"Man, we put in more rehearsal for this album than any other, because we played it live 101 times before we released it. Talk about road-testing material," said frontman Chris Martin on Coldplay's website. You've got to hand it to Coldplay that not only can they write some captivating songs, they can also deliver on a live performance, writes Boise Weekly (dot com).
Furthermore, despite these Brits being world superstars, they've managed to keep a handle on their music. There's something commendable about a mainstream band refusing Gap the rights to their songs. So when they release a live album as a free download on their Web site, it's worth a listen.
LeftRightLeftRightLeft captures that quality about Coldplay that's given them global appeal. The songs, many of them from last summer's Viva La Vida, are in the trademark emotional explorations of Chris Martin, winsome without bordering too far into unbelievability.
Coldplay's particular brand of alternative rock is minimalistic in nature, both full and sparse at times, making for some great song dynamics. The album features the untold thousands singing along or clapping in unison--a snapshot of standing in the crowd. On the set list, Coldplay classic "Clocks" makes an appearance, along with "42," an eerie melody morphing into a sarcastic and progressive chorus of "You thought you might be a ghost / you never got to heaven but you made it close." The title song "Viva La Vida" breaks the sometimes subdued setting with energetic string-inspired melodies. Another song on the list, "Strawberry Swing," is set to be released as a music video later this summer.
While live albums can have a bad rep for being filler material to boost CD sales, Coldplay attempts to take turn this cliche around. "And although it's live, it's supposed to be a real album, part of our canon. Y'know, as well as being a gift move, it is also a musical move. It's meant to say that this is what we sound like at the moment," said Martin.
Reviewed by: Boise Weekly
Some fan reviews:
Missing some of my all time favs, like Yellow, but a great live album. “The Hardest Part” is a nice surprise, cuz its stripped down to the bare bones with just Martin’s piano supporting a far more restrained vocal. On X & Y, its all light-weight but on this stripped down version, it is far darker. Will Champion also sings well on “Death Will Never Conquer”, which is pretty unexpected. Great of them to give this out free… [David~!]
I downloaded this EP the day it came out - really pumped for it. I was at the first friends and family show for this tour back in June of 08, and the experience is something that will always stay with me. I like the track selection, it gives a good taste I think of what the show is like. You get a good balance between the very choreographed moments that make a Coldplay “show” SO COOL - and the stripped down, unexpected, improvised moments that prove what a truly great band they are. HOWEVER. This EP leaves out a lot of, what I thought, were the highlights of the show. The points that were filed with emotion, that shook the arena floor, and that were really unforgettable (which is probably the idea, since they want people to buy a ticket - but STILL, how great was the 2003 Live record!!) [Evan]
Someone mentioned this on Twitter, so obviously I downloaded it, even though I thought Coldplay were a bit boring. And then I listened to this, and immediately looked them up on YouTube and HypeM and very nearly bought all of their albums. So yes, I liked it rather a lot. [sarianna]
This giveaway is an amazing treat for all loyal Coldplay fans. I hope this will further help people realize that Coldplay are not in this for the money or the awards but rather because of the beauty of music itself. It’s wonderful hearing the “oh oh ohh oh oh ohhh” chant during Viva La Vida, just goes to show that music really is the universal language. [Alejandra]
They were in New Zealand earlier this year, but i couldnt afford the ticket price! So its therefore great to hear an album where i can turn it up loud and actually imagine being there. Clocks especially, i can just picture in my head what it woul dbe like- they have got that perfect mix between vocals, insturments, and more importantly in this case- the crowd. Good Effort Coldplay! [simon D]
Pictures of Coldplay at Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA (13th July 2009):
Source: Live Daily