By Chris Moore:
Hello and welcome to yet another all-new acoustic cover song! Tonight is a special treat for those of you who love to listen to new music. This is “Violet Hill,” a track off of Coldplay’s brand new album Viva La Vida. This album was just released in 2008, and this is the first song from the new album to be featured here on the music blog. As an added treat, this is my very first Coldplay cover — I’ve always avoided this band, not so much because there aren’t any songs that I would like to cover, but because Chris Martin’s vocal range is typically much higher than this particular Chris is comfortable with…
Which leads me to my take on Coldplay’s catalog. I first listened to A Rush of Blood to the Head when one of my co-workers at Staples highly recommended it to me. At the time, I was listening to the Beach Boys’ underrated and (in my opinion) under-appreciated album Carl & the Passions – ‘So Tough.‘ Perhaps it was because I had been listening to one of my favorite albums of all time, but when I began listening to the Coldplay album instead, I must admit I felt let down. This is the band that Rolling Stone magazine and many others have repeatedly termed one of the biggest and best rock bands of all time. Martin was recently referred to as a “Rock God” on the cover of RS. Don’t get me wrong; there were excellent songs, like the hit “Clocks” (that Jeff Copperthite has already covered – click here to listen!) and the title track, among others. However, the album seemed to suffer from an inability to really pick it up and move. So much seems to drag and float, Martin’s vocals only exacerbating the protracted sensation that the repetition of sections and sounds creates.
Years and listens later, my disapproval of Rush of Blood has certainly softened. I would even say I’ve grown to appreciate the album, though I’m still unable to really get into it. Their subsequent release, X&Y, was a different story altogether. Although I can understand why it was criticized for sounding too similar from song to song, I immediately grew fond of X&Y, and it is as a direct result of liking this album that I decided to give this year’s Viva La Vida a chance.
And I’m so glad that I did!
From start to finish, I can’t say enough about this new music from Coldplay. The album is a concept album and the best I can say is that it’s simply done well. The concept isn’t forced; it feels like a complete thought is being expressed. The fade-in and fade-out are the same synthesized section, giving the album a sense of being cyclical, which is interesting given that the main focus is life and death. I wondered if Chris Martin has been influenced by the true innovators of the concept album, the Moody Blues. For songwriters, there’s alot to be learned from albums like To Our Children’s Children’s Children’s, which have yet to be topped, and I doubt that they ever will.
As Sharkboy from TNA wrestling would say, “And that’s the fishin’ line!” (A play on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s “bottom line” catch phrase.) That’s it for me until next time, but don’t miss another quality session from Fusco-Moore Productions’ own Jeff Copperthite tomorrow…
See you next session!