11 Points

11 Points On Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' (iTunes Samples Only)
written by Sam Greenspan

Here's the dilemma I was faced with earlier. I want to do album reviews on this blog. But I don't really want to listen to full albums. My music listening style isn't to listen to a whole album. I put my entire collection of music on shuffle and go. I infinitely favor that way.

So I've come up with a solution. Unless it's an album I'm really excited about, I'm going to review it by listening to the :30 or :45 samples of each of the tracks on iTunes. And I'm going to draw my conclusions from that.

After all, in today's impatient, nanosecond culture, that's all one should need, right?

The first victim is Coldplay, and their new album "Viva La Vida"... which just so happens to have 11 tracks. Perfect! Let's go after them one-by-one...

  1. I will now review this album by listening to only 5:30 of music from it.
    "Life in Technicolor" - I don't really care for this. I don't know if it's supposed to have words or not, but the iTunes sample is just instrumental. It sounds like it has an Eastern influence, but it's not particularly catchy... just repetitive, kind of like Coldplay is trying to evolve their sound but taking a lazy path to get there.

  2. "Cemeteries of London" - I like this. It almost evolves into Simon and Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair"... in fact, I think they may have the same chord progressions... but this song is darker and the sample is intriguing. I think I'd like to hear the entire thing.

  3. "Lost!" - This sounds more like classic Coldplay... but that's not always a good thing. Based on the sample, I'd say this song is OK. Or "eh." Or "whatever." Basically, I find myself indifferent about the song... feels like a throwaway to me.

  4. "42" - Wow. I was not really into it, but, with only a few seconds left in the iTunes sample, they managed to sneak a little of what I'm guessing is the hook/chorus... and I liked where it was going. The verse felt a little slow and droning, but I'd still be willing to hear this track out.

  5. "Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love" - Once again, the traditional Coldplay boringly repetitive melody had me rolling my eyes... but then the sample sneaked in a drop of the chorus and I started getting more into the song. But it's 6:50 according to iTunes... and the sample leads me to believe a lot of that will be very, very slow. I'm not enthused.


  6. The track list from iTunes. For lack of any other image to put here.
    "Yes" - Weird deep voice. Did Chris Martin sing into one of those voice changers? He barely sounds whiny. I was so distracted by the deep voiced sample that I can't really judge the song.

  7. "Viva la Vida" - It's not really fair for me to judge, since I've heard this song in its entirety on the MTV Movie Awards... and I've heard this sample eight billion times on that iTunes commercial. But I really like it. Like, more than pretty much any Coldplay song. Would this be a good time to mention that I don't really like Coldplay that much? I'm just reviewing their album because it's new and big, not because I'm particularly in to them. But this song is cool.

  8. "Violet Hill" - Hmm. I think I could like this. At the very last second the iTunes sample went into an interesting falsetto place... and before that, the song was kind of dark and interesting. I also like the title. Violet Hill. Sounds like the name of the main character of a series of kids' books about a 6th grade girl who solves mysteries.

  9. "Strawberry Swing" - I'm not sure. The sample didn't give me much to go on. It sure doesn't sound like that "Clocks" song, I'll tell you that much. Or "Yellow"... I was kind of down with that song. That's good whiny.

  10. "Death and All His Friends" - I'm really into this one. I loved the instrumental first part of the iTunes sample and the melody on the second part complimented it well. This would definitely be worth a listen. I'm curious how the full track sounds. Damn these intriguing British bastards.

  11. "Lost?" - This is alright, just like the other song called "Lost!" Why is that one with an exclamation point and this one with a question mark? I'm sure it's something very high concept. But since I'm listening to 30-second samples, I am not qualified to dig into that concept.

On the 11-point scale, I give this album a six out of 11.

Overall, I'm shocked to say it... but I think this album could be worth listening to. I'm not saying I'm going to run out and buy it... let's not go nuts... but I feel like about half the tracks could make it onto my rotation. And that's never happened with me and Coldplay before. Maybe I'm becoming more white and more middle aged than I EVER realized.

And now I'm upset.



This post was originally published on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 02:00:36 AM under the category Music.

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