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Hit Song Breakdown: Violet Hill – Coldplay

May 2, 2008

Okay so by now you’ve probably heard ‘Violet Hill,’ Coldplay’s newest single from their new album Viva La Vida

Let us know what you think of the song, because we have some heard some different reviews. Hoover and I have a few long discussions over where they are heading with this album and with this song.

Now although this is the Hit Song Breakdown, Violet Hill isn’t a certified hit… yet. So Lets take a look at what it offers.

  • 40 Seconds of ambient noise. ummmm… not a typical radio hit but I think Coldplay are priming us for their new sound.
  • “Was a long and Dark December”….. this is a summer release right? Definitely not a feel good summer jam, but whatever.
  • Next comes the totally un-Coldplay like distorted guitar. I like it, but it’s definitely not the user friendly distortion of “Yellow.”
  • What is this song about? Chris Martin’s vocals are totally washed out, for pretty much the whole song. Coldplay are changing their sound and consequently their image. Maybe they won’t be the heartfelt balladeers like they once were. Their probably will be a “Fix you” moment on this album but they are letting us know that it could all be different. But lets be honest they have built their careers upon anthem ballads. They won’t bite the hand that feeds quite yet. Thats 5th album type stuff.
  • Violet Hill’s run time is acceptable. At roughly 3:00 minutes in total (-the ambient noise) radio WOULD play it, but there is one jarring misstep in my humble opinion. NO SING ALONG CHORUS. Oh of course “if you love me won’t you let me know” is fun but its no “yeaaaaah how long must you wait for it.”
  • The solo is cool, but its not really a solo. It’s a lick that played a couple of times. Once again presumably their preparing us for their new sound.
  • The drums are blistering. Heavy and different from the last 3 records. I always thought that Coldplay’s drums were the secret ingredient in thier music. In Violet Hill, they prove that they still are the arena rock band of the decade. Now you pundits and wags (whats a wag anyway?) may argue that Nickelback is bigger, but Nickelback owns ONLY America. They have nothing compared to Coldplay in the rest of the world. Check out the warm reception Nickelback were given in Portugal.
  • We finally have our classic Coldplay moment at the end. The beautifully disarming outro. It gorgeous, I love it, you love it, your mom loves it. But what the hell does Violet Hill, or “If you love me wont you let me know” have to do with a long and dark December? You don’t know, and I don’t know, but if you have a guess email us.
  • This song will be hit because of Coldplay’s track record. If this was the lead off single from Parachutes, they would be as forgotten as Wheatus. Its a cool song, but its really different from the last album and the polar opposite of Parachutes.

Coldplay are one of my favorite bands. Their new sound is different, but the most important change that can be taken from this track, are the Lyrics. I really don’t get the lyrics, but does that matter? Right now, to me, it doesn’t. All of Coldplay’s big hits have arguably been lyrically driven. On Violet Hill we don’t see that trend continued. But who knows maybe they wanted to mess with us and the next single will be Fix You x10.

Take Control of Your Music,


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