Viva La Vida is the long-awaited fourth album from Coldplay. Released in 2008, this album comes three years on the heels of X&Y. There have long been rumblings that this would be a different kind of Coldplay album, and when you listen you will see that this is true. Though this album has its share of arena-rock moments, these by no means make up the bulk of the album as they do on previous Coldplay releases. There are no obvious made-for-radio songs which feature Chris Martin in falsetto like “Clocks” or “Speed of Sound” on this album. The album as a whole has a sort of old-world Spanish flair which is vaguely reminiscent of Tears For Fears’s 1995 effort Raoul and the Kings of Spain.
The album leads off with “Life in Technicolor”, a broad, sweeping instrumental introduction which sets the table for everything that is to follow. Those of you who are familiar with Hillsong United should feel at home with this, as it resembles the instrumental introductions which appear on some of their albums. Other high points of the album include “Lost!”, which consists entirely of vocals, organ, and clapping. “Viva La Vida”, the title track and lead single, is a soaring rock anthem powered entirely by strings and bells. “Violet Hill” is a more traditional Coldplay rock song, a brooding affair laced with pianos and distorted guitar.
With this album, Coldplay broke out of the mold that was set with their first three albums. Just like Florida’s football program, Coldplay is only getting started with the promise of even greater things to come.