Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Seems everybody's getting what they deserve. Over in musicland, the British band Coldplay hit number one this week for the first time ever on the U.S. and U.K. singles charts with the damn near perfect "Viva la Vida" (translation: Live the Life or, simply, Live Life), the title track of their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. By now everyone has heard it, so I won't go on and on about its musical merits and how it sounds unlike anything else on the radio now or, well, ever. Its ascent to the top at last breaks the longtime stranglehold that cookie-cutter R&B and hip hop have had on the summit of Billboard's Hot 100.

I recently read someone's interpretation of the lyrics of "Viva la Vida" as a fantasy kingdom as a metaphor for love. I see it more as a contemplation on the ephemeral nature of life and how everything can change in the blink of an eye, which is what makes life at once so beautiful and so terrifying. But enough navel gazing. I'm just happy there's a No. 1 single that I actually want to listen to all the way through.

My Top 8 Coldplay or Coldplay-associated songs in alphabetical order:

  1. "All Good Things (Come To And End)" (Coldplay frontman Chris Martin cowrote it with Nelly Furtado, Timbaland and Danja. This version from Furtado's Loose CD features less Chris than the original recording.)
  2. "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (Hopefully, their collaboration with Kylie Minogue that didn't make Viva la Vida's final cut will someday surface. For now, their 2005 Glastonbury homage to Kylie's greatest hit will have to do.)
  3. "Daylight"
  4. "Lost!" (If there's any more justice in the world, this Viva la Vida album cut will be band's second No. 1 hit.)
  5. "Politik"
  6. "Speed of Sound"
  7. "Talk" (Thin White Duke Remix) (A hint at how incredible an album-length collaboration with Madonna's Confessions on a Dancefloor producer would be.)
  8. "Viva la Vida"

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