Death Makes Some New Friends
Coldplayâ€šÃ„Ã´s fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, has graced the masses with excitement and confusion. The exciting part is that the legendary Brian Eno has produced the album. The confusing part is that frontman Chris Martin continually sings about death and self-pity. The feeling this album presents is the opposite of Coldplayâ€šÃ„Ã´s first three vibrant albums. However, in a recent Spin magazine interview Martin states, â€šÃ„ÃºThis album will probably save the world.â€šÃ„Ã¹â€šÃ„ÃºLife in Technicolorâ€šÃ„Ã¹ kicks things off with a beautiful instrumental journey. The transition into â€šÃ„ÃºCemeteries of Londonâ€šÃ„Ã¹ gets ominous with afterlife and spiritual references such as, â€šÃ„ÃºThrough the dark streets they go searching to seek God in their own way.â€šÃ„Ã¹ As â€šÃ„ÃºLost!â€šÃ„Ã¹ rolls around, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s apparent that the cynicism still dwells as he sings, â€šÃ„ÃºJust because Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m hurting / doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t mean Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m hurt / Doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t mean I get what I deserved.â€šÃ„Ã¹ By the time we get to â€šÃ„Ãº42,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the lyrics make bereavement the topic at handâ€šÃ„Ã®â€šÃ„ÃºThose who are dead are not dead / Theyâ€šÃ„Ã´re just living in my head.â€šÃ„Ã¹
The album is focused on misfortune yet its conclusion is subtle and surprising. When â€šÃ„ÃºDeath and All His Friendsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ fades out, â€šÃ„ÃºLife in Technicolorâ€šÃ„Ã¹ fades back in. Martin sings on this reprise and violins playfully dance in and out of the background. Despite the saddened tone, distorted guitar riffs and bluesy percussion are still recognizable.
The death theme is overplayed and the religious undertones make Viva la Vida seem overly righteous, yet the album remains comfortable because of their melodic pop sound and Chris Martinâ€šÃ„Ã´s agile vocals. They redefined themselves and still left room for the old Coldplay to shine through, but whether Viva la Vida will end up saving the world is questionable.