this album is a visual experience for me. each song has something in it that helps paint some sort of setting. its like they’re performing in different locations for each song. usually it isn’t the whole song that makes me think it, but just some small musical addition that takes me to another place entirely. its hard to explain, but here are some examples that might help.
viva la vida – old cathedral – the thing that takes me here most is the use of the ringing bell during the chorus. its like Quasimodo has joined the band and is positioned up in the bell tower working his musical magic. the dropping of the name “st. peter” helps too.
lovers in japan – asian plaza – there is this great foriegn feeling i get with the twangy piano, but the thing that really sets this one in motion is the tambourine that comes in during the second chorus. suddenly there are those large dancing dragons all around the band while they play in some outdoor asian plaza.
strawberry swing – warehouse – this one starts with the hollow clapping. it has this echoing quality that makes it sound like it’s coming from some large dusty vacant room of some sort. and then the drums come in and sound like trashcans. around the 2:40 mark the guitars come in though making it sound like some huge warehouse doors have just been opened to a beautifuly sunny day outside.
cemeteries of london – battlefield – this song makes me visualize the front cover of the album* just a brutal revolutionary-war-like brawl. a number of things help paint this scene, the vocals and the eerie background guitar riffs, but the choir that comes in really sets it off for me. parts of this scene are in slow motion. explosions, men down, scared expressions, and coldplay is playing amongst the chaos around them.
thats just a few images i’ve got. i think i’ve got one for every track – if not, most of them. it gives every song its own identity and character, but the album still manages to be held together throughout. i’m curious if anyone else had the same experience and saw some of the same settings produced, or a different scene even – that might even be cooler.
the only things that i don’t like about the album:
1. the bridge in “42” breaks into some crazy beat, and it’s so abrupt that i thought the track actually skipped the first time i heard it. it’s distracting. not a fan. otherwise the track is so stinkin good though.
2. i’m getting tired of hearing singles. i think this album would’ve completely blown me away had i not heard violet hill and viva la vida so many times before it even came out. it makes two of the eleven tracks slightly less interesting when you first listen. i would be freaking out about viva la vida right now if i’d just head it for the first time with the rest of the album. i know it ups album sales and singles are probably a music marketer’s ticket to success, but as a listener who respects artists for producing complete albums and not just individual tracks it is a little disappointing finishing 6 amazing tracks and being disappointed that i have to listen to songs i’ve already heard before i can make it on to track 9. it loses that flavor that you get digesting an entire album all at once. i think in the future i’m going to start to try to avoid singles from albums i’m excited about.
initial favorite tracks: cemeteries of london, lovers in japan, viva la vida; but to be honest, the album is great from start to finish. it flows between tracks and sounds amazing as one large unit.
for those of you that don’t have the album and have no idea what i’m talking about because they’re not able to follow the partial song-by-song outline i’ve made here – i’m sorry. just go buy the cd and save me the trouble of explaning it further. so so good.
* – i have to ask, how necessary was it to include nudity on the album cover? i’d like an explanation. i see no need for the exposure.