Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Disc #50: Coldplay (Viva La Vida)
Album: Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
Released by Parlophone in 2008
This album came out shortly after another milestone in my life, the birth of my first child, Lily. Being a new parent, I spent lots of time at home in the first month or so, just being quiet and watching our new baby. This album was often the soundtrack of those moments.
Before I make the next few comments, I want to distinguish the difference between "favourite" and "best". Favourite is a much more subjective adjective, whereas best should be used as a more objective term (though it is still subject to subjectivity, if you will).
In my opinion, this album is by far Coldplay's best work. It has been masterfully composed, compiled, and produced. The songs are intellectually challenging, and if you know me, you are aware that that is a very positive comment. I bore easily of music that isn't challenging to listen to.
I also feel that the band has pushed its experimental limits further than before on this disc. I will give a portion of that credit to the production efforts of Brian Eno, who lent some musical support on X&Y, but has returned here as a co-producer. For all you fans out there, it is rumoured that he is helping produce Coldplay's next release, which should come out later this year.
There are so many highlights to this album, it's hard to know where to start. I can't even pick a favourite song. I think it's a toss-up between "Violet Hill" and "Lost". These two grabbed me the most at first. That being said, every track on this album is amazing. It really is a great joy of mine to put on this album.
If you are not yet a fan of Coldplay (and you all should be), I don't recommend starting with this album. You probably would like it, but as I mentioned earlier, it is challenging to listen to. It's best that you start from the beginning and work your way to Viva la Vida. By the time you get here, you will love it that much more.
As we near the end of the Coldplay reviews, I'd love to hear some feedback from you regarding this band. Do you have a favourite album or song? Does anything about Coldplay remind you of a certain time or event in your life? Do you have a crush on Chris Martin? Anything would be great. I'd love to hear more from the readers.
There are so many facets of this album that are amazing. I've been debating it for several days, but I've finally decided how to score it. On the Mike Jones Scale of Disc Awesomeness, I award this disc, for the very first time, a score of:
I was going to score it a 9.5, just as Parachutes, but it's just so much better in so many ways. I still think that Parachutes is my favourite, and I am more emotionally attached to it, but this album is just too brilliant to score any lower than 10. Well done lads.
Please join me next time as the experiment continues with our final review of Coldplay with Disc #51: Coldplay (Prospekt's March EP).