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Coldplay “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Long live life proclaims the title of Coldplay’s recently released album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The album was recently released using the same repetitious iTunes marketing campaign that helped propel Bob Dylan’s Modern Times to platinum status, and while it too will eventually reach that level of commercial popularity, it is an entirely different type of animal. Whereas we are to understand that both Dylan and Coldplay were both promoting their work commercially, I believe there is a difference in intentions between Dylan’s “Someday Baby” and Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” Pitchfork’s Ryan Dombal talked of the band’s recent MTV appearance in his review, in particular a comment made by lead singer Chris Martin, “We look at what other people are doing and try and steal all the good bits.” Martin continued, “We steal from so many different places that hopefully it becomes untraceable.” Understandably, the majority of popular music falls under such a premise. It’s still a bit striking though to hear someone in Martin’s position say something so honest. I can respect that statement much more than the music that is supposedly a culmination of influential ideas repackaged as the band’s own. Coldplay has become the new U2 in that one can compare other uninventive, mainstream rock to them just like one could in the early 2000s with U2. Not to say that Viva La Vida doesn’t have interesting moments, the title track offers a side to the band that I was unfamiliar with – one that harmoniously develops a song with an enjoyable tempo and sound…and given a casual listen, it sounds OK. But, when you don’t think about what it is you’re listening to, so does Creed, right? As a whole Viva La Vida is exactly what one would expect of the band. Long live life? If this is the best life has to offer, I’m not sure life is worth living.