Album of the Day
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
This week in 2008, Coldplay was declared the biggest-selling act of the year at the World Music Awards held in Monaco, thanks to VIVA LA VIDA OR DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS. While the U.K. quartet's first three albums had positioned them for this success, the collection reached double-platinum status by rewriting their usual playbook. Vocalist Chris Martin's distinctive falsetto gets a rest most of the time, and as the French Revolution cover art suggests, lyrical themes are more global than personal. Most significantly, the band tapped Brian Eno to helm the record, and the producer's desire that every song sound different made singles “Violet Hill,” “Lost!,” “Strawberry Swing” and the title track all the more indelible. A Grammy winner for Best Rock Album, VIVA LA VIDA is not just one of Coldplay's most unusual, it's one of the group's best.