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Viva La Vida by Coldplay
Released: Jun 2008
Label: Parlophone UK
Coldplay have mastered their anthemic craft so precisely that with every peak of Chris Martin's falsetto you can hear the faintest cha-ching of dollar signs. So, for them to usher in Brian Eno to help dip their toes into new terrain is a move that deserves some props. Eno gives them room to build their grandiose crescendos, while adding in oblique bars of airy soundscapes ("Life in Technicolor"), Eastern strings ("Yes"), Renaissance strut ("Strawberry Swing") and even some Phil Collins swagger ("Violet Hill"). It's a good progression, but not as innovative as they might have been hoping for.
Stephanie Benson

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