I didn't review Viva La Vida because, let's face it, all us Coldplay fans were going to get it regardless of what anyone said. The EP, however, may be a different case... I heard Coldplay say in an interview back in July that they'd release a finished version (i.e. with lyrics) of Life in Technicolor, which I couldn't wait for, since that was one of the best songs on the album without lyrics. So buying the EP seemed like a no-brainer because I wanted to hear that one song. When I found out that eight tracks would be on this extended play, I got my hopes up that this could be pretty cool. Here are my thoughts on the disc.
(1) "Life in Technicolor II" lives up to the hype, as far as I'm concerned. They've added lyrics that fit the song's feel, they fit musically, and I really like what they've done with it. I probably would have liked this song more if I hadn't heard the instrumental version first, because it was that good. I'm honestly not sure which version I like more.
(2) "Postcards from Far Away" is a beautiful, light, happy piano solo that invokes images of a leaf blowing on the breeze from one city to another. It is, however, only 48 seconds long, and while it's quite nice, its brevity is disappointing.
(3) "Glass of Water" will surely be a highlight for Coldplay fans. It melds the styles of their last two albums perfectly. Like Viva's tracks, it has a very "big" feel, building up and exploding with lots of instrumentation and Martin's vocals soaring over it all. Like X&Y, it's relatively upbeat for most of the song and comes down at the end to a minimal lead-out. If you're okay with that kind of thing, you'll love this song.
(4) "Rainy Day" seems to be an experiment... Over a boppy electronic drum/bass beat, some A.D.D. electric guitar, and countless sounds that came from some children's music artist, the verses don't make any sense. The choruses make an attempt at convalescence, using the same strings that are in the Viva's title track, but when Martin starts droning on with: "And I love it when you come over to my house / I love it when you come over to my house," this doesn't fit anywhere in the phrasing, or in the music, and it's glaringly obvious how much this sticks out. The whole song just sounds like it's on speed, not able to focus on anything. EP's are a good place to try new things, so it's nice that the band clearly is here, with the piano piece, and whatever they're trying to accomplish here. But like all experiments, sometimes they go wrong...horribly wrong.
(5) "Prospekt's March" is a nice flowing song that may or may not go anywhere. It's built the same of most of their other songs, with a bell-curved shape, slow and quiet, to some kind of climax, back down to slow and quiet again, but the climax isn't an explosion like in "Fix You," it's just louder and deeper. Overall, a nice tune. I'm not sure about the key phrase, "Don't you wish love could be as simple / as fish swimming 'round in a barrel / when you've got the gun?" And then Martin's vocals go up into that octave he loves at the emotional parts, but after talking about fish, I just can't feel it, man. Luckily the depth comes after the next lines, talking about "lying in my own separate sky," and how "I don't want to die on my own here tonight;" anyway, not bad.
(6) "Lost+" is the one with Jay-Z. Okay, this honestly made me chuckle a little bit. Here's what you should know about this "remix:" Near the end of the second chorus, they've dubbed Jay-Z doing a verse over the original music (where that electric guitar solo is), extending the pre-solo just long enough for him to get his whole rap in. This is all they did, and it's very obvious. Now, I respect that they're broadening their musical scope a bit, but this is such a half-hearted attempt that I can't respect this song.
(7) "Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)" is very simply "Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love" without "Reign of Love." That's all it is, down to the second. When I saw "Osaka Sun Mix" I was really hoping for some cool remix, but no, it's just the first half of the song on Viva, and, in my opinion, the worse half.
(8) "Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground" sounds exactly like "Kingdom Come" without the big build-up. Acoustic, Martin's low voice.
I find it interesting that Coldplay has gotten into looping thematic elements in their works. I.E. Viva La Vida (album) began and ended the same way, and here they're beginning (the lyrics in the first track are "now my feet won't touch the ground") and ending with the same lyrics/ideas. I can see why they'd do this on an album: it really makes the whole thing come to fruition, and begs the listener to listen to it again. I find it strange that they've done it on an EP, but I don't really know what to make of it, maybe they're practicing.
Overall, this is an EP, so I can't be too critical; It has its real downers, but it has a couple tracks worth picking up. If I knew what I know now, I would definitely buy the couple tracks I like and steer clear of the relative disasters. I hope I've helped you determine whether or not you'd go for some tracks over others.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Posted by Bryon at 5:40 PM