On 2008's VIVA LA VIDA OR DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS, Coldplay follows up X&Y's accessible anthems by tweaking its signature Britpop sound with the aid of renowned producer Brian Eno, celebrated not only for his own innovative ambient albums, but also for his behind-the-boards work with U2. Eno's contributions don't result in a ZOOROPA-like foray into dance-pop, however--VIVA LA VIDA sticks with Coldplay's knack for mid-tempo majesty, but expands these tracks with studio bells and whistles that pull the group out of its stadium-ready comfort zone.
Though the pulsing instrumental opener, "Life in Technicolor," might make listeners think that they're accidentally playing the latest M83 album, VIVA asserts itself as a Coldplay outing with "Cemeteries of London," a dreamy tune that finds Martin singing in a comfortable middle register. Still, the group's quest for a different sound is exemplified by the three distinctly different parts of "42," which range from piano ballad to post-rock workout, while "Violet Hill" boasts uncharacteristically amped-up guitars and crashing percussion. VIVA LA VIDA isn't Coldplay's most consistent offering, but it's still more unpredictable than past outings, and surprisingly intriguing.
- Life in Technicolor
- Cemeteries fo London
- Lovers in Japan/Regin of Love
- Viva La Vida
- Violet Hill
- Strawberry Swing
- Death and all His Friends