I wasn’t sure what to expect from Viva La Vida. Didn’t really care for the previous Coldplay album too much — too bland, too predictable, too Coldplay-by-numbers. But I was glad to see them choose Brian Eno to produce this one, and hopeful he’d steer them on a new course.
He did. I’m a big fan of Viva La Vida. Here’s why:
1.) After seven listens, there’s not a song I dislike and many that I love. “Lovers In Japan / Reign of Love” is terrific, as is “42” and “Death and All His Friends.” Those are the current faves.
2.) It sounds new, different, adventurous. They have a new lease on life. It’s not a hugely dramatic change in their sound, but it opens up some new directions for them. That’s a Good Thing.
3.) It’s not over-produced like X&Y was.
4.) It starts with an instrumental. Seriously, how many rock albums even have an instrumental these days? How many start the album with one?
5.) There’s a medley in the middle. Again, not a common thing on today’s rock albums.
6.) There are three songs over six minutes long. The last track is technically supposed to include a “hidden song”, but the hidden song begins almost immediately after the actual track ends, so it plays like a a single, long song.
7.) The song order is perfect. They did a marvelous job putting together the track list. Each song flows perfectly into the next. It makes this feel like a real album, not just a collection of random songs.
That’s it. Seven reasons I love the new Coldplay CD.