Monday, December 01, 2008

Prospekt's March by Coldplay

On their celebrated B-side track, "Gravity", Chris Martin lamented that 'gravity pushes on everyone'. But now it seems that Coldplay are trying to break free from that fundamental force of nature. The Proskekt's March EP, which carries 5 new tracks and 3 fresh versions of songs from Viva La Vida, begins with a sense of airy weightlessness. The opening track "Life In Technicolour ii", climaxes with Martin singing, 'Gravity release me/ don't ever let me down/and my feet won't touch the ground'. Nice to have some words to Viva La Vida's opener, which was originally an instrumental piece with the singer contributing some "oooohhs" at the end. The constraints of gravity are well and truly broken by the final track on the EP, which is entitled appropriately enough, "Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground".
But what of the rest of the songs on this free floating CD? The remix of "Lost" contains a rather incongruous rap by Jay-Z. What was the point in that? "Lovers In Japan" doesn't sound too different from the version on Viva La Vida. But the new songs make the EP a worthwhile investment. "Postcards From Far Away" is an entrancing, yet all too brief 47 second fragment of piano sonata. "Glass of Water" and "Rainy Day" are worth a listen. But for me the best track is "Prospekt's March/Poppyfields", a song about a soldier dying on the battlefield. Is this the same man who was torn between devotion and duty in "Violet Hill" on Viva La Vida, saying to his sweetheart, "if you love me, won't you let me go"? If it is, then the track is made all the more poignant as now we hear him sing, 'I don't want to die'. I wonder if she did let him know that she loved him?
The themes of love, death and loss that ran through Coldplay's latest album also flow through the new EP. Where can we find hope in this 'violent world', where the stern gravity of human waywardness seems to keep on pulling us down? I'm looking forward to the time when my feet won't touch the ground, when Jesus Christ comes to raise the dead from their graves, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

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