Friday, February 6, 2009

Viva la Vida

I love Coldplay and have all of their cds. When Viva la Vida came out, I bought it without listening to any of the songs and I was not disappointed. In fact, I think this is the best of their work to date.

Since Viva La Vida has been nominated for Record, Album and Song of the year, I thought I would put my 2 cents in on some of the music on the album.

The album cover is the 1830 painting Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix. The painting depicts the French Revolution of 1830 and lends itself to the overall tone of the album. A great deal of the music on this album focuses on death, religion and war. Dreary subjects indeed, but some of these songs take on an almost cheery quality.

My absolute favorite song on the entire album is Cemeteries of London. Cemeteries blends death, the afterlife, history and spirituality into a song with an almost ethereal tone.

At night they would go walking ‘til the breaking of the day...
Through the dark streets they go searching to seek God in their own way...
God is in the houses and God is in my head… and all the cemeteries in London…
I see God come in my garden, but I don’t know what he said,
For my heart, it wasn’t open…
Not open…

Viva la Vida is the song up for all the grammies and is catchy, yet melancholy tune. The song is about a king who has lost his kingdom and there are historical references and religious undertones as well.

Hear Jerusalem bells are ringings
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter will call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Viva la Vida hit the number one charts in the US and the UK and Coldplay's only Trans-atlantic number one hit. The album also topped the global sales list and has been named the biggest selling album of 2008.

Violet Hill is yet another song on religion and war, but throws love into the mix. Strawberry Swing has been said to have Beetles overtones. The song is bit Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds-ish, but other than that,I do not see the similarities. However I will let you judge that for yourself.

Coldplay does sing the usual songs about love and heart break but they are not afraid to tread on the topics of spirituality, self awareness and man's affect on the environment. These are topics near and dear to my heart. Perhaps that is why I love their music.

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