The confident majesty of the music, however, belies how he and his bandmates have invigorated their rock-lite reign. [20 June 2008, p.65]
Coldplay's desire to unite fans around the world with an entertainment they can all relate to is the band's strength, and a worthy goal. But on Viva la Vida, a record that wants to make strong statements, it's also a weakness.
The rest is closer to the Coldplay we know: a competent blend of heavily orchestrated redemption songs ('Viva La Vida,' already the biggest hit of the band's career), swirly arena rock ('Lovers in Japan') and life-stinks-without-you ballads ('Strawberry Swing')likely to resonate despite the new bells and whistles.