Coldplay Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends

Coldplay Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends
Coldplay will always find themselves in the middle of mammoth expectations, between the soccer mom crowd that wants the hits to keep on coming and the critics that feel the quartet can be the big name act to balance commercial success with innovation. With 2005’s X&Y, Coldplay failed to progress beyond the addition of some synths, opting to stick with the successful, arena-sized, soft modern rock that made them the "seventh biggest band in the world.” The ridiculously named Viva La Vida is the band’s most daring album yet but even with an audio auteur like Brian Eno onboard as co-producer, Chris Martin and company never push the envelope far enough to be considered innovators like their heroes Radiohead. There are some interesting new paths followed, like the title track and album highlight that consists of just a robust orchestra, Martin’s apt vocals and Eno-esque soundscapes, or "Life in Technicolor,” which begins with flickering ambience and mutates into a mid-’80s pop song reminiscent of the Cure. But the most obvious "experiments,” like the Eastern strings on "Yes/Chinese Sleep Chant,” or the energised, Arcade Fire-aping "42,” which puts Martin’s worst lyrics on display in front of dazed orchestration, find them confusing reinvention with homage. Sure, they think what they’re doing is a drastic forward step but Coldplay seem unable to truly make such drastic moves with their music. They really just need to give up the idea of trying to be another band, because all any fan wants is another great album that sounds like Coldplay. (EMI)