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Viva La Viva has restored my faith in Coldplay


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Hello fellow Coldplay fans of the world. I have been listening to this band as a fan since 2004 and was there when AROBTTH was picking up steam, so I feel I have a good handle on the context in which this album was released.


I'll be blunt; I hated X&Y. Hated it. It felt drab, watered-down, and overcooked; a completely failed record in every respect. It had no percussive backbone, the lyrics were lacking, and the album just floated along in an uninteresting manner until it eventually came to an end.


This was especially disappointing because, like everyone here, I thought the first two records were absolutely fantastic; subtle, bewitching melodies were crossed with a certain epic bombast that made the records more than just "pretty". Parachutes will likely always be my favorite; there isn't a weak track in the bunch, and it felt personal. Very personal. AROBTTH was like Parachutes, but on a larger scale. I didn't dig it quite as much, as it didn't cohere in the same way and it just felt to me like a bunch of (often great) songs on a piece of plastic. That and I've heard Clocks too damn much. But I still think it's great.


With that in mind, I listened to the recently leaked VLVODAAHF (it's going to be quite wearing typing that out time and time again...) today, and kept hope in spite of the fact that X&Y was one of the more disappointing outings from any band I've come across this decade. As you can see by the thread title, it was a successful listening experience.


On a base "are the songs good" level, the album certainly succeeds. Like Parachutes, I really can't name a weak song, though if pushed I would have to say Violet Hill, an unfortunate choice for first single that has some rather daft lyrics and lacks a strong hook. Also, Cemeteries of London hasn't grown on me yet. But it likely will. However, everything else is off-the-charts, and thrills me deeply. Life In Technicolor reminds me of Bowie's Speed Of Life, but less abrasive and equally intoxicating. Lost! just owns, and contains some of my favorite Will Champion percussion of all time, something that was sorely missing from X&Y. Yes is the best of all; it rivals Shiver and God Put A Smile On Your Face as my favorite Coldplay song. Its gorgeous and choppy string arrangements are contrasted by an epic, guitar-heavy coda that is just awesome on so many levels. I had no idea they had it in them.


Also, like Parachutes, this album coheres very well. Yes--->Viva La Vida is a particularly great segue, but the whole album is a very strong listening experience.


For everyone who hasn't heard this album yet: be excited. This record has strengthened by fandom greatly. What a knockout of an album.

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I have to agree that X&Y was a somewhat dissappointing departure from the first two albums, but I wouldn't say that it was bad per sé. Just not as good as they could have done. My main problem with it was the production. A lot of the songs I feel could have benefited from some simpler arrangements. Live X&Y came out pretty OK. It took me at least 20, 30 listens to get familiar with all the songs.

I do however Absolutely Agree on VLVODAAHF having restored my faith. Having heard the acoustic version of Lost and now the incredible vocals on Yes, I finally feel that they've made the best album they could have made after Parachutes and AROBTTH. It sounds so much less self-conscious and contrived then X&Y did. Potential beauties like Fix You were clouded by them wanting to do too much to such a simple song, it just didn't quite work...

I'm already excited about hearing some good B-sides and that new album Chris mentioned coming out in 2009!

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