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Album Review : Coldplay - Prospekts March

Just to confirm that I'm not celebrating Xmas, I've given myself the task of reviewing this Viva La Vida also-rans and bits and pieces package. Putting this in context it means it'll be the first time I've deliberately played any Coldplay since my home taping of Parachutes failed to kill off at least their part of the music industry. I did like that album, but the subsequent god complexes and will they/won't they (hurry up and) disband nonsense has polarised my opinion like it has with most other music lovers - nowadays you either love or loathe them. Clearly from the above I'm less than fond but second chances are always available so ...

First up on offer we have 'Life In Technicolor II', which starts off promisingly sounding a bit Cure-like with possibly a spinnet being plonked away on. Having not heard 'LIT I'  I'm in no position to say if this is a direct sequel, second act or whatever. It proceeds at a fair pace with the spinnet(?) going in the background throughout and seems to be about your feet not touching the ground whilst you enjoy life to the full. So far so positive. Second in line comes the short piano instrumental 'Postcards From Far Away' (whoever sends them from next door?). At 48 seconds in length there's not really much to say about it but that it's short and forgettable. Next up is the imaginatively titled 'Glass of Water' and concerns that well known pass-time of staring into said glass and trying to find heaven in the ripples therein. It spends its time varying between acoustic strumalong and full-on studio orchestra bombast with the main point being that hindsight's all well and good but you waste your time if you consistently dwell on the past. The glass gets drunk at the end. Fourthly (the best title yet) is 'Rainy Day', which sounded vaguely familiar so possibly its one of the Vida tracks that are apparently on this EP in a different version. Either that or it just sounds like Coldplay. At times it managed to remind me of Eels and also the Six Feet Under theme tune.

Things take a gloomier turn on the fifth song - 'Prospekt's March/Poppyfields'. The lyrics swim close to Pink Floyd at one point ("we're just two little figures in a soup bowl") having previously stated how easy life is when you're in charge of the gun over a barrel of fish. The poppies reference is probably what one expects when that flower's mentioned though so let's not be too critical. Song six again sounds familiar and the title suggests that there's a version the doesn't have Jay-Z rapping during the middle. 'Lost+' sounds to be about struggling through life but not giving up. It mentions fish again in the context of big ones and ponds. Guns feature again too. According to Jay-Z "success is like suicide" and the rapper for hire suggests we consult everyone from Malcolm X to Judas on the matter. All a bit of a muddle. The penultimate track clearly exists somewhere else as it's handily titled 'Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)'. It benefits from the mix for sure as I can't imagine the original is as bouncy. The Osaka sun gets a mention (one assumes this is not a newspaper) but like many of the other tunes it's over-produced to the point where any story or idea it might be trying to deliver is unclear. Lastly we get back to the theme of feet not touching the ground. Suicide also seems to be on the menu again as there is a wish for Martin's boat to be pushed "from the highest cliff to the sea below" where rocks are waiting. Is he alone in this wish? 'Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground' is in fairness a folky and understated acoustic number and features a nice bit of brass in the closing forty seconds. Definitely the best of the eight tracks on the disc.

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