INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Age JUNE 13, 2008 - by Andrew Murphett
COLDPLAY: VIVA LA VIDA
Coldplay's third album, 2005's X&Y, was a minor hiccup for a band that flirted with greatness with its first two records. When they reconvened after a lengthy hiatus for this follow-up, they decided to do something different. So they hired Brian Eno. They have ignored their detractors, delivering ten beautifully recorded tracks. Their motive in working with Eno is transparent. Chris Martin's way with a tune coupled with Eno's gorgeous soundscapes are an imposing double act. Martin transposes his lyrics to their darkest, most ominous place yet. His defining falsetto is even courageously discarded on Yes. The result is an almost-churlish vocal over an African-inspired string-and-tablas arrangement. Yet, for all of the album's subtleties, its title track is one of a cluster of moments positively built for stadiums. Eno's magnificent production sounds imposing blasting through the speakers. Predictably, Coldplay have already been derided for not going far enough Left. Rubbish. Their scrupulous search for the perfect pop song now encompasses three-act tracks, distorted guitars, officious strings, pounding percussions, Afro-pop, electro loops and a constellation of sonic curveballs. Album of the year, so far.