Viva la Vida
Coldplay’s latest album Viva la Vida could be compared, in my eyes at least, to my recent experience with Coco Mademoiselle. At first listen, I wasn’t sure about how much I loved it- and I desperately wanted to love it-, as Coldplay is one of my favorite bands of all time. When they released their first single “Yellow” their poetic and heartbreaking lyrics and sound moved me deeply and they have continued to do so through the years with each album release.
Viva la Vida, however, is not like any other album they have put out yet… It took a few listens- ten to be exact, before I fell in love with it. I compare this to the dry down of Coco Mademoiselle that I experienced last week. Wasn’t sure at first… then pure love, bordering on obsession!
The album starts out with “Life in Technicolor” which is a purely instrumental track that I feel sets the listener up for the journey to come. It suggests the start of something new- a tingling, rush of excitement for the dawn of a new day. It also hints at the exotic nature of the album- largely influenced, I believe, by Japanese sounds.
One of my favorite songs on the album is “Lovers in Japan/ Reign of Love” which evokes images of bright young things riding bicycles through cherry blossoming orchards in Japan. The song evolves, as so many on this album do, into “Reign of Love” which sounds like a divine lullaby. Every time I hear it I want to close my eyes and just smile- which is bad because I’m generally listening to this album whilst navigating through L.A. traffic.
“Viva la Vida”, of course, is another great song and their first single released on the album. I don’t know why but whenever I hear it I picture myself as a young woman in one of Judith McNaught’s romance novels riding in a coach on the way to a ball to meet Count Westmoreland (or whatever the hell his name was). There is something very exciting and revolutionary about this song- which probably inspired the album cover they picked (see above).
And finally, if I were to pick a third favorite, it would be “Strawberry Swing” which, upon listening, brings to mind a perfect, sun-drenched day… perhaps in the summertime where you have not a responsibility or a care in the world and you wake up in the morning, and go to bed at night feeling happy. Oh if only everyday could be like that…
Viva la Vida!