Viva La Vida

  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jun 17, 2008
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. They try hard, Coldplay, but it just isn't enough; their fourth album might just be their best yet, but it's still a long way from being the epochal classic that Chris Martin is desperate to create.
  2. 60
    When it's not straining for Significance, though, Viva La Vida is often rather lovely.
  3. Viva La Vida starts off with promise for fans who felt that "X&Y" was a far cry from "A Rush Of Blood To The Head."... Unfortunately, the rest of the record fails to build on this.
  4. Mojo
    60
    While they fight shy of radical "Kid A"-style reinvention, hats should be doffed to Coldplay for at least having artistic cojones to mess with a winning formula. [July 2008, p.101]
  5. Lyrics aside, Viva la Vida fixes most of the glaring problems with 2005's "X&Y," simply by eschewing verse-chorus structures in favour of something more episodic.
  6. What they’ve given us is an exquisitely polished blur, enjoyable at times, mildly challenging at others, but nothing that you couldn’t feel comfortable piping in as background for the Sunday barbeque with the Petersons.
  7. Coldplay’s all about elongation this time around, and if you couldn’t tolerate their dramatics before, Viva la Vida will do nothing for you. Don’t get me wrong; to my ears, this is the group’s strongest offering yet, but since this album is the same old naive romanticism theatrically propped on a pedestal, it’s not really saying a lot.
  8. It's an improvement on the band's impressively dull 2005 album, "X&Y," but Coldplay's latest doesn't recapture the promise of the band's first two albums.
  9. When the pastoral Eno flourishes that started Vida off so promisingly return for a quick coda, Martin reverts back to his suavely crooning self, but blows it with his first four words: "And in the end . . . . " Bam, you're thinking 'Abbey Road,' and while Vida is far from a dog, it's just another unflattering comparison that the record itself needlessly invites--an extremely overconfident way to handle a crisis of confidence.
  10. Given Eno’s quarter-century of Bono-fides, this isn’t surprising. Martin’s interests are frequently vague--on 'Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love' he sings about soldiers who must soldier on and runners who must run until the race is won. Seriously?
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 485 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 135
  1. Feb 8, 2011
    10
    Experimentation pays off. I wish more mainstream bands would try new things like coldplay do here. Beautiful album from start to finish.Experimentation pays off. I wish more mainstream bands would try new things like coldplay do here. Beautiful album from start to finish. Coldplay have officially secured their spot as one of my favourite bands. Full Review »
  2. Jul 15, 2011
    9
    I still think this is their finest effort yet. First they wanted to be Radiohead and then they wanted to be U2 (the band said it themselves),I still think this is their finest effort yet. First they wanted to be Radiohead and then they wanted to be U2 (the band said it themselves), but I believe they came into their own on this one. Sure, there are hints of Joshua Tree throughout. That doesn't need to be said. Well, maybe it does. I wonder if Chris Martin has ever written a song better than "Lovers in Japan"? I doubt it. Great album. Their best yet. Full Review »
  3. Oct 24, 2013
    10
    Their best album yet, not one song on it was bad. Each song complimented the other songs really well. Although my initial reaction afterTheir best album yet, not one song on it was bad. Each song complimented the other songs really well. Although my initial reaction after listening to it for the first time was pretty negative. I thought it was one of their weaker albums, but after a few more listens it really grew on me. Excellent album. Full Review »