without listening to it first. It’s horrible. It is the most bland, watered down, uber-mainstream and uninspired excuse for music I’ve heard in a long time. Coldplay has resorted to adding ethnic and Louisiana-styled sounds to their songs – in a feeble attempt to make them interesting. It doesn’t work. I’d rather pull my fingernails out slowly with pliers than listen to this CD. Yes, it’s that bad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Fallen Kingdom ;D that is what brought me to buy this!

    Fallen Kingdom ;D that is what brought me to buy this!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply Beautiful!

    I've always loved Coldplay but this album is by far their best, in my opinion. Every song is a hit. The lyrics are wonderful and the music is beyond amazing. The overall ambiance of the album is darker, deeper and gives off a different feeling from their previous releases. From the moment Life in Technicolor begins, it starts to draw you into a different realm altogether. I fell instantly in love with Cemetery in London's lyrics and how it is so different from any of their other songs and beautiful. Lovers in Japan is an epic song with the music is a faster beat but is lighter in tone from Cemetery in London, creating an almost roller-coaster experience when listening to the album. Every song melds perfectly with the following song and leaves you holding your breath until it is over, wanting more. But that is what the repeat button is for.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Consistent and Solid

    Not sure why but those are the first two words that came to mind describing Viva La Vida. There's a consistent tune that resonates throughout the album, but it's good. I actually heard the album for the first time on a road trip to Chicago. It was perfect to listen to then and still is now. It made you "come along for the trip" on Strawberry Swing and made you listen intently on "Violet Hill". I liked how the lyrics and music melded together in some songs to find out where they were taking you. It's not your all pop upbeat, jump in your seat music, but if you're looking for something consistent to listen to (in your car, walking, etc.) then you'll enjoy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Buy!

    Superb fun, good listen, memorable sound

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Viva La Vida by Coldplay

    This CD was excellent! The music was a mixture of classical and modern. It's the kind of music that soothes you, but also makes you feel like you could do anything. I would definitely recommend this CD.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Out of the Park

    This disc is fantastic, I can hardly wait to hear their hits from the disc performed live this summer.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This Groups' done it Again

    One of their best albums.. That's all I have to say.<BR/>Viloet Hill<BR/>Viva la Vida<BR/><BR/>I cannot take these songs out of my head, great songs!!! great Album

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great album!

    When I bought this album earlier in the summer, I was expecting a lot because of all the hype. I brought it home, turned it on, and I heard forgetable. I listened to it every once in a while throughout the summer, eventually discovering that I liked 'Reign of Love', 'Cemetaries of London', and 'Lost.' But I brought it out to my car about three weeks ago, and it's been in my CD player ever since. With every repetition I find myself finding more and more to admire about each song. Each one was made with special care, each one is its own masterpiece. <BR/>Everything about the album feels authentic, from the lyrics to the music to the packaging. I love all the art in the liner, and, of course, the lyrics, but I with their were more credits.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    They've done it again.

    Quite possibly the most over rated band of all time next to Dream Theater goes and does exactly what they've done on their past 3 albums. Make bad music. Chris Martin should spend less time worrying about ridiculous names for his children and more time thinking about how to do something origional with his "music". Don't listen to this travesty.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Cool

    I thought it was a good album for Coldplay. I knew when they came back they would come back with this. Very good!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing, Insightful, Thanks Coldplay

    Chris Martin has an amazing talent to write with meaning and depth, and then pair that with undeniable musical creativity...they just keep getting better and better in my opinion. I rarely see artists put out entire albums with amazing song after amazing song. And no wonder they have so many HITS!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful Sound

    Coldplay keeps getting better and better. There's less piano and more guitar on this record. Compared to their previous records this one sounds different but the soul of Coldplay is all over it. An amazing explosion of sounds. Love it! A must buy for Colplay fans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Poetic! Soulful! One of their best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Viva La Awesome!!!

    Best Rock Album of the 2000's. The closest thing to the Beatles our generation has.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Must Have!

    Love it! If you love Coldplay, you must get this album.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    From the quiet sonic warblings and catchy beginning riff of "Life In Technicolour" to the eerie echos and 3/4 beats of "Cemeteries Of London" to the powerful rocky landscapes of "Violet Hill", one thing can be said of Coldplay's highly anticipated 4th album VIVA LA VIDA or DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS: It ROCKS!! The boys have departed from their earlier and more alternative sound "i.e. Parachutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head, and many Bsides" but they can still dish out catchy tunes with meaning. What's interesting is that Chris recently commented about how this album had allowed Jonny, Guy, and Will to step up to the musical plate. He insisted that this differed from the previous albums where he played a larger role in the songs. One cannot forget to mention Brian Eno's influence which is quite strong. Many notable sound trademarks of him can be heard in the synthesizer and string arrangements throughout nearly all the songs. Along with a new musical partner/mentor, the boys also picked up some unique instruments from abroad, which can be heard on tracks like the upbeat instrumental "Life In Technicolour", the lusty "Yes", and the African drum-beat melody "Strawberry Swing". "42" is a definite highlight with its beautiful piano opening/ending reminiscent of John Lennon's "Imagine" at one point. It is filled with a rocky center that gives Jonny a guitar workout. "Lost!" is another great song with its clap-beats and classic Coldplay lyrics. Even though this album is quite different soundwise from their previous ones, it still provides an enjoyable earful which will no doubt become addicting to listen to. Even if some songs don't instantly snag your ears, give them some more listens to fully capture the true elegance. I cannot wait to see them live! Viva La Coldplay indeed! " (:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Viva La Loveliness....

    I've been a true fan of Coldplay since the very beginning in '99 and Viva La Vida has the same kind of charm as Parachutes (but of course, more mature). While Rush and X&Y were wonderful, I rarely played them from beginning to end and then over again. I'm doing that with Viva La Vida. Viva is sweeping, smart, eclectic, and Chris's voice is (as always) haunting & lovely. If you love Coldplay, you'll love this gem. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Coldplay new album!

    This album so far sounds great i have heard the two released songs (violet hill and Viva la Vida) and they both sound great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews