Here is a good article on their new albumhttp://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/arts/music/01ligh.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
WITH its frescoed walls and waiters in white jackets, the Café Carlyle is like a Hollywood version of old-school New York sophistication.
It’s not usually a place to go looking for rock stars, but on Monday nights Woody Allen is often there, playing the clarinet with his New Orleans jazz band, and Chris Martin, the singer of the British rock band Coldplay, catches his sets when he can. At a small table just inside the door, between bites of salmon and sips of a Bellini, Mr. Martin recalled why he was initially drawn to Mr. Allen’s films. “Everyone else was either too optimistic or too pessimistic,” he said. “He seemed to have it just right.”
It makes perfect sense that Chris Martin, 31, is a Woody Allen fan. He is possibly the most self-deprecating lead singer in pop history, constantly saying things like “I don’t listen to our records because it makes me break out in tears and sweat,” and “We have a rule that only the four of us can ever be onstage because we don’t want to be upstaged by someone more attractive.” (“He’s always been like that, really,” said Guy Berryman, the band’s bassist.) On June 17, however, Coldplay will release its fourth album, “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” (Capitol), and even Mr. Martin is having a hard time retaining his modesty about it. The release, which was co-produced by Brian Eno, marks a leap forward for the group, adding experimental textures, arrangements and structures to its music while retaining the sweeping melodies and soaring hooks at the heart of its enormous appeal.
“When you get to a fourth record, you have to be really careful about how much you sing, because people aren’t surprised by your voice anymore,” Mr. Martin said. “So you have to think of new things.”
But this is an especially charged time for Coldplay to try reinventing itself. Since the release of its previous album, “X&Y,” in 2005, the band’s record company, EMI, has been sold to Terra Firma, a private equity firm; thousands of employees have been laid off; and rumors of crisis are nonstop.
Recently it was reported that Terra Firma would be fighting to meet financial targets set by the bank that helped finance the purchase of EMI. The Times of London wrote that the performance of the new album from the label’s top-selling act would be “critical to any recovery” for the company, whose United States market share has been the lowest it has seen in years.
“Given the changes that have been made in the company, it’s important that we deliver the same service to the band that we always have,” said Miles Leonard, president for A&R labels for Parlophone Records, who signed Coldplay in 1999 and is helping oversee the new record’s global rollout. The band is doing its best to ignore the monstrous commercial pressure. (“What are we supposed to do?” Mr. Berryman asked in mock frustration. “Write poppier songs?”) But it is trying to innovate with its marketing plan.
“Violet Hill,” the dark, thumping first single from “Viva la Vida,” was offered free on the band’s Web site (coldplay.com) for a week and was downloaded more than two million times, according to the band’s representatives. The band is playing three free shows this month — one at Brixton Academy in London on June 16, one at the Espacio Movistar in Barcelona on June 17 and one at Madison Square Garden on June 23 — with tickets being given away in lotteries. (Coldplay’s first high-profile appearance for the album will take place on Sunday, when it plays “Violet Hill” at the MTV Movie Awards.)
These ideas were generated by the band; to help execute the release, Coldplay’s manager, Dave Holmes, has augmented the EMI team with a hand-picked group of consultants and advisers.
“We didn’t really know what changes were going to take place,” Mr. Holmes said, “so we needed to make sure that the team would stay consistent.”
Click on the Link for the full review.http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/arts/music/01ligh.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin&oref=slogin