2005 saw what may very well be Coldplay's only misstep in ten years. "X&Y" was Coldplay's way of creating more mainstream music and while it was successful commercially, it lacked in many ways and for a while it seemed as though the band had traded itself in to please the masses.
Then, three years later, Coldplay finally released their fourth, much-awaited album, the oddly but aptly titled "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends." This fourth effort saw the band aim for the stratosphere with bold experimentation that involved the incorporation of many new international sounds, new dimensions of Chris Martin's voice, and evolved songwriting, all of which made the album an instant success.
Coldplay's formula for success mixes a knack for piercing song writing, a flair for moodily dramatic craftsmanship, and an ability to maintain a high quality from wire to wire while striking gold numerous times on each album. Their music manages to be dark one song yet vivid the very next. It is a culmination of thoughts on love, ruminations on fears and doubts, and reflections on the journey of finding oneself, all of which the band has managed to stay true to since crossing the threshold to the mainstream.