Viva La Vida - Coldplay
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 397 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 397

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  1. Feb 8, 2011
    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.
  2. Jul 15, 2011
    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. Expand
  3. Oct 28, 2011
    I think this album is a masterpiece and is definitely underrated. Some really beautiful songs like "Death and All His Friends", "42", "Cemeteries of London" and "Lost". I really could name any song. There are no weak ones that stand out. Coldplay strikes again
  4. Sep 5, 2011
    One of the most beautiful, and lyrically/musically significant albums I've ever heard, 'Viva La Vida Or Death & All His Friends' is a must for fans of Alt.Rock//Experimental Rock. The album from start to finish has a clear, crisp sound, differing from their previous style of long progressions of semi-melachonic chordal structures. From the Napoleon-esque 'Lost!', to the eastern styled 'Yes', and to the euphoric ending, 'Death & All His Friends', this is truly a remarkable album, resonating so many themes of war, love, beauty, death, hatred, faith and hope. The album itself resembles the cyclic year of seasons, with the 'Summer' songs like 'Yes' and 'Lost' contrasting with the 'Winter' songs 'Violet Hill' and 'Cemeteries of London', but perhaps the best thing about the album's structure is it's consistency, and never ending cycle of music as the last song, 'Death & All His Friends', links to album's begining, 'Life in Technicolour', in a beautiful fashion. Coldplay have really outdone themselves this time - there may not be your crowd pleasers like 'Fix You' and 'Yellow', but the album itself is solid proof that even in the 21st century there is still beauty in music, and most importantly a meaning behind the song. Absolutely, without a doubt, their best album so far. Expand
  5. Sep 7, 2012
    Coldplay is the band that gets bashed by every indie biased critic (Pitchfork, The Guardian, The Idependent, Mojo, etc), hated by hardcore U2 and Radiohead fans and mocked by common music listeners (Family Guy, 40 year old virgin). These reasons cause them to have the worst reputation in the world of music asides from Nickelback of course, but the Canadians is a whole different story and well deserved.

    So it was in 2009 when I bought the album. I've only heard Viva La Vida on the radio, but everytime I heard it, it was only portions of it. At that time I was more of an Oasis fan, and hearing Coldplay getting overplayed and getting all the grammys created a slight of jealousy and bitterness in me towards them. I was starting to jump on the bandwagon of Coldplay hate, but thank goodness out of the nowhere I decided to give Viva La Vida a try.

    Lol, my brain was hooked right at the first listen. This might not be better than AROBTH (as far as acclaim from music critics), but in my opinion, Viva is equal and sometimes sounds better. The freshness of the sound is what makes the album to stand out from its preceed. I can hear the influences of U2 in songs like Lovers In Japan or the wooah's in several of the other tracks, but the atmosphere of the sound feels so unique. Throughout the album, you find orchestra with echo sound/noise in the background, the church organs, and all these oriental instruments that bond the songs perfectly like a family where each track is related to each other. Moreover, the songs don't feel overproduced and long like in x&y, which makes the album so pleasent to listen from beginning to end.

    Coldplay also managed to incorporate the melancholy for which they are known for (mostly mocked for). Hear songs like "Lost!' or the ballad, "Strawberry Swing". These are alongside Viva La Vida, the best highlights of the album. "Lost!" in particular, is the one that stands out. The church organ with the hip-hop-like beat is difficult to not like just as it drops at the beginning of the song, and then comes Chris Martin with the line: "just because I'm losing, doesn't mean I'm lost" in a melancholic tone, turning the melody even more irresistible. So, irresistible that made me think and ask myself, "so why they hate Coldplay again?". I was this close to jump on the bandwagon, but this album made me a fan of their music again. I already was a fan, and thanks to them I discover new bands like Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, U2, The Verve, among others. Basically I got into real music when I discovered Coldplay.

    Well I told my story and my more importantly my OPINION on this album JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MUSIC CRITIC, and my intentions are not to make you a coldplay fan, but at least to make you ponder the next time you type comments like: "You know how I know you're gay?", ."Pitchfork said that...", "They are the water down version of ___" which are pretentious attempts to discredit the band.
  6. Nov 13, 2011
    fantastic work,war,peace,love,hate,darkest coldplay album and the most experimental album since parachute.I would argue this is Coldplay's finest album aside from Rush of blood to the head. A much more relaxed, soothing vibe that is sharply contrasted from their other albums. Feels like they aren't trying to stand out with any of their songs but just create great sounding music.
  7. Dec 15, 2012
    This album is amazing! It's pretty much the epitome of variety. Also the songs aren't "typical Coldplay" They're all really different than previous albums yet they still retain the feel of Coldplay songs that we know and love. It's a must buy!
  8. May 3, 2013
    Everyone gives so much praise to A Rush of Blood to the Head, but in my opinion it's only second best when compared the other albums of Coldplay. Viva la Vida has more great songs and the entire theme is more in depth and complete. I don't think their is a single song on this album I don't like. Their future albums will have a pretty tough time matching the great talent shown in this one.
  9. Oct 24, 2013
    Their 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.
  10. Aug 14, 2010
    A truly remarkable album that shows Coldplay as one of the best experimental rock bands out there.

    This is probably their finest hour yet. Coldplay has crafted a wholesome album that sounds uniform yet entirely unique from their previous sound.

    What each listener gets is not just a good collection but a musical journey that sonically varies from song to song creating a beautiful
    experience. There's no real tale because the concept is to take one on an adventure. Chris Martin probably has poured himself out the most on this album, spinning tales of war, love, and pain. On the title track, Martin describes himself as a king in his past life over a background that sounds like the theme music for the appearance of a celestial body. Violet Hill features shredding guitar riffs against the piano and Martin's megaphone-like verses.

    But even some of those verses really stop Viva La Vida from becoming a classic. As much as the sound is sonic majesty, Chris Martin seems at a loss for words and at times weak against the superior background. His topical interests are as Paste Magazine says it, vague.

    Take out all of that and you have one of the greatest 47-minute musical experiences of a lifetime. However, there is no doubt that Viva La Vida is far away from becoming the definitive Coldplay album.
  11. Aug 17, 2010
    I have zero respect for reviewers who would give this anything higher than a 4/10 and that's being generous. There isn't a single honest emotion on this album. It's not as if Coldplay have ever been good, but they actually sound like a tacky U2 tribute act now. This is strictly for the sorts of people who buy one album a year from Tesco.
  12. Aug 29, 2010
    Nothing special I'd say. Much better than "X&Y", but not even close to the synthesis band made with their debut. Of course, there are some good songs: "Cemeteries of London", "42" or "Lost".
  13. Oct 8, 2010
    While some songs are wonderful (Lovers in Japan, Violet Hill) there's something incomplete about Viva La Vida. It seems as though the bulk are mere album fillers, as though Coldplay are depending on Viva La Vida and Violet Hill to carry it. The engineering and production are fine, this is just lacking the oomph of A Rush of Blood to the Head and Parachutes.
  14. CRL
    Aug 17, 2011
    Viva la Vida is a paradox, a collection of catchy yet graceful, deep yet entertaining, thoroughly enjoyable yet mentally stimulating songs that elevates Coldplay even higher into the titans of alternative rock. The title song is one of my all-time favorites; it along with the harder-sounding Violet Hill and the flowing, graceful all-instrumental Life in Technicolor make up the best of the album.
  15. Sep 11, 2011
    Whenever music acts trying anything new, they often fail. Where X&Y failed in its ambitions, Viva La Vida triumphs gloriously!! This is Coldplay's greatest album!! X&Y reeked of U2 and had an unmemorable second half, but Viva La Vida is original and memorable all the way through. Chris Martin and his fellow band members have proved themselves talented once again, this time away from the extreme commercialism of X&Y!!! I really want Mylo Xyloto to be good!!!! Expand
  16. Oct 2, 2011
    A great album, full of surprises. You can feel yourself in french revolution once more. It has a nice sense of continuation and a lot of experimentation
  17. Sep 21, 2013
    Viva la Vida could be the most ambitious and impressive Coldplay album. Tracks such as Viva la Vida, Violet Hill, Yes, Lovers in Japan, 42, and Life in Technicolor prove that Coldplay can be new and inventive while still staying true to their previous records.
  18. Nov 16, 2011
    A big improvement on X&Y and for me this was one of the albums of 2008. Coldplay show signs of experimentation for the first time really here (Brian Eno's influence is obvious on it). The songs are strong throughout, the production is top class without being overbearing as it was on X&Y, and the ideas that are explored are exciting. This record reignited my interest in Coldplay and showed that just because your songs are really radio friendly, it doesn't mean your not a credible artist. Expand
  19. Oct 15, 2011
    Perfection: one of the best albums released in the past few years. Coldplay teamed up with Brian Eno and came out with something they have never showed us before. An album with a story-like feeling, left in the dark, slowly transitioning to the light. Brilliant.
  20. Nov 26, 2011
    Boring and lame, Coldplay doesn't deserve to even be called rock. Their boring impossible hard to comprehend lyrics and stupid slow paced music and sound with no sign or root or any form of rock. I was completely pissed when they won a grammy over other talented rock artists who actually play rock, overall terrible album, boring, and who do I recommend this album to?.......Old People
  21. Dec 16, 2011
    Hearing most of these songs live makes it ten times larger than life. You never forget a Coldplay concert, that's for sure. Especially one advertising some of their best songs yet.
  22. Apr 1, 2014
    For the most part, It's a pretty solid album. There are a few songs I didn't care for but the songs I liked I thought were great. Plenty of instant Coldplay classics on this album - Viva La Vida, Violet Hill, so on so forth. It's well worth listening to if you are a Coldplay fan.
  23. Sep 18, 2012
    Also I've only got three single songs that are a 10 for me, the album is really fantastic. One of the best in my iTunes library and also Coldplay's best work yet. Their music is a work of art and so is this album. Chilling, diversified and also airplay capable. Very nice job!
  24. Aug 21, 2012
    this is simply the best album of coldplay , i really really love the songs, it's lyrically thrilling and the music just amazing,. viva la vida is the song that made me love this band and discover their music, i can't get enough of this album, every single song is beautifull in every single way, long live the king (coldplay)
  25. Aug 22, 2012
    I almost gave this album a 9 but decided to give it a 10 which is something I don't do very often. I don't really understand how this album didn't get mostly great reviews from critics as in universal acclaim. This album might be even better than A Rush of Blood To the Head but I won't say it is. My least favorite track from this one is Violet Hill but it's still a great song. The album is classic Coldplay from start to finish. The final track along with the hidden track is just simply beautiful! Other GREAT songs include Viva La Vida, Lost!, 42 and Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love. The other songs I didn't mention are wonderful too. Is this album better than Rush of Blood? I don't know but it should be Coldplay's defining album along with A Rush of Blood To the Head. Expand
  26. May 18, 2013
    Excellent album, well worth the positive critical reaction. The music is great, and I love that they're trying something new. For me, the low point of the album is "Reign of Love", and even that's pretty good.
    Favourite tracks: "Cemeteries of London", "Lost!", "Violet Hill", "Strawberry Swing", "Lovers in Japan".
    Honourable mentions:
    1. Chris Martin's vocals on "Yes".
    2. The arena
    moment ("woah-ah-oooh") on "Viva La Vida". Expand
  27. Feb 9, 2013
    While I can say, as a Coldplay fan, this is NOT their best record (that would go to A Rush Of Blood To The Head), it's up there. This album, as produced by Brian Eno of U2 production fame, brings many experimental elements to the album, giving the band all new sounds to utilize like soaring string sections (almost the and combining that with their pre-existing sound. You get excellent songs like "Violet Hill", "Yes", and "Lovers in Japan". I praise Coldplay and Brian Eno for experimenting their sound. So at this point you're wondering why this hasn't got a 9 or 10. Well, honestly, I can say that my problem is that the album covers almost too much; I have to keep resetting my mind that "Wait, 'Viva La Vida'? That's Coldplay right?" Some songs are too far from their sound. Overall, It deserves a thorough listen, and if you're a fan of Radiohead (or experimental rock in general) this album would appeal to you more than their others. Expand
  28. Sep 1, 2013
    [5.9] Apart from a few songs, Viva la Vida sounds a bit too confused and doesn't flow very well like their last albums did (not saying that those were great either). The instruments are entirely disorganize and the vocals could use a bit less stress. It sounds like Coldplay is trying too hard to end up with a bombastic classical/alternative production and end up with a scattered mess.
  29. Aug 1, 2014
    Life In Technicolor (9) This is a great intro track to the album I think. The oriental sounding guitars are really great and it really makes it one of my favorite albums by Coldplay because of how it relates to my life. There is a good use of different types of instruments within the piece.

    Cemeteries Of London (9) I really love this track, and I don't think Coldplay even made it one of
    their singles. The guitar is good throughout the piece and there are a great mixture of many different sounds throughout the track and the Piano at the end is really a good way to finish the piece up.

    Lost! (9.25) Probably one of my favorite tracks on the album even though I hate to sound mainstream. I think the use of the organ really makes this song unique and gives the track a great sound. The chorus has a catchy sound and the melodic electric guitar is great like in all the pieces by Coldplay.

    42 (9) I really like how Coldplay slows the tempo in this piece quite a bit. When the Guitar kicks in after the Piano, it really changes the dynamic of the piece and really gives it an interesting tone. That is the main thing that stuck out to me in this track, how it starts off slow and ends pretty quickly. The ending made me bump the score up.

    Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love (9.25) I really like this song because of the positive sounds it incorporates. To me, the whole title of Lovers In Japan really connects with two people from the United States making a promise to one another to stay faithful because they would be a minority so to speak in a non-racist sense in Japan. When Reign of Love kicks in, it really makes the song even better because it slows the tempo and would really make a great song to listen to while you sit by the water, but not Alum Creek. The Piano is really emphasized in this piece.

    Yes/Chinese Sleep Chant (9) This song has a really catchy tune and really makes the album one of the most consistent Coldplay albums I think. I really think it's because of the use of the variety of instruments the artists use and how they use them. The violins are what stand out to me in this song. The electric guitar riff in the Chinese Sleep Chant portion of the song is really great but I had to give this song a 9 because it can hold up to the one before this one.

    Viva La Vida (9) My favorite line in this song is where Coldplay talks about 'sweeping the streets.' I really correlate that saying to my life when I have left Westerville for sometime and returned and started roaming the streets again. I probably don't plan to ever leave ever again except maybe in the Winter if something great pops up. #Westerville

    Violet Hill (8.5) This track starts with great ambiance sounds. The guitar solo is the best part I think and I'm not giving this song a 8.5 on purpose to be a dick. The song is really good but if the solo was longer I would have given the song a higher score as well as having more unique tones other than the solo.

    Strawberry Swing (9) I really like this song and the music video and how they made it unique. The rhythm guitar is really what gives this song a great tone. How the piece changes more acoustic later is really great as well and the vocals are calm throughout the track.

    Death And All His Friends/The Escapist (9) This song starts out different than the other tracks on this album I think and I used the the word different because that is the first thing I thought of when this track came on. It does have really good instrumentals later and wraps up the album very well. The beat speeds up later and you really don't expect it if you've never listened to it before, you forgot about the song, or you listened to it when you were young/kid. The hidden track The Escapist is really calming and kind of reminds me of Now We Are Free from the Gladiator movie.

    All in all, I really like the direction Coldplay has taken in their albums from their earlier work.
  30. Feb 3, 2014
    Coldplay, in each of their albums, find the way to stand out from the ordinary, thanks to two or three really great songs. It is the case in this one, with "Violet Hill", a really beautiful rock hit. But we can remember something else this time : much more than in their previous albums, Coldplay seem to have wanted to renew their style, making more complex and varied songs. In this album, the group surprises, in the right way. Expand
  31. May 24, 2014
    It was a mistake giving this album below 10. I regret it with all my life. Because this album lifts me up high and just makes me happy whenever I listen to it. Death and All His Friends is absolutely one of the best records I have ever heard. I love how Coldplay transforms cliched lines like 'Big fish in a little pond' into musical masterpiece. They simply breathe life to such lifeless and corny words. This album proves they are simply one of the best bands in modern generation. If not, the entire history of music. Expand
  32. Mar 30, 2014
    This is an Amazing album. Coldplay performs some of their best work on this album, of course there are a couple of what I may call "fillers" but it was such a good album. I know that there was however some long time CP fans from back in the days of Parachutes and Rush of Blood to the Head that were not a fan of this feeling like some of the music sounding "different" however I totally disagree, besides what's wrong with a bit of change from time to time? I would defiantly recommend this album; my favorite songs were "Life in Technicolor", "Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love" and "Viva La Vida" (some very powerful lyrics right there!). Expand
  33. Oct 13, 2014
    This album truly deserves a ten. The songs are chilling and haunting, but also a little lighthearted, like on Yes. The production of Brian Eno and Jon Hopkins is legendary, and each song is unique. The theme of the album conveyed by the lyrics is genius, and the hooks are viral. Well done! How do you even pick a favorite track?!

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 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?
  2. The greatest thing Coldplay may have learned from Eno is his work ethic, as they demonstrate a focused concentration throughout this tight album--it's only 47 minutes yet covers more ground than "X&Y" and arguably "A Rush of Blood to the Head"--that turns Viva la Vida into something quietly satisfying.
  3. 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.