Viva La?

So, I’ve been listening to Coldplay’s new album Viva La Vida, and it's ok.  To me, it sounds good, but the lyrics banal at best.  I think what gets me is that Coldplay sounds like they’re trying to be really deep – and they’re just not.  There was a piece in Time a few weeks ago, where it said that the band was the biggest thing going and that they were the rock/pop heir to U2.  It also offered sort of the backhand compliment that while many people liked Coldplay, few people loved them.

And so I ask you to weigh in:

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30 thoughts on “Viva La?

  1. The album is slowly growing on me. I really like the acoustic version of "Lost?". I will say I can't stand the lyrics to 42, "You thought you might be a ghost. You didn't get to heaven but you made it close." They just strike me as strange and silly, like they didn't have anything better to say and don't seem to go with the rest of the song.

  2. I have listened to this album a few times, but my husband has been hoarding it in his car. I haven't even had a chance to put it on the Ipod. I really like what I have heard so far. What annoys me about Coldplay or the mass appeal in general is that a few songs tend to get far overplayed until I can't stand to hear them anymore and then when I think it is done and they are on to the next song I start hearing little jingles on TV adverts and such. I really like Coldplay, but when this overplaying starts it tends to lessen my love for them.

  3. I have to admit that although I voted "best mass-appeal band…" I think that is a bit of an overblown statement (for any band really). I like them more than "good, but not great" though.
    I love them, but they were also mine and Dan's first concert together and our first dance song at the wedding was one of theirs so I'm biased because they remind me of good things. :)

  4. I guess it depends on your definition of a "mass-appeal band." As far as bands that could make it into heavy rotation on a radio station my parents would listen to, I can't think of any other recent bands that I would prefer over Coldplay. However that only puts them on the top of a very shallow pile of talent. In that sense they may be the "Best mass-appeal band of this decade", but that title is kind of like "Type of over-ripe fruit I least mind eating." Mushy-Bananas are better than squishy-apples, but there are lots of other things I would rather eat.So I'll have to go with good, not great.

  5. i hate them. heh.but i thought i'd be nice and not rate them as "total crap" because i DO feel like they're overrated and mediocre… the band Travis came first. and they're MUCH better.

  6. Someone else who appreciates Travis! Or even just knows who they are!!! =D I love Travis, and there's no doubt that they're better than Coldplay.

  7. I'm very torn about how to respond. Parachutes was and is one of my favorite albums. But each successive album I thought got worse: I don't mind A Rush of Blood to the Head, there are a few songs on X&Y that I do enjoy, but I didn't bother even getting the new album. Frankly, I get the feeling they have a pretty inflated sense of their importance… I remember on some VH1 special Chris Martin talking about how maybe people would remember "their chords," and I thought… what does that even mean?I enjoy listening to them for the most part, and I even saw them in concert a while back… but I think there's much better out there.

  8. I get the feeling they have a pretty inflated sense of their importance…
    I would definitely agree with that, but I also feel that way about Bono. I know, who dares to blaspheme the almighty U2!

  9. I'm shocked, Steve. I've enjoyed Coldplay in the past but this album made me LOVE them. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy every single song.
    But you know it's OK and everyone is entitled to their opinion and I still think you're cool…(smile! :)

  10. Ok Katie — not knowing Death Cab is one thing, but not knowing Coldplay?? That seems pretty hard in this day and age…. ;) You'd definitely recognize some of their popular songs.

  11. You know Steph, if this was the world of Jim's last post, we'd devolve into calling each other racists, or sexists, or Coldplayists, or something…. ;)

  12. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have always felt that way about Bono/U2, but I never dare speak those sentiments for fear of the world stoning me to death. But I can't stand Bono, and I think U2 is quite possibly the most overrated band of all time. Not that I don't enjoy their stuff… but geez.~feels better~

  13. I like my new middle name!! Now I'll have to re-do all my monogrammed clothes. You'll have to fprgive me for never following up on Travis — and not remembering! — one more sign that I am, in fact, old.

  14. Yes, I know. However I didn't like any of my options. I mean, I feel they're better than "good, not great;" however, I wouldn't rate them as "the best mass appeal…" I'd pick somewhere in between.

  15. I think U2 became canonized when they were the initial "silhouette band" in an iPod commercial. Combining their Bono-as-humanitarian and Bono-as-spokesman for Apple — how can anyone dare say a word against them!!

  16. I'm definitely not ready to say that Coldplay has inherited the mantle of U2. Quite honestly – from a musical and lyrical perspective, they are entirely different animals. I don't think their lyrics are banal, though. Coldplay has some minmialist aspects to their writing – the latest record did some interesting things to that, considering they had someone helping them with arrangments (and strings). (I'd venture to say that no one in the band is writing the string parts, let's get real, not many rock musicians can go there and do it well.) I think if you compare the lyrics back to the "Parachutes" album, they're more mature now. I like the fact that this latest record was well crafted, but not as mechanistically produced as X&Y. Bottom line for me – I really like this album. It's by far among the more interesting (and musically rewarding) offerings of popular music right now. I don't think that Coldplay will ever move me the same way U2 has (think "Miracle Drug") – but they've managed to blend together interesting 4 and 5-piece rock arrangements with a string quartet, a hammered dulcimer and a nice sound palette….

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