Music: Favorite Track 2013

My favorite “track discovery” from last year is Frank Oceans “Strawberry Swing”, a version of Coldplay’s track with the same name. I totally love Coldplay, but I think that Frank Ocean’s version is absolutely amazing! What an awesome track!

Another track from the same album, is a “semi-cover” of Eagles song Hotel California, named “American Wedding”. A great track with those great lyrics that Frank Ocean always delivers.

American Wedding
(link to Spotify-track: F.O. – American Wedding)

Strawberry Swing
(link to Spotify-track: F.O. – Strawberry Swing)

Frank Ocean – Strawberry Swing

Yesterday I got this tip from a close friend, to listen to Frank Oceans version of Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing. If you followed my little project during summer, Best Album Of All Times, this song was on the “number 15”-album Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends

I hope you enjoy Frank Oceans version as much as I do. Awesome!!

Say hello, then say farewell to the places you know
We are all mortals, aren’t we? Any moment this could go
Cry, cry, cry, even though that won’t change a thing
But you should know, you should hear, that I have loved
I have loved the good times here, and I will miss our good times

Before the last two at the top – Short Summary Top 40 – 2

Before we enter the top-2… short summary of the tracks on places 40 – 2 (with links to albums available on Spotify):

3 Toto – The Seventh One
4 Sixx A.M – Heroin Diaries
5 Hoobastank – The Reason
6 Jellyfish – Bellybutton
7 U2 – Joshua Tree
8 Babyface – Unplugged NYC 1997
9 Phenomena – Phenomena I
10 Sara Isaksson – Red Eden
11 AC/DC – Back In Black
12 Michael Jackson – Bad
13 Blacknuss – Gold
14 Mötley Crüe – Shout at the Devil
15 Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and all his friends
16 Gary Moore – Wild Frontier
17 Stephen Simmonds – For Father
18 Ratt – Out Of The Cellar
19 Aldo Nova – Twitch
20 Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine
21 Dire Straits – On every street (Special mention Brothers in arms)
22 The Fray – The Fray
23 Metallica – Metallica
24 Adele – 21
25 Top Gun – Motion Picture Soundtrack
26 David Foster
27 Nirvana – Nevermind
28 Peter Gabriel – So
29 Abba – The Album
30 Robert Plant / Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
31 Johnny Hates Jazz – Turn Back The Clock
32 Bruce Hornsby – The Way It is
33 Level 42 – Running in the family
34 Chicago – Chicago 17
35 Marc Cohn – Marc Cohn
36 Richard Marx – Richard Marx
37 Gun’s n Roses – Apetite for Destruction
38 Europe – Wings of Tomorrow
39 Saga – Wildest Dreams
40 Elvis Presley – G.I Blues

Best album of all times – Number 15

© Pedro Hansson - Viva La Vida Loca, featuring Kenneth
© Pedro Hansson – Viva La Vida Loca; featuring a close friend – Swedish Archipelago

Best album of all times – Number 15: Coldplay – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends

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11:th of June 2008, Coldplay released the Brian Eno produced album “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends”. For me, this album was the first time I really started to enjoy Coldplay. As often when I come across new artists it takes a little while to get used to the sound, the atmosphere and of course the lyrics. What really makes this album complete, is the fulfillment of all those categories.

In short, the album covers the aspects of life, death, war and love. Not the typical “easy going topics”, to say the least.

The album starts off with Life in Technicolor, which is a long intro to the rest of the album. In my opinion this intro works perfectly as an atmosphere leveler.

Cemeteries of London; a typical track about the topics of the album, was recorded in a Barcelona church, and if you listen closely you can hear some spanish “clapping” in the song, while “Bass player Guy Berryman told Entertainment Weekly: When I imagine the song in my head, I see London in 1850. A hell of a lot of rain and men in top hats.” (reference Entertainment Weekly)

Lost! is really well described by “Floridaguy” on song meanings:

This was one of the first songs Coldplay worked on for the record. The band were originally inspired by the song “Sing” by Blur, which they were listening to in their dressing room before performing in a gig in Detroit. They tried to write a song like it and it ended up evolving in various ways with lots of different versions before the final recorded rendering. Chris Martin explained to MTV News: “That’s often how we write, is we listen to something and we think it’s incredible, and we feel stupid for not having anything as good as that, so we go and try to play it. And then, of course, because we don’t know how to do that, we often come up with something new.”

42 is a quite melancholic track with many of the big life questions asked. So far in this review I’ve kept much focus on the lyrics, but the album musically is really amazing. What’s different with this track is that it doesn’t contain a chorus. Instead it’s divided into three parts.

Lovers in Japan. When asked about the development of the song, during a track-by-track reveal, drummer Will Champion said:

We were in a studio in New York, this place called the Magic Shop, and it had this thing called a tack piano there, which sounds like an old honky-tonk piano, where you put little tacks in the hammers, so it sounds like more of a harpsichord almost. And so we wanted to use that kind of sound, but we didn’t have a tack piano, so rather than sample it, we went and bought an old piano from the shop up the road from our studio, and we bought a load of tacks, and me and Guy and Jon spent a couple of hours pushing tacks into the piano hammers. (Source Wikipedia)

Yes: As many of the tracks on this album, this track also have it’s completely own identity. The vocals by Chris Martin are really low.

Viva La Vida is the big top hit from this album reaching the top in both the UK singles chars as  Billboard Hot 100. I guess almost everyone who reads this blog at least have heard the typical strings intro. The lyrics carry many biblical references but seems to be more aimed at the conflict between people and government, and especially around war.

Violet Hill. Also a track about a soldier going into battle. The first rows in the lyrics are truly amazing, and gives the rest of the track its atmosphere.

Was a long and dark December

From the rooftops I remember

There was snow

White snow

I really like the contrast in this song (which I may write about almost all the tracks on this album)

Strawberry Swing is a low-key track with african drums, a guitar melody that almost runs throughout the track as a thread.

The last track, Death And All His Friends somehow share some identity with the Swedish pop band Kent.

In the later part of the track the summarize the album beautifully with the sound of “Life in Technicolor”

As I think I’ve written in all my posts, this album should’ve ended up higher in this list, and I begin to feel that I will have a correction post afterwards where I will rearrange all albums. This album is truly great!
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Full album on Youtube: