Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Coldplay - "Violet Hill" (Plus: Album Artwork Info)

Judging by the striking cover work from their upcoming fourth record), Viva La Vida: Or, Death and All His Friends (perhaps somebody in the band is taking a cue from either Roman Polanski or Stanley Kubrick?), British quartet Coldplay have got the struggles of wars and battles on their mind. No idea as to why that's the case. However, it's no surprise, then, that when the Chris Martin-led group's first single begins with the singer stating plainly that "It was a long and dark December" over a glacier-slow crescendo of ambient synthesizer, he's referring to a romance gone awry. This is, after all, a Coldplay song were talking about here.

However, after about 30 seconds or so, "Violet Hill" starts to resemble one of the group's more well-known anthemic numbers, but with a few key differences. Martin's voice now sounds almost Dylan-esque, the guitars are fuzzier, and the mood is the most apocalyptic sounding the group has ever been. Despite the sonic re-decorations, the group still maintains a workman-like dedication to song form; choruses are epic as ever, Not only that, but the closing lament of "If you love me, why won't you let me know" has a populist bent. Overall, "Violet Hill" is a reasonably successful change of pace for the band. The track won't make you want to recite Coldplay lyrics as gospel. But it also won't make you thumb your nose at the church as you pass it, either.

Viva La Vida is out in June.

Coldplay MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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Blogger Brian said...

a step in the right direction after an unambitious last album. I still wish they would expand their harmonic vocabulary. it would seem as though they are scared of modulating keys or doing anything out of the ordinary. Much darker though, which is what they needed to do to maintain any credibility after the release of their last mediocre, over-hyped, piece of tripe.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Mint said...

"... he's referring to a romance gone awry."

Really? Well, yes, that was the undertone of the song, emphasised by the chorus and last few lines, but I really took it at face value - meaning there's a very bloody war and very cold winter going on. The whole song is WWII-esque, really.

Maybe my interpretation is too bland ...

3:27 AM  
Blogger MPLSFR said...

Mint -
I am a former English major, so reading into things that may not be necessarily there is my forte. He could be speaking about an actual war--it'd certainly be relevant to our global landscape and in keeping with Martin's politics.

Brian -
Fully agreed on everything you said.


7:06 PM  

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