Coldplay’s latest release, “Prospekt’s March,” provides an interesting look into the creative process that spawned this past summer’s “Viva La Vida,” which is the band’s most successful album to date.The eight-track E.P. features six songs that were cut from “Viva La Vida,” as well as remixes of “Lovers in Japan” and “Lost!” “March” is meant to give fans an inside look at Coldplay’s creative process by allowing them access to material that was written for, but for whatever reason, not included on the final version of “Viva.” It succeeds for the most part.
After listening to “Prospekt’s March” it becomes pretty clear why these songs were left off. It’s not to say that the tracks aren’t any good, because most of them are.
However, everything the band included on the final album is just flat-out better.
In fact, better versions of two of the tracks on “March” can be found on “Viva La Vida.”
“Lovers in Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)” is not that much different from the irresistibly catchy original version. It still features the same driving piano work by front man Chris Martin, and the basic structure of the song remains unchanged. Actually the only noticeable difference between the remix and the original version is that the remix makes “Lovers in Japan” a stand-alone track, whereas the original version had it combined with “Reign of Love.”
It’s really hard to justify calling this a remix when the only change is removing a totally unrelated, three-minute-long song from the end of another song.
The other remix on “Prospekt’s March” is “Lost+,” which features a guest appearance by Jay-Z.
Unfortunately this is another example of a small change to a track that most already own. Jay-Z only appears on the song’s bridge, and his part was clearly recorded long after Martin and Co. put their finishing touches on the song.
“Lost+” makes for a pretty strange listening experience as its first two minutes are exactly the same as the original version and then, out of nowhere, Jay-Z appears.
He raps for about a minute and then, as stealthily as he appeared, Jay-Z is gone. It’s like sitting down to watch “The Dark Knight” again and halfway through the movie noticing Johnny Depp dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow riding shotgun in the Batmobile.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it just feels out of place.
“Lost+” feels like a victim of poor production. The shift between Martin’s original vocals on the track to Jay-Z’s, and then back to Martin’s again is just too awkward.
Jay should have been introduced earlier on in the song, instead of being relegated to the ninja-like appearance he ended up making.
The best song on “Prospekt’s March” is yet another one that can also be found on “Viva La Vida.”
The instrumental song “Life in Technicolor” opens “Viva La Vida,” and its riff is reprised at the album’s end.
Ironically, the song does something similar for “Prospekt’s March.” The difference is that “Life in Technicolor ii” is not an instrumental. Martin adds lyrics that match perfectly with the complex musical arrangement behind them. The song opens the CD, and this time it’s a line from the chorus that is reprised and actually becomes the album’s closing track “Now My Feet Won’t Touch the Ground.”
This song is another of the album’s highlights. It is a somber and moody acoustic track that has little in common with the upbeat “Life in Technicolor ii” other then the one line they share.
The two songs provide an interesting look at how one idea can be interpreted and utilized in multiple ways.
“Postcards from Far Away” is a nice addition to the collection, though its 48 second runtime might not be enough time to finish reading a post-it, let alone a postcard.
The song is an instrumental and Martin’s ability behind the piano is showcased here and despite its brevity, the song is beautiful.
“Glass of Water” is the best song on the CD that can’t be found, in one form or another, anywhere else.
It is Coldplay at their finest, featuring a sweeping build-up and stirring chorus.
“Rainy Day” is a decent enough song, and will certainly appeal to anyone who has ever wondered what would happen if you mixed Coldplay and techno. The chorus is pure Coldplay, while the verses feature a techno-like beat.
The title track is a throwback song that would sound right at home on any of Coldplay’s earlier albums. It’s another good song, but one that probably wouldn’t have fit in well on “Viva La Vida.”
“Prospekt’s March” isn’t meant for the casual Coldplay fan, or the previously uninitiated.
This is a record for hardcore fans that are curious for a peek inside the minds of one of alternative rock’s most successful bands.
The remixes beg to be worked on some more and will certainly disappoint after hearing the great things the band was able to do with “Life in Technicolor ii.”
“Viva La Vida” is a tough act to follow, and “Prospekt’s March” just isn’t up to the task, although it’s hard to fault Coldplay for at least trying to give their fans a little bit more.
Colin McGlinchey is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu.
Coldplay’s 2009 Grammy
Record of the Year- “Viva La Vida”
Album of the Year- “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends”
Song of the Year- “Viva La Vida”
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals- “Viva La Vida”
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals- “Violet Hill”
Best Rock Song- “Violet Hill”
Best Rock Album- “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends