Coldplay have had much success with both the British and American audience. This started with the release of A Rush of Blood To The Head, which had some very strong singles, many of which were welcomed by the British population and the American. This album is the Fourth by Coldplay, the follow up to 2005's X&Y, which was met with great appraisal by the British press. It had it's flaws, but overall it was a solid Coldplay album.
It has some nice production, taken care by Brian Eno. Lost! has a very simplistic but catchy Organ riff, something which they've kept from X&Y. Chris Martin's vocals are a little shady in places, but in general everything does sound well produced.
Jon Hopkins donated part of his piece Light Through The Veins, for both the opening and closing tracks on this album. Coldplay have been helped through this. Eno's Ambient nature can be seen in certain songs, again in Lost! you can hear some great atmosphere behind the guitar solos and un eventful singing.
Lovers In Japan is a song which i really enjoy. It has a very nice recurring loop and a progressive Bass riff. It set's well with the topical lyrics and very good vocals by Chris Martin. This is by far the best track on the album, it has an atmosphere which just isn't matched on this album. The reverbed, Dream Pop guitar in the background makes this song great for me, yes great.
Songs like 42 and Yes are a little predictable and they just don't go anywhere, this is common with some of Coldplay's post Parachutes material. It's not exactly filler, but the songs lack character. Violet Hill is a track I've had two different opinion on. One side of me thinks it's a nice little tune with a good break down and chorus, the other just makes me want to vomit at the cheesy lyrics and forced guitars from every direction.
Viva La Vida is a very calming string based song with heavy percussion with a catchy loop. it's been accused of all sorts but that doesn't matter in this case. The song is solid, the lyrics focus on historical aspects. Chris Martin does deliver a very good vocal with his band mates giving a backing towards the end.
Strawberry Swing is a nice little track, with some delicate reversed reverb going on. It progresses rather well. This is the sort of Coldplay song i want to hear, with Lovers In Japan it's among the strong tracks from the album. As the song picks up, so does the volume and the drumming. The song as a whole is pretty good.
Death and All His Friends has a focus on piano and lyrics. The lyrics are very clear and personal, this is another one of the better songs on the album. it reminds me of Parachutes era Coldplay, with a bigger attention to detail. The song is split in half through a general build up with both piano and guitar. Slowly the song escalates into a full blown jam. The recurring lyrics at the end stick out in my heard.. 'No I don't wanna battle from beginning to end, I don't wanna cycle, recycle revenge, I don't wanna follow death and all of his friends'. I just think these lyrics are a nice end to the album.
The Escapist doesn't really give me anything other than a final Viva La Vida era goodbye from the band. That;s something i respect about Coldplay, they go through little eras for each album they release and the following tour.
Brian Eno's production was much welcomed by myself, Hopkins gave one of his best tunes for Coldplay to sing and play over which is fine by me as he has credit and recognition for it. This album doesn't reach new heights, it has it's flaws both in the strength of songs and the way they play. But i do like some of the tracks, i like the concept and i like how they've created this album.