• Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Jun 17, 2008
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 421 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 421

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  1. 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), 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. GreatI 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
  2. Oct 28, 2011
    10
    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
  3. Sep 5, 2011
    9
    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 styledOne 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
  4. Sep 7, 2012
    9
    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 andColdplay 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.
    Expand
  5. Nov 13, 2011
    10
    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.
  6. Dec 15, 2012
    10
    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!
  7. May 3, 2013
    9
    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.
  8. 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 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.
  9. 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. Coldplay have officially secured their spot as one of my favourite bands.
  10. Val
    Jun 18, 2008
    9
    This album is near perfect! An epic sonic journey with celestial music. You will be flying with every track. Superb!
  11. JordanF.
    Jun 20, 2008
    9
    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.
  12. DavidS.
    Jun 20, 2008
    9
    A very good album that I am enjoying more and more. I would probably rank Violent Hill the weakest song. A great album to listen to from start to end with some nice instrumental tracks. At the end of the day, this is a pop album that should appeal to their huge fan base.
  13. JuhZ
    Jun 20, 2008
    10
    Amazing concept album.
  14. SamF.
    Jun 23, 2008
    9
    Coldplay's best album to date sounds like a swirling mess of Brian Eno at first, but with repeated listens you can hear the greatness and you're left with easily;y the best album of the year so far...quite a masterpiece.
  15. SadafA.
    Jul 2, 2008
    9
    Parachutes, was just terrific. Then came along A Rush of Blood to the Head. That was a complete step up! X&Y was in some people's minds a bit of a downer, but I loved it nevertheless, being a huge fan of their music. Each of their albums have been enjoyable to say the least. All of their songs appeal to all sometimes with their lyrics, the structure, their piano, their guitar riffs, Parachutes, was just terrific. Then came along A Rush of Blood to the Head. That was a complete step up! X&Y was in some people's minds a bit of a downer, but I loved it nevertheless, being a huge fan of their music. Each of their albums have been enjoyable to say the least. All of their songs appeal to all sometimes with their lyrics, the structure, their piano, their guitar riffs, and Chris Martin's crooning little falsetto (which has definitely been left out of Viva La Vida). Viva La Vida is what I simply believe to be their best yet! Frankly, those who did not enjoy their previous albums will probably not like their new work nor their future music. Critics are just harsh.. and are meant to be. But they have millions of fans who have bought, listened, and enjoyed their work. That's all that matters. Expand
  16. Andy
    Jul 5, 2008
    10
    This album is very good. Not quite their best(A Rush of Blood to the Head), but very good. The standout tracks for me include "viva la vida", "chinese sleep chant", "strawberry swing", and "death and all of his friends".
  17. SamV.
    Jul 7, 2008
    7
    Coldplay return to the originality of Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head, albeit in a different direction. A welcome break from the near pure commercialism of X&Y.
  18. MP
    Sep 22, 2008
    9
    Have you people actually heard the album? Fantastic. I suprised Coldplay kept the streak. In organized fasion. Melodies are amazing. The weakest part of the album are the lyrics. It doesnt quite hit home. The theme is perfect. However, the lyrics arent bold enouogh. Some are actually kinda off. Big fish line in "Lost!". Yeah.. But Coldplay was never that great at lyrics. Ive heard this Have you people actually heard the album? Fantastic. I suprised Coldplay kept the streak. In organized fasion. Melodies are amazing. The weakest part of the album are the lyrics. It doesnt quite hit home. The theme is perfect. However, the lyrics arent bold enouogh. Some are actually kinda off. Big fish line in "Lost!". Yeah.. But Coldplay was never that great at lyrics. Ive heard this album at least 20 times now. It took me a LONG time to debate if this was better than "Rush of Blood". And I think it is for its themes, artwork, and the contribution the band has done to the album, Not to mention the music as well. They managed to change the style in a perfect way. An effort that is quite rare in the music industry. Their greatest album to date. 4. X & Y 3. Parachutes 2. A Rush of Blood to the Head 1. Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (Very close to a masterpiece) Good Job Coldplay. Expand
  19. VashaD
    Dec 20, 2008
    10
    Now add Prospekt March to the whole album
  20. MeganT.
    Oct 30, 2008
    9
    My favorite of all their work. I think this is the best representation of how much they have grown as a group.
  21. DannyVanderSpek
    Jun 17, 2008
    9
    Viva La Vida has renewed my faith in the band that I loved with Parachutes and AROBTTH, but lost in X&Y. I think most publications and websites are trying to be extra cautious about their rating for Viva La Vida because of overinflated grades given to X&Y. Given some time, I think this album will prove to be a keeper.
  22. DarrenD.
    Jun 18, 2008
    9
    Once again, Coldplay reinvents their sound and moves into a new direction. It's clear that most people don't like change and are not quick to adapt to it. However, in a matter of time, people who expected the same sound from Coldplay that they produced on "Parachutes" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" will come to appreciate the new sound. After all, isn't it all about Once again, Coldplay reinvents their sound and moves into a new direction. It's clear that most people don't like change and are not quick to adapt to it. However, in a matter of time, people who expected the same sound from Coldplay that they produced on "Parachutes" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" will come to appreciate the new sound. After all, isn't it all about moving forward with something new? Viva La Vida delivers a new frontier for Coldplay just as Revolver did for The Beatles. It's a major step forward, and now the real fun can begin. Expand
  23. ErikM.
    Jun 18, 2008
    8
    Orchestral arrangements are all over this record, as well as The Arcade Fire's ever-expanding influence. This isn't shocking. Chris Martin admitted at Austin City Limits 2005 (while supporting the lackluster X&Y) that fellow ACL act The Arcade Fire "inspired" him to venture outside his normal comfort zone. The result is a much more versatile yet cohesive sound than was found Orchestral arrangements are all over this record, as well as The Arcade Fire's ever-expanding influence. This isn't shocking. Chris Martin admitted at Austin City Limits 2005 (while supporting the lackluster X&Y) that fellow ACL act The Arcade Fire "inspired" him to venture outside his normal comfort zone. The result is a much more versatile yet cohesive sound than was found their last record. Expand
  24. JoshN
    Jun 19, 2008
    10
    Easily the best Coldplay album I've ever heard. Lost is an amazing track, and this album is definitely worth the money. Go get it!
  25. AndrewB
    Jun 20, 2008
    7
    Colplay changes it up a bit after making three successively blander albums, probably due to Brian Eno's involvment. Its a little different from their past stuff, but I would hardly call it experimental. Its their best album yet, though.
  26. WilliamM.
    Jun 20, 2008
    10
    Excellent album, interestingly different from their usuall style.
  27. PatrickS.
    Jun 28, 2008
    9
    Great album that you need to listen minimum 3 times to hear how good it really is ! Looking forward tot the concert in Paris & Antwerp.
  28. MattG
    Jun 30, 2008
    8
    I'm 40, not a dad, and think Arcade Fire the most brilliant band this decade. And whilst this album doesn't match the greatness of AF, it has many moments of pure pop bliss. I feel sorry for those who can't find at least some enjoyment within, and for the morons who give it 0 - no doubt without even listening to it - just go put on your no name records and stop wasting our time.
  29. SusieQ
    Jul 1, 2008
    9
    I'm always surprised when people don't like Coldplay. I think this album is fantastic, I loved it right away (as opposed to X&Y which I didn't like right away and learned to love). Coldplay stays consistent, which some people might find a turnoff, but for me, makes me anticipate all their albums.
  30. SebH
    Jul 2, 2008
    10
    It seems strange that people are saying this album sounds like Arcade Fire ... obviously, when you get in Arcade Fire's producers there're gonna be some similarities. It's like saying, "Win Butler played guitar on this album, it sounds too much like Arcade Fire". That aside, this is a brilliant piece of work - who cares if it's not a total reinvention so long as it It seems strange that people are saying this album sounds like Arcade Fire ... obviously, when you get in Arcade Fire's producers there're gonna be some similarities. It's like saying, "Win Butler played guitar on this album, it sounds too much like Arcade Fire". That aside, this is a brilliant piece of work - who cares if it's not a total reinvention so long as it sounds good? And, for the record, it does, I don't think anyone can deny the quality of the music here. But it's also down-to-earth and artistic in comparison to the old albums. It's just, hands down, an excellent album and it's artistic pop in the same spirit as The Beatles Expand
  31. DiegoM.
    Jul 25, 2008
    9
    I recommend listen first to viva la vida track, it`s an excellent album, better than XY.
  32. vonThunderbolt
    Jul 30, 2008
    7
    This album came as a tremendous surprise to me, a longtime fan of the band. With it's tighter (and surprisingly deeper) sound, the Coldplay really started expanding their boundaries more. X & Y was nothing but a letdown, an album that played out as an empty and heartless ballad barrage. A Rush of Blood to the Head was solid, but this album comes closest to equaling the nearly sweet, This album came as a tremendous surprise to me, a longtime fan of the band. With it's tighter (and surprisingly deeper) sound, the Coldplay really started expanding their boundaries more. X & Y was nothing but a letdown, an album that played out as an empty and heartless ballad barrage. A Rush of Blood to the Head was solid, but this album comes closest to equaling the nearly sweet, wonderful sound of the band's first -- Parachutes. This project certainly boasts a higher production value and grandiose feel -- a move that many Coldplay fans will appreciate. Expand
  33. EdgeTriggerCoolCat
    Sep 4, 2008
    10
    This is a instant classic, at first listen it is different than Coldplay's previous work. Like any great band their style is improving over time, like U2, The Beatles. By the 3 listen of the entire CD, I can stop listening, it is a work of art.
  34. jimmyo
    Jul 3, 2009
    10
    Coldplay is one of those bands that truly brings the word "music" to a whole different level! There are people that do not get the greatness of this kind of music, but that is only a pitty for them. coldplay is, and will always be, the kings of alternative.
  35. AaronG
    Nov 13, 2008
    8
    I'm a coldplay fan at heart, I won't lie. I was extremely excited for Viva La Vida's release, and their live tour. Viva La Vida, even at it's starting track, sets the stage for a whole different turn. It uses every sort of majestic sound it can get its hands on and does so excellently. There are some tracks that I just found unappealing, such as "Death and All His I'm a coldplay fan at heart, I won't lie. I was extremely excited for Viva La Vida's release, and their live tour. Viva La Vida, even at it's starting track, sets the stage for a whole different turn. It uses every sort of majestic sound it can get its hands on and does so excellently. There are some tracks that I just found unappealing, such as "Death and All His Friends", "Yes", and "42". However, the rest of the tracks will be remembered by me simply for the amazing musical structure. At this point, the only thing that I have to complain about is how drastically different this is from Coldplay's first album. I mean, really. Go right now and compare Viva La Vida to Parachutes. Notice something? Coldplay has gone from a slow-paced calm songs to upbeat alternative-rock. I'd love it if they did some things like the first album, but I wouldn't kill myself over it. Overall a great album, one thumb up. Expand
  36. IanC
    Dec 2, 2008
    8
    I usually listen to older music, but this honestly isn't bad. 4/5 for quality melodies, delicious production and instrumentation on most songs. Eno helps them take a more mature turn, and although they have always been good, this is perhaps their best. Not amazing. Not incredible. Not OMG TTLY AWSOME. But good. Which is rare in todays music realm.
  37. jimyjim
    Jun 17, 2008
    10
    Excellent disc, a work mestra, is a beauty they are the gods of the humanity.
  38. DukeChallenger
    Jun 17, 2008
    10
    Viva La Vida is the best Coldplay album by far. They now do whatever they want to in songs, arranging so many different parts in them. They are no longer looking for hit singles, just making a masterful album. The highlight of the album is the second part of the album's title (Not Viva La Vida) due to its lyrics and emotion. The low is "Lost" because its chorus sounds a little bit Viva La Vida is the best Coldplay album by far. They now do whatever they want to in songs, arranging so many different parts in them. They are no longer looking for hit singles, just making a masterful album. The highlight of the album is the second part of the album's title (Not Viva La Vida) due to its lyrics and emotion. The low is "Lost" because its chorus sounds a little bit like Sarah McGlocklen, whom I do not like. Coldplay still has not created an album as good as U2's masterpiece's, though, they are definitely on the same level. Expand
  39. FelipeP.
    Jun 17, 2008
    10
    Their best album yet, fantastic textures.
  40. JeffO.
    Jun 17, 2008
    10
    Nearly perfect! Their best album to date.
  41. StephenM.
    Jun 17, 2008
    8
    Surprisingly interesting.
  42. DavidA.
    Jun 17, 2008
    9
    Another good outing from Coldplay. Great from the first listen. If you like Coldplay, you will like this, if you don't like them, then you won't.
  43. BusterB
    Jun 18, 2008
    10
    Majestic and beautiful. The best track is the title track, a nice little itunes jingle. The other tracks are absolutely breathtaking. Coldplay is successful in creating and blending a new sound that takes them away from the norm. Well done.
  44. JoseP.
    Jun 18, 2008
    10
    Coldplay is absolutely amazing in this. I loved "A Rush of Blood To The Head" but was somewhat disappointed with "X & Y". This album however is thoroughly satisfying, from the upbeat and cheerful "Viva la Vida" to the inspiring and emotional "Lost!". Well done boys, a fantastic album.
  45. MeganW
    Jun 19, 2008
    9
    A melodic ride and a wonderful album that takes us through varied lows and highs, before delivering us calmly back on silent shores.
  46. JoeC
    Jun 19, 2008
    7
    Quite hard to get into, nothing immediately catchy until Viva La Vida. Hopefully it will grow on me.
  47. JeremiC.
    Jun 20, 2008
    9
    I really started thinking bad things about the band when they released X&Y which was an overratted radio album and the fact that Chris Martin started tp remind me of Bono (which I hate). But this album is genuine, moving and very cheerful. With no doubt, this is their best album up to date!!
  48. DamianA.
    Jun 24, 2008
    8
    Pretty good album, I have to say their best since A Rush Of Blood To The Head, all of their songs are great from beginning to the end, definely one of the albums of the entire year
  49. ColinT.
    Jun 27, 2008
    9
    It's just short of "rush of blood to the head" but that aside it's superb. They have grown since "x&y". Time will show this to be a classic. Stand out tracks for me, 42, yes and viva la Vida. Ive read about soldiers having to soldier, critics having a go. "I used to roll the dice, feel the fear in my enemies eyes". Go figure!!.
  50. RobbieC
    Jun 28, 2008
    7
    Better than X&Y by a large margin... there are still lame-ass songs on here. But "Lost!" and "Violet Hill" are two of their best songs ever. If X&Y didn't exist, this would probably get a worse rating, but that was such a horrible record that this is a welcome return to creative form.
  51. [Anonymous]
    Jun 29, 2008
    9
    Not a 'rock' album by any means. It is a 45 minute long dream state that is highly entertaining within the correct state of mind.
  52. LyleS
    Jul 11, 2008
    8
    Much better than x&y.
  53. RathiR.
    Jul 14, 2008
    10
    What da marvelous album....should be album of the year!
  54. AdamR.
    Jul 3, 2008
    10
    Absolutely Stunning Album! It makes everything they've done previously seem so minute.
  55. DeborahS.
    Jul 4, 2008
    10
    Addictive: can't wait for more!
  56. ScottW
    Apr 30, 2009
    7
    The album is good because the band is great. Its not a Rush of Blood or something by any means. Coldplay is a super band, one of the big ones. Their sound is very popy and truly theirs. This marks their 4th studio album. For sure though its better then their third. A little more out in the experimental side. Of course they are no Radiohead or Pink Floyd. The album still though is very The album is good because the band is great. Its not a Rush of Blood or something by any means. Coldplay is a super band, one of the big ones. Their sound is very popy and truly theirs. This marks their 4th studio album. For sure though its better then their third. A little more out in the experimental side. Of course they are no Radiohead or Pink Floyd. The album still though is very much nice to listen to with a few songs that will top the rock charts. Expand
  57. stevenp
    Dec 1, 2008
    9
    This is a really great album, it shows alot of style that coldplay lovers aren't used to, but oh so good! live the life!
  58. TomM
    Oct 27, 2008
    7
    Pretty good overall. I've always though of Coldplay as decent, certainly far above average for a group getting heavy pop radio airplay. The new album sounds like their past work, but is a little more adventurous. It gets an 8 in recognition of progress and in the hope that their next one continues the trend, and does something truly interesing and fresh.
  59. DanielR.
    Jun 16, 2008
    10
    Coldplay is the best!!! I love the entire album, it has an instrumental music and melodies amazing. Love it!!
  60. DarkCloud
    Jun 16, 2008
    10
    Most diverse album yet. Explores elements of Life and Death while shifting from light to dark every other song. The questions Martin raised throughout the album about afterlife is confirmed when the album dies (DEATH and All His Friends) and is resurrected with The Escapist which borrows the beginning of the first track (LIFE in Technicolor). Truly an art form in the conceptual sense and Most diverse album yet. Explores elements of Life and Death while shifting from light to dark every other song. The questions Martin raised throughout the album about afterlife is confirmed when the album dies (DEATH and All His Friends) and is resurrected with The Escapist which borrows the beginning of the first track (LIFE in Technicolor). Truly an art form in the conceptual sense and a masterpiece in the musical sense, even if it does deface itself (album art). Expand
  61. StevieG.
    Jun 16, 2008
    10
    After the disappointing X&Y this was a remarkable return to form for Coldplay. 'Viva la Vida', 'Lovers in Japan' and 'Strawberry Swing' are absolute classics. Because they are arguably now the biggest band in the world, people are quick to criticise anything they release. But make no mistake, this is a quality album, not one bad song on it.
  62. AhmadB.
    Jun 16, 2008
    10
    Ok, so, first off, you need to know, that this is, by far, Coldplay's best effort by far, suffice to say that it is one of their best albums. if you didn't like their previous efforts, you won't like this one. But, its definitely worth a listen, for any rock fan. Give them a chance, its an album that will stick with you.
  63. Chris
    Jun 17, 2008
    9
    This is a very good album. There are few misfires, but many of the tracks are excellent.
  64. ColinB.
    Jun 17, 2008
    8
    I would die to hear Bono belting out Martin's very genius yet very U2-esque melodies. After a few listens, I would say that this is a spectacular album, although a grand departure from Parachutes and ROBTH (and we should never speak of X&Y again). But Coldplay is still at the top of their game, and nearly everyone else's game for that matter. Early standouts: the vaguely I would die to hear Bono belting out Martin's very genius yet very U2-esque melodies. After a few listens, I would say that this is a spectacular album, although a grand departure from Parachutes and ROBTH (and we should never speak of X&Y again). But Coldplay is still at the top of their game, and nearly everyone else's game for that matter. Early standouts: the vaguely Japanese "Strawberry Swing," the haunting "Cemeteries of London," and "Yes," where Chris Martin sings at a low octive among ARABIC VIOLINS--double the unprecedentedness! This album isn't a masterpiece, but it's a very satisfying addition to the Coldplay anthology. Viva Coldplay! Expand
  65. JoshM.
    Jun 17, 2008
    8
    I really like this album, more than X+Y, maybe even more than A rush of blood... Lovers in Japan and Lost were standout tracks, the title track is great. The first single, Violet Hill, is the least impressive song on the album but still not bad. Brian Eno's producing has a profound effect on this album. Change has definitely been good to Coldplay.
  66. DavidP
    Jun 19, 2008
    9
    Brilliant and a new direction for an already talented band.
  67. WillH.
    Jun 21, 2008
    10
    Few artists have evolved like Coldplay, and this new album is a prime example of what the boys can do when they're not hounded by a record label. It doesn't seem like Coldplay's trying to please everyone on the new album - it seems like they made a "We Don't Give a Damn!" album, and it works. Aside from the low points found in "Violet Hill" and "Chinese Sleep Chant", Few artists have evolved like Coldplay, and this new album is a prime example of what the boys can do when they're not hounded by a record label. It doesn't seem like Coldplay's trying to please everyone on the new album - it seems like they made a "We Don't Give a Damn!" album, and it works. Aside from the low points found in "Violet Hill" and "Chinese Sleep Chant", the rest of the album is as solid as they come. The album gives off an aura of greatness, and it's about time it stopped being uncool to be a Coldplay fan. All hail Coldplay. Expand
  68. EdA
    Jun 23, 2008
    8
    Bolder than anything else Coldplay has made but not completely different. This album does confirm that they actually know how to play instruments better than beginners. "Yes!" is a song to check out if you want to see their new musical direction. "Lost" is solid too.
  69. JayL.
    Jun 23, 2008
    7
    Stand out tracks for me were Violet Hill, Yes, and 42. Cemeteries of London and Lovers in Japan sounded too U2-ish to me, especially the latter, but I guess that's what you get when you have Brian Eno producing. They still have yet to beat A Rush of Blood to the Head in my eyes, but this is still a good listen.
  70. EmilyW.
    Jun 24, 2008
    9
    It's pretty amazing that Uncut, the same publication that gave the unbelievably shitty X&Y a 90, gave this album 60. One person below said they believed the critics were being careful with their ratings for this album because of all the rash 90's and 100's given to X&Y upon its release and I think that is exactly right. This is a much better offering and might even turn out It's pretty amazing that Uncut, the same publication that gave the unbelievably shitty X&Y a 90, gave this album 60. One person below said they believed the critics were being careful with their ratings for this album because of all the rash 90's and 100's given to X&Y upon its release and I think that is exactly right. This is a much better offering and might even turn out to be their best album to date. Expand
  71. SteveO
    Jun 27, 2008
    10
    I'm guessing "Zia" is a girl... yeah don't listen to girls, pick up this cd. It's worth it. It isn't girl rock.
  72. LeandroC.
    Jul 11, 2008
    10
    The best album of the year!
  73. MarkT.
    Jul 11, 2008
    7
    The album was good aside from the double tracks, which was a bad idea. I would probably say this was their third best album of the four.
  74. DaveN
    Jul 13, 2008
    7
    Not as good as their last two, but very good non the less.
  75. angel
    Jul 17, 2008
    10
    I can't stop listening to it its beautiful and moving I haven't been a coldplay fan since Parachutes.
  76. PaulL.
    Jul 18, 2008
    10
    Best album yet. Brilliant song writing and performance.
  77. LuisA
    Jul 18, 2008
    7
    very disappointing, the band´s betting on being the next u2 instead of continuing the great job doing on Parachutes and on A Rush Of Blood To The Head. They´re pretending they´re making an avant garde record, while all their making an over-produced product with no heart whatsoever.
  78. ChrisC.
    Jan 18, 2009
    9
    This is proof that Coldplay are worth the hype and the fame. The album is adventurous, experimental, and emotional. It's nice to hear an album of songs that take you on a journey. I think they are one album away from making an actual classic...
  79. ZachB
    Feb 12, 2009
    10
    This is, honestly, one of the best albums that I have ever listened to. The first track goes perfectly with the last track with the sort of synthy sound and coming back with that at the end of the album. It gave me goosebumps. Then, Viva la Vida is one of my favorite songs of all time. Violet Hill and Cemeteries of London also bring dimensions of Coldplay in which has not really been seen This is, honestly, one of the best albums that I have ever listened to. The first track goes perfectly with the last track with the sort of synthy sound and coming back with that at the end of the album. It gave me goosebumps. Then, Viva la Vida is one of my favorite songs of all time. Violet Hill and Cemeteries of London also bring dimensions of Coldplay in which has not really been seen before in other albums, but is still fantastic. The Chinese Sleep Chant after Yes is a song that mesmorizes and is a wonderful addition. While this does sound U2'ish, that is not a bad thing. U2 is one of the most established bands of all time and to say that it sounds like U2 is a compliment more than anything else. Expand
  80. DJC
    Mar 29, 2009
    9
    I till don't get why everyone hates coldplay all of a sudden is it because it's unfashionable to like great music. I think that this record is one of the best of 2008 and anyone who disagrees is obviously not listening properly.
  81. ColdplaymeCokdplayme
    Nov 12, 2008
    10
    Amazing a rare album , youll never hear in years , instant classiic, anyone should get their hands on.. Its like an artwork wherein first you say okay.. then the more you visit it the more you start appreciating it until youve completely fallen in love with it. Coldplay have never been more consistent as a band ! All their albums are amazing keep it up!!! Although AROBTTH is still a Amazing a rare album , youll never hear in years , instant classiic, anyone should get their hands on.. Its like an artwork wherein first you say okay.. then the more you visit it the more you start appreciating it until youve completely fallen in love with it. Coldplay have never been more consistent as a band ! All their albums are amazing keep it up!!! Although AROBTTH is still a contender also is X&Y.....THe new BEATLES they are. Expand
  82. GabrielM
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Great album, the best of coldplay!
  83. Aug 14, 2010
    8
    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
    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.
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  84. Aug 29, 2010
    7
    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".
  85. CRL
    Aug 17, 2011
    9
    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.
  86. Sep 11, 2011
    10
    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 theWhenever 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
  87. Oct 2, 2011
    9
    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
  88. Sep 21, 2013
    10
    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.
  89. Nov 16, 2011
    9
    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 showedA 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
  90. Oct 15, 2011
    10
    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.
  91. Dec 16, 2011
    8
    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.
  92. Apr 1, 2014
    7
    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.
  93. Sep 18, 2012
    9
    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!
  94. Aug 21, 2012
    10
    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)
  95. Aug 22, 2012
    10
    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 isI 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
  96. May 18, 2013
    9
    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
    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".
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  97. Feb 9, 2013
    8
    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 excellentWhile 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
  98. Aug 1, 2014
    9
    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
    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.
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  99. Feb 3, 2014
    7
    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,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
  100. May 24, 2014
    10
    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 andIt 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
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. 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.