Another album review which I've posted over at 'The Guardian' music website.
An excellent, if uneven, album from Coldplay, “Viva La Vida” contains some of the best (and “weirdest”) tracks that the band has ever recorded. The title track may have initially thrown listeners with its strange subject matter – a king brought low and about to be beheaded by revolutionaries?! - but it sold bucketloads. “Violet Hill”, though a love song, isn’t much more conventional, and coming after “Viva La Vida” it sounds like U2 having wandered onto a pre-Napoleonic battlefield in the French countryside. Track no. 3 “Lost!” is the best track of the lot, stomping along at an almost martial pace before Will Champion’s wonderful haunting backing vocals lift it to a whole other level at the end. And then there’s the gorgeous, racing “Lovers In Japan”, which will forever remind me of standing with my wife watching the band at Rod Laver Arena as images flashed across the screen and yellow confetti fell from the roof. Alas, though some of the album’s interludes are brave they are somewhat distracting, but “Viva La Vida” still stands as a triumph for Chris Martin and his ambitions to charm the world.