Viva La Vida (2008) - Grammy Winner - Best Rock Album
"Chris Martin and co. return with another album guaranteed to rock arenas across the world. Hot Press
"...an assured return that should go some way to restoring Coldplays wilted critical stock. Observer Music Monthly
"...an emphatic sucess--radical in it's own measured way but easy to embrace. Q Magazine
"...comes as close to the experimental edge as Coldplay dares. It isn't a bad place for the group to be. The Onion A.V. Club
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Davide Rossi (strings).|
|Audio Mixers: John O'Mahoney; Markus Dravs; Michael Brauer; Andy Wallace; Rik Simpson.|
|Photographers: Dan Green; Guy Berryman.|
|On 2008's VIVA LA VIDA OR DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS, Coldplay follows up X&Y's accessible anthems by tweaking its signature Britpop sound with the aid of renowned producer Brian Eno, celebrated not only for his own innovative ambient albums, but also for his behind-the-boards work with U2. Eno's contributions don't result in a ZOOROPA-like foray into dance-pop, however--VIVA LA VIDA sticks with Coldplay's knack for mid-tempo majesty, but expands these tracks with studio bells and whistles that pull the group out of its stadium-ready comfort zone.|
|Though the pulsing instrumental opener, "Life in Technicolor," might make listeners think that they're accidentally playing the latest M83 album, VIVA asserts itself as a Coldplay outing with "Cemeteries of London," a dreamy tune that finds Martin singing in a comfortable middle register. Still, the group's quest for a different sound is exemplified by the three distinctly different parts of "42," which range from piano ballad to post-rock workout, while "Violet Hill" boasts uncharacteristically amped-up guitars and crashing percussion. VIVA LA VIDA isn't Coldplay's most consistent offering, but it's still more unpredictable than past outings, and surprisingly intriguing.|
Producer: Jon Hopkins; Markus Dravs; Rik Simpson; Brian Eno
Engineer: Jan Petrov; Vanessa Parr; Brian Thorn; Will Hensley; Dom Monk; Andy Rugg; Olga Fitzroy; Michael Trepaginer; Francois Chevallier; Dan Green; Jason Lader; Andy Rugg; Dan Green
Associated Artists and Works
|The Piano Tribute to Coldplay ~ Various Artists|
|Vitamin String Quartet|
|Release Date : 06/17/2008|
|Original Release Date : 2008|
|Catalog ID : 16886|
|Label : Capitol|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 05099921688607|
- 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] stadium-scale melodies and singalong choruses....The experimentation makes this their most musically interesting album to date..."
- Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "[A]n album that's massively expansive yet intimate enough to incite lighter-waving from London to Tokyo."
- 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's no doubting that VIVA LA VIDA, with its sturdy melodies and universal themes -- think love, war, and peace -- is an album meant to connect with the masses....The band's triumph lies in how exciting they make that prospect seem."
- Ranked #09 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "[The songs] burned with the audible passion of a great band getting back on track."
- "[The album] feels emboldened at almost every turn. Jonny Buckland's guitars howl insistently; Martin has discovered sub-falsetto vocal registers; and a stark, recurring string section lends an edge." -- Grade: A-
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n emphatic success -- radical in its own measured way but easy to embrace."
- 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[The album] has all the hallmarks of daring artistic independence....Songs fade in and out through washes of somber electronics..."
- "Coldplay have stretched their limits, reaching to capture the zeitgeist, and in doing so have made the album the universe has been waiting for....We get Coldplay with the windows thrown open. Album of the year? Most probably."
- Ranked #14 in Clash's "The 40 Best Albums of 2008" -- "Here, visions were broadened, sonic landscapes lavishly crafted, themes of death and loss permeated..."
BioThis UK band shot to prominence on the back of excitable comparisons to Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, for many commentators the twin figureheads of tortured white rock music in the late 90s. In reality, Coldplay's inoffensive and slightly bland acoustic rock songs bear stronger comparison to the hugely successful Travis.
The band was formed in January 1998 by UCL students Chris Martin (b. 2 March 1977, Exeter, Devon, England; vocals, guitar, piano), Jonny Buckland (b. 11 September 1977, London, England; guitar), Guy Berryman (b. 12 April 1978, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland; bass) and Will Champion (b. 31 July 1978, Southampton, Hampshire, England; drums). Self-financed demo sessions were productive enough to warrant the release of the Safety EP in May. One of the tracks on the EP, "Bigger Stronger', earned the band excellent notices in the UK press. They appeared at September's In The City showcase for unsigned bands, but a performance at London's Camden Falcon in December, where they were watched by influential journalist and Fierce Panda Records" co-founder Simon Williams, provided the band with their big breakthrough. A one-off single for Fierce Panda, "Brothers & Sisters", broke into the UK Top 100 at the start of 1999. The same May the band signed a major label contract with Parlophone Records. Following their appearance at the Glastonbury Festival the band released The Blue Room E.P. and concentrated on recording their debut album. In 2000, short tours with fellow newcomers Terris and Muse, and breakthrough UK hits with "Shiver", "Yellow" (number 4) and "Trouble" helped maintain the hype level prior to the release of their chart-topping debut album, Parachutes, in July. The band was also nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
Coldplay received a lot of press during the recording of their second album, with Martin stating that if it was not up to standard then they would give up. A Rush Of Blood To The Head turned out to be a strong follow-up, with tracks such as "In My Place", "The Scientist" and the stunning "Clocks" matching the freshness of their debut. The album helped break the band in the USA, and its multi-platinum status cemented their reputation as one of the new millennium's biggest rock acts. Martin married American actress Gwyneth Paltrow in December 2003. The following February, "Clocks" won a Grammy for Record Of The Year.
The long awaited new Coldplay single, "Speed Of Sound", was premiered in April 2005. Its debut at number 8 on the US singles chart meant Coldplay became the first British band to have a new entry in the US Top 10 since the Beatles. The release of the attendant album X&Y was one of the most media-saturated events of the past decade. While some of the reviews were completely over the top in hailing the album as an instant classic, it was undeniably another excellent collection showing that the band's songwriting skills had not diminished amidst all the pressure. The album went straight to the top of the charts all over the world.