1) Life in Technicolor
2) Cemeteries of London
5) Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love
7) Viva la Vida
8) Violet Hill
9) Strawberry Swing
10) Death and All His Friends
An iTunes commercial can sell anything. It could feature Eric Carmen performing "All By Myself" and make HIM look cool with their bright colors and silhouettes. But Coldplay's already pretty cool, right?
Well, a hip, underground music blog, TIME, recently did a post on the band that contained more criticism than praise, calling them the "crib-safe" Radiohead. After giving this recent release a listen, I can't help but agree. Now, I'm not too familiar with either band, but I can say this..."Cemeteries of London" sounds like "House of the Rising Sun" as performed by Thom Yorke and crew.
But what is the term "crib-safe" but a synonym for "accessible"? Coldplay can be more accurately labeled as a recipe: a cup of Radiohead, a half cup of U2, and a pinch of the Beatles. They have the sensitive, falsetto style of that first band and the catchy riffs of the latter two.
The results are mixed. The album doesn't really get good until the second half, with the pounding drums of the irresistible, well-chosen singles, "Viva la Vida" and "Violet Hill". Before that, listeners are subjected to lesser sounds - an exclamation point can't add excitement to "Lost!", "42" is a bad impression of the Fab Four, and "Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love" one of Bono and company.
What we have here is a band that tries a little too hard to be cool. What comes naturally to other bands sounds forced coming from these guys. Don't let the iTunes commercial and the great singles fool you - the whole containing these parts is a bit mediocre.
***1/2 out of five