Friday, June 20, 2008

An Actual Review of Viva la Vida

I have to admit I'm a little tired of the title track from Viva la Vida already, but the rest of this album has me in its grip, that's for sure. The opening track is pregnant with expectation as it builds one of the snappiest instrumentals I've heard in a long time. The second song makes me feel like maybe its a walk in London, and I like that very much.

The third track, Lost, is like the theme song of the album, and you can see Chris Martin talk about it on The Hour here. (Incidentally, if you follow that link you'll also see him make a short comment about every track on their first two albums as well as a really funny line which reveals something about his own nerves and honesty about putting his music out there).

42 is probably my favourite right now. There is so much going on in this one. It also convinces you that they were serious about letting the guitar take the lead this time. Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love is a great slow down leading up to the "singles", of which Violet Hill is currently most captivating to me. Viva la Vida is an awfully religious-sounding song. Since I don't listen to "worship" music, I enjoy it when artful bands touch a spiritual nerve for me. Strawberry Swing is a sweet change of pace. It is like a lilting summer day.

The final track is Death and All His Friends, and I think the anthem on here is really inspiring, actually. Maybe I've been reading too much Miroslav Volf, but something about these lines captures the longing for redemption that I find so compelling. This probably drives musicians nuts, I don't know, but I quoted them in my sermon in chapel on Thursday. Here are those lines:

No I don't want a battle from beginning to end
I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don't want to follow Death and all his friends

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