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Coldplay - Our Review


Read our review of Violet Hill


29 April 2008 - The new single from Coldplay, Violet Hill, the first track from their fourth album Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends is neither the bold re-imagining of the band’s sound that some anticipated, nor a familiar reworking of their past.


The opening atmospheric wash of sound and the piano intro are textbook Coldplay, but when the distorted, tense opening guitar chords and lolloping drums arrive, things take a left turn.


Chris Martin’s voice may sound the same as ever (no sign of the rumoured crazed falsetto) but the band sound distinctly different. It’s almost like U2’s Where The Streets Have No Name played by Avalon-era Roxy Music.


Lyrically, it’s a more ambitious, ambiguous affair than many of Coldplay’s biggest tracks. Full of architectural and religious imagery. In the verses Martin sings of windows, rooftops, churches and cathedrals. At one point witnessing as “the cross was held aloft…” and priests who “clutch on to their bibles, hollowed out fit their rifles.”


There’s no traditional chorus per se, just a repeated refrain of “If you love me, won’t you let me know…” followed by Secret Machines-esque cymbal and chord walloping. And oddly it’s this musical phrase, the simplest in the track, that proves the most effective and moving,


Oddest of all is Johnny Buckland’s solo. Eschewing his traditional soaring sustained notes the centrepiece of the song is a melodic light-hearted (jolly even) glam rock guitar loop. Which - if nothing else on the track - bears the fingerprints of producer Brian Eno, sounding like nothing else on the record. And indeed little that the band have recorded before.


Eventually, the track relaxes for a delicate piano and intimate vocal outro which finds Chris and his loved one, alone together on a snow-tipped Violet Hill.


In all, it leaves you expecting a more ambitious experimental album to follow (the massive pressure that rests on the shoulder of Viva La Vida will have most likely dictated the choice of one of the less controversial songs as the lead single) but satisfied that the band are’t just treading water.


And the more you hear it, the better its sounds….



Matt Everitt

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Gigwise Readers Give Their Verdict On The New Coldplay Single

It’s been out for a total of three hours, but that’s been plenty long enough for Gigwise readers to say exactly what they think about Coldplay’s new single ‘Violet Hill’.


Taken from the band’s forthcoming fourth album, ‘Viva La Vida’, the song sees the band take a new, more experimental direction compared to previous releases. Music fans started sending us their feedback within minutes of the song airing on BBC 6 Music and the majority of it has been positive.

“Good to see they are changing things around a bit. I think its great... Can’t wait for the album,” said Gframps.


Meanwhile, Andrew said: “It’s very different for them, but I have to say that I am impressed.


“It will be a hit this summer, ”If you love me, why don’t you let me know!!” can’t wait for more!”


Not all the feedback has been quite so good, however, with one listener saying they weren’t sure whether it was “good or bad” that the song reminded them of Oasis


James was also unimpressed, saying it sound like “dad rock”.


“More clunking, overrated music from Coldplay,” he said. “Three years away has led to no creative spark.”



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Digital Spy:


Today, after a wait of nearly three years, we've finally been treated to a new Coldplay tune. 'Violet Hill', the lead single from the band's upcoming Viva La Vida LP, has been available for download from Coldplay's official site since 12.15pm today. The price? A very generous 0p - thanks Chris!


Our verdict: it's a definite hit that fits snugly alongside the best material from their career. Built around Will Champion's tribal drum thumps and a swirling wall of guitars, producer Brian Eno has helped turn the band into the U2-style stadium conquerors that X&Y never quite managed. The usual piano tinkling, falsetto vocals and funky Jonny Buckland guitar solo are all present and correct, but, intriguingly, Chris Martin's lyrics seem to be more political than ever before. What could he mean by the future being "architectured" by a "carnival of idiots on show"? Hmm...


So, what do you think of the new Coldplay song? Was it worth the three-year wait? Give us your opinions by clicking the usual button below.



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"Brian Eno has helped turn the band into the U2-style stadium "


Why is it that they so want this? Why do they need to have music that plays in stadiums. I don't mind that it sounds good in concert, but why is it a priority.


At least it sounds like they still have some of their old sound intact.

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