From time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Under consideration in this installment is Coldplay’s Vida La Vida Or Death And All His Friends; this time, we’ll focus on the album’s Stateside reviews, since it hits stores here today.
• “Coldplay made its fortune on Martin’s hypnotic roundelays, songs that bore simple titles like ‘Clocks’ and ‘Fix You’ and invoked comforting styles like the hymn and the lullaby. Eno pushes the band toward other forms based in circularity–the ambient music of the marketplace, the video game and the movie trailer–to make those warm little tunes even more marketable. Are they more memorable too? That depends on whether you like your chicken soup mild or spicy.” [LA Times]
• “The record’s violent, revolution-themed artwork is misleading. Viva is more like a bloodless coup–shrewd and inconspicuous in its progressive impulses.” [Pitchfork]
• “Coldplay’s desire to unite fans around the world with an entertainment they can all relate to is the band’s strength, and a worthy goal. But on Viva La Vida, a record that wants to make strong statements, it’s also a weakness. Sometimes, to say what needs to be said, you need to risk pissing people off.” [Rolling Stone]
• “Coldplay is about sound, not sense. If a big, stadium-sized rock record can be praised for its nuances, Viva La Vida is it. But those looking for a bold progression to rival Eno’s finest collaborations will be disappointed.” [Chicago Tribune]