Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” has new “Prospekts”


By Julie Fortin

Class of 2010


   As a follow-up to their chart-topping fourth album “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay recently released “Prospekt’s March Extended Play (EP),” which features eight bonus tracks that were not finished in time to be included in “Viva.”  With piano ballads in “Postcards from Far Away” and a remix of “Lost” featuring Jay-Z, the songs are not unworthy by any means, but the band feels as though this supplement album is necessary to feel ultimately satisfied with the “Viva La Vida” package.  Thus, an EP is born.

   Despite the songs’ legitimate quality, “Prospekt’s” may be viewed as another one of the music industries’ ploys to milk the consumer – and hopefully a die-hard Coldplay fan – of all their worth.  After witnessing the success of “Viva,” the men from behind the desks at the record company probably figured they would release these eight songs before “Viva’s” buzz died down and the world was sick of hearing the third single on Kiss 108, and make more money than the millions they were already receiving from “Viva.”

   The band’s intentions, regardless of what their managers wanted, were to be able to provide their fans with more music that they felt were just as good as the songs on VLV.  One must ask though, why were the songs given the ax originally?  Chris Martin stated before the release of the EP that some of the songs “might be considered too catchy or too heavy Coldplay songs, but in [the band’s] minds they complete the “Viva La Vida” picture.”

   The eight tracks vary in style, but retain the trademark Coldplay sound.  The album’s namesake, ‘Prospekt’s March/Poppyfields’ includes melodies reminiscent of the “Parachutes” days, but introduces the ever-trendy vintage political references.  It is rumored to be about a street in Russia named Nevsky Prospekt, which was previously named the Avenue of the 25th of October.  The day is significant in that it marked the beginning of the Russian revolution.  Hence, the odd lyrics, “we’re just two little figures in a symbol,” could most likely be relating to communism, as in a hammer and a sickle.  The criticism of government is obscure, but it is not unfamiliar to the band.  Chris Martin also bashed communism in “Spies”, from their album “Parachutes” – so much so that the entire album was banned in China.

“Life in Technicolor II”, a sequel, if you will, to ‘Life in Technicolor’ from VLV, features lyrics unlike its predecessor.   Additionally, in his Coldplay debut in ‘Lost+,’ Jay-Z talks about the dangers of success in his lyrics, “see Biggie, see Pac, see success and its outcome/See Jesus, see Judas/See Caesar, see Brutus, see success is like suicide.”  Then he asks the ever-looming question – “is to have had and lost better than not having at all” before Chris Martin ends with, “oh and I, just waiting ‘til the shine wears off.”

   With mixed reviews about the EP from critics, true fans, etc., Coldplay is pleased that they were able to give their fans a chance to hear more of their music, even though they were “shy about putting it out.”  Generally, “Prospekt’s” seems to be a worthy addition to the “Viva” family, and provides closure for some fans.