A few days ago I had the pleasure of having new Sigur Rós and the new Coldplay albums sent to me by friends. Pretty exciting since both are such highly anticipated albums and thus far, I am very impressed!
Coldplay's Viva La Vida is a bit of a turn away from their last album, X&Y, however none of the tracks really strike me as being truly original. It is kind of obvious that they were playing it fairly safe with this record (hey, I don't blame them... they have a good thing going) especially with tracks like "42". My favorites so far are the instrumental opening track, "Life in Technicolor", "Yes", and "Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love", all of which I would say are the furthest away of what I would expect out of Coldplay. And while the album artwork is I GUESS looks "cool", I think their use of Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People does not fit in with the album conceptually at all. So far, this album hasn't pulled me in enough to really dive in to every song... instead it has kind of just been playing in the background.
Sigur Rós' Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust, on the other hand, has already proven to be much more than background music. They took a leap of faith with this and you can tell they were really inspired to create this new sound. The only song I could do without on the album is "Festival", which would have been quite fitting on any of their other albums but seems very out of place on this free-spirited album. Major credit to them for breaking out of the self-created mold that they have always had, and I think that should be noticeable to anybody who has heard the first single, "Gobbledigook". So far I haven't been able to choose my favorite track on this album, but it is safe to say it will be in heavy rotation for a long time and I will probably choose a new favorite song once a week. Also, as far as album artwork goes, I think this cover does a perfect job capturing the happiness conveyed through this record.