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on June 27, 2008
This is a very interesting CD indeed and one that will likely cause commotion from both sides of the fence. I think this may an album that takes many listens to get used to it. It still sounds Coldplayish but there are differences (mainly from the production standpoint). I am not sure if Eno got the best out of Coldplay that he could have as I think the CD could have been better. I echo another reviewer that there are not enough songs on this CD, since the first song is mostly instrumental. I wished they had split up tracks Lovers in Japan and Reign of Love in two tracks as well as Yes and Chinese Sleep Track, since both of these groupings don't seem to go together, but they still stand well alone. Viva La Vida is among Coldplay's best, but I think what is getting everybody stirred up is that the new songs don't have that catchy, sing-a-long style that we have all loved about Coldplay these past three CD's. I think over time, though, many will grow to appreciate this album more and more. And let's face it - it's still better than 99% of other music nowadays. I hope that in the meantime before the next Coldplay CD comes out (probably in 2010 or 2011), Coldplay will give us a B-side/rarity CD to enjoy. All in all, I give this 4.5 stars, which one day will probably become a 5 for me.
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on June 27, 2008
Coldplay is good. They're better than most. Most rap, most country, most rock and DEFINITELY most pop. But Viva la Vida is extremely overexposed, and Coldplay have long been riding a tidal wave of mediocrity over the heads of the consumers. Regarding their most recent release, the lyrics are interesting, the melodies pretty, the songs epic in scope, but rather pedestrian when all the synthesizers are stripped away. Chris Martin has a nice voice, but not an inspiring one. But, then again, the same might be said about U2, and look what they've accomplished. At least Coldplay aren't a ripoff (well, yes, they do bear more than a passing nod to U2, but I mean ripoff in the "you've been robbed" kind of way) worst you might feel like you spent too much on the CD - you won't be wondering why you bought it in the first place.

I probably wouldn't be so critical had I not been expecting considerably more from their new CD. The song "Viva la Vida" was stuck in my head by about the fifth time I saw the stupid iTunes commercial. It's arranged in a way to make it a depaparture from typical pop/rock drivel, and I like its bass pulse: solid without being bombastic. Nice layering of sounds, but it sounds canned overall. There are a couple of tunes that sound like they borrowed a page from Sgt. Pepper (but who HASN'T borrowed a page from Sgt. Pepper?), and a few that suggest to me a hasty trip from concept to final mix.

HOWEVER, if you think I'm being overly critical, you should hear my rants about 99.9999999% of the rest of the music that I have been subjected to and tortured with over the years. Overall, I'm pleased by Coldplay's latest. I give it 7 points for every single track being worthy of repeated listens, 1 point for the single "Viva la Vida" having the incredible capacity to get stuck in your head, minus 2 points for the CD as a whole not living up to the hype, but I'm giving those 2 points back as extra credit for still being better than most of what else the recording industry attempts to shove down our throats.

80%. That's a solid B. Good effort.
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on July 15, 2008
I wasn't a big listener of ColdPlay in the past, but after I heard "Violet Hill" on the radio, okay, you got me hooked. This album is totally different from what I heard before!

The sound of "Viva La Vida" sounds to me like new wave and Radiohead's music blended together in perfect harmony along with ColdPlay's music and Chris Martin's vocals. "Life in Technicolor" is the opening track and instrumental, a good choice to open the album. "Cemeteries of London" I enjoyed with its lyrics and good music. "Lost" is a sad song, but is just beautiful. "42" starts out a little slow in the beginning but then gets better at the end. "Lovers in Japan" sounds like classic ColdPlay if you're not into the newer-sound tracks. "Yes" is a dark, haunting song featuring deep, dark vocals from Martin. Then you have the big tracks "Viva la Vida" and "Violet Hill." These two songs are the best from the album (But you may differ!). "Strawberry Swing" and the somber "Death and All His Friends" conclude the album.

Favorites: Violet Hill, 42, Viva la Vida, Lovers in Japan, Yes, and Life in Technicolor.

Different, but cool. Give it try.
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VINE VOICEon September 23, 2008
I am a Coldplay fan and have all of their previous CDs. I was somewhat disappointed with X&Y and was anxious to hear Viva. Of course, we all became familiar with the hits Violet Hill (free download prior to release) and Viva La Vida (via the iTunes commercials). I was immediately taken with Viva and find all of the songs addictive in their own special way. My personal favorite has become Death and All His Friends, the CD finale. I feel transported to the Verizon Center where I saw them live this summer whenever I hear the opening quiet sounds of Living in Technicolor. The album is a mature piece consisting of 11 well-crafted songs. The tone is different - in the main - from the previous three. AND, to this fan, this is a GOOD thing! I think Coldplay has the writing and musicianship to position themselves as a major play in music circles. Perhaps OT, but I must say, that they can certainly work on their live performances! Their show was short (80 minutes with "encore" for $125 with "ticketvulture" charges; boring opening acts), and with a few exceptions, the songs sounded nearly identical to their studio version. Not much spontaneity there. Compare this to Neil Young, over 60 and plays two sets nearing 2.5 hours... I am not sure I will pay to see them live again, but I will continue to enjoy and purchase their studio work.
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VINE VOICEon June 20, 2008
Viva La Vida.

While it may seem like more of the same from the four man group that idea will erased after the very song "Life in Technicolor". This and several other songs go from the norm of what people thought that this release by Coldplay would really be. "Viva La Vida" seems to be the closest thing to the stuff that folks are used to and radio friendly. "Violet Hill" to me seems like a departure from this and it has a different feel to it.

There are a couple of double songs on Viva La Vida with about 7 minutes between each of the songs. Both while on the long side don't feel like it at the same time. While "Strawberry Swing" is like nothing that i've heard by Coldplay and should be their 3rd single from the cd in my opinion. They are able to break from the expectations of this release and still keep pleasing the folks that listen to their music. As far as writing goes Coldplay does that throughout the whole cd having written it themselves. C. Martin seems to be at home throughout the release trying out different things vocal wise and for the most part rather well.

Viva La Vida should do well on the charts and make for a great live experience as well one that i hope. I'm able to attend at some point in the future excellent follow up to "X&Y".
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on December 11, 2014
Arguably (and I say this because I will argue with anyone who disagrees with me on this point) Coldplay's peak album, a perfect collection of songs and a glorious way to spend an evening (listening to it over and over again). I remember exactly where I was when I first listened to the album in it's entirety, and thinking that I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. Now I love it. Not a single track is out of place, and there's an energy to it that the band hasn't really had before or since.
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on September 5, 2008
I am not usually a music person. I rarely listen to the radio, mainly because of the dearth of compelling music these days. So when my husband said that he had heard a song on his car radio on the way to work one day that he really, really liked, I just tuned him out (sorry Dear)...He said that it was by Coldplay, that he didn't know the title, but that it had a bunch of violins in it. Coldplay? No thanks, I thought. Aren't they one of those alternative bands filled with angst and self-loathing, pretentious and riddled with caterwalling and plaintive wails---ugh, I'll pass. A few days later, in an attempt to drown out my three screaming children, I turned on the radio. I was immediately captivated by what I was hearing. It sounded like something right out of the 80's, like U2 with a touch of Duran Duran. I was spellbound. Then when I heard the violins, I figured that this must be the song to which my husband had referred. So I purchased the CD for my husband's b-day that was in a couple of weeks, and we have been listening to it daily ever since. We never, never tire of it. The cut Violet Hill is excellent also, but the entire CD is unique and wonderful and I would recommend it to everyone.
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on July 12, 2008
Viva La Vida marks a great departure from all of Coldplay's previous work, especially their last album, X&Y. X&Y was heavy on the synth-strings and airy vocals, but Viva focuses more on hard-hitting, steady drum/guitar beats and at times even gravelly vocals. As a long-time Coldplay fan I was skeptical at first of X&Y; it took a number of listen-throughs before I really started to appreciate that album. Viva La Vida though, was an instant love for me. The style is much more bold and I took to it immediately; It's definitely in my top 5 favorite albums of all time. Musically, is this album another Rush of Blood to the Head? No. That album remains, in my opinion, the bands greatest work. However that doesn't mean that Vida is not deserving of all the praise it gets. I was almost expecting this album to just be plain bad; how many bands have released four consecutive albums without one of them being considered a "clunker?" But lucky for everyone, Coldoplay has done it again: This album is a must have for any fan or anyone on the fence about X&Y (you will be converted!).
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VINE VOICEon July 4, 2008
I have to say that I've been a huge fan of Coldplay's since I first heard Yellow almost a decade ago. So I always anxiously await a new Colplay album. And I always have super-high expectations (probably too high).

So upon first listen to Viva La Vida, I was immediately disappointed. It seemed way too short, which lead me to think that they just mailed this one in. My friend said he liked it though, and that it reminded him of the Beatles, which I thought a bit odd.

So upon a 2nd and 3rd listen, I grew to like it a little more with each listening. However, I don't think it's ever going to be as good as their other albums, no matter how many times I listen to it. There is some good stuff on here, but just not epic-good-stuff.

Am I going to be listening to Viva La Vida five years from now like X&Y or A Rush of Blood? It's tough to say... and I think that's the real measure of an album for a band like Coldplay.
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on May 10, 2011
I loved X & Y, and I have listened to it innumerable times. However, for some reason, when Viva La Vida came out, I never got around to purchasing the album. However, three years later, I was listening to all my music at work, and a song from X & Y popped up. On a whim, I bought the MP3s from Amazon, and started listening to them. Initially, I was impressed, but not overwhelmed. After a few more listens, I couldn't stop playing it. I keep trying to play other artists and albums, but I keep coming back to this. I was not expecting this at all, but I'm glad that I like it so much.

I ended up buying Prospekt's March, as well, and I have them both playing right now in WMP. Excellent music, and hopefully it is not long before another album of the same caliber is released.
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