Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Coldplay's Prospekt's March Fails To Deliver

Coldplay's latest release dropped last Tuesday, and we have to admit that despite eating crow in regard to Viva La Vida, we were still looking at Prospekt's March with a high degree of skepticism. For one, the EP is a collection of B-Sides from the Vida recording sessions, which makes one wonder about the quality bar. For another, three out of the EP's eight tracks are "versions" of album tracks: "Life In Technicolor II", "Lost +" and "Lovers In Japan, (Osaka Sun Mix)". Still, Coldplay does have a decent track record with B-Sides, so we figured the best way to decide was to just go have a listen.

The EP really almost feels more like an alternate version of the record than a collection of B-Sides. It's nice to hear "Life In Technicolor" fleshed out with a full lyric, and "Rainy Day" manages to delve into some clearly Eno-influenced polyrhythms reminicent of his collaboration with John Cale. On the other hand, "Postcards From Far Away" barely qualifies as a full track, "Glass Of Water" is a pretty de rigueur Coldplay radio fodder, and the remix of "Lovers In Japan" is barely discernable from the original. "Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground" and "Prospekt's March / Poppyfields" are both perfectly passable tracks, but neither one really goes anywhere beyond the realm of quiet acoustic ditty. And, well, for those who actually thought it might work: "Lost +" featuring Jay-Z is completely and totally laugable. Nice try, guys.

In the end, our conclusion falls decidedly on the "less than necessary" side of the fence. The EP is definitely in the same vein as Vida, and works well as a companion to the record. But it offers little that is new. If you haven't gotten either yet, picking up the deluxe edition is an easy way to check it out. If you're considering picking up the EP by itself, you'll probably find yourself favoring the actual record most (if not all) of the time. It simply doesn't have one track that makes it a "must have", and in the end seems to be angled pretty aggressively in the "let's have something for the holidays" space. Ah, well. At least you can stream for free...

Stream: Coldplay - Prospekt's March