Looking back at 2008’s major releases, it is safe to say that British rockers Coldplay had one of the biggest albums of the year with “Viva La Vida.” The album has the most paid download sales of all time, and it generally received favorable reviews. They had one of the most memorable iPod commercials in recent memory that got everyone back aboard the Coldplay bandwagon once again. Coldplay were never strangers to success, but with “Viva La Vida” it became cool to like Coldplay once again. Well, as long as you haven’t seen the 40 Year Old Virgin!
After the great success of their 4th studio album “Viva La Vida” they decided to release an EP entitled “Prospekt’s March.” The release comes directly off the success of Viva La Vida, with the band hoping to carry the momentum just a little bit further.
The EP is a combination of leftovers from the “Viva La Vida” recording sessions, and remixes of other tracks. First off is “Life in Technicolor II” a sequel in sorts of Viva La Vida’s atmospheric album opener. Chris Martin and company added lyrics and a big Coldplay chorus to give another spin to the already pleasurable song. It isn’t anything spectacular, but at least now our curiosity of what the song would song like with lyrics is over. There is a simple but pleasant piano piece called “Postcards from Far Away” that didn’t seem to have any point but to fill up the track listing and provide some leeway into the EP’s best track: “Glass of Water.” It is a song that would fill up any arena with its powerful soaring guitars. “Rainy Day” features beautiful string arrangements that would make Vampire Weekend proud, along with sliding guitars and other world-influences that provide an engaging listen.
“Prospekts March/Poppyfields” and “Now My Feet Won’t Touch the Ground” are both ballads with acoustic guitars that could have been beautiful songs but they have no real build up. While listening you can’t help but think that the tracks are missing something extra. This is a familiar trend throughout the second half of the EP. Things like the “Lovers in Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)” did nothing for me. I honestly did not notice a significant difference from the original version that made it worth my time.
However, the Lost remix featuring Jay-Z is a breath of fresh air. “Lost” is one of “Viva La Vida’s” shining moments, it would be hard to mess a track this good up. Jay-Z gives it an extra boost with some hip-hop flavor that combines the best of both worlds. It is amazing to see a rapper like Jay-Z collaborate with a band like Coldplay so effortlessly.
The reason Viva La Vida was a special Coldplay album is because they added something new to their sound. The acoustic tracks were nothing different for the band, and quite frankly they were a let down. It was too safe. That seems to be the problem that people find with Coldplay. They have huge ambitions and are clearly great musicians with a fantastic sense of melody. Yet they stick to a similar formula even when their style changes.
In today’s music world it is pretty hard to have a successful selling album. It is no surprise that they are trying to keep their popularity running with another release. The EP is not a complete letdown with a few keepers here and there making the release worth a purchase if you are a diehard fan. The rest of the tracks are not bad by any means, but it is clear as to why they were left out of the album and instead are seen on this EP.