"Lost!", Viva La Vida, Coldplay

Posted by AJ Harbison at 3:44 am

The first song on Viva La Vida that I fell in love with–only the second time I listened to the CD, in fact–was “Lost!”, track number three.

The first thing that stands out about this track is the beat, a very strong one with powerful bass and tom hits and handclaps for a snare–a beat more reminiscent of electronic music, perhaps, than rock. I forgot to mention in my post yesterday that I rock out in my car to this CD probably more than any other CD I’ve ever listened to, and this track’s beat is one of the reasons for that.

The second thing that stands out is the use of Coldplay’s signature pipe organ sound; it forms the harmonic base of the song, playing the progression Em – C – Bm – D. The cool thing about that progression, though, is that the Bm and D chords have a G added to them, so they actually become something like a Bm add6 and a D add4:

The added note is a nice detail that gives extra character to a good progression. I like the light “cluster” aspect it gives the D major chord; it seems reminiscent of something Eric Whitacre might do.

I also really like the melody in the song, particularly in the verses. It’s just really catchy, and very singable, and all the lyrics are excellent as well. The melody in the chorus is a good counterpart to the melody of the verses: it’s more expansive and leaves more space, and also switches up the harmonic rhythm with the quicker chord changes on the words “tried to cross.”

Every element on this CD seems pitch-perfect (no musical pun intended), especially in terms of proportion and balance. The form of this song, for example, is perfectly timed and balanced; it doesn’t feel like the chorus is too short, or it goes on too long at the end compared to the length of the rest of the song. The only thing I might even consider complaining about is that the song seems too short because it’s so good–give me another verse, or two, or three, I want to hear more! But that becomes typical of much of this album. Restraint, rather than excess, is the guiding principle. And, of course, that leaves listeners like you and me eager to hear it again and again.

You can listen to the song here, courtesy of iLike.com: click on the play button under the heading “Song Clip.” You can watch a video of Coldplay performing the song live on that page, as well; be forewarned that the video will start playing on its own once the site loads.



  1. Gravatar

    WeaverofSoulsandSong on 10.08.2008

    Wow! I don’t own this album yet and really wasn’t that excited about it when it was released. But I might reconsider.

    I would not have even heard this song without your blog! Thanks its a great read and listen!

  2. Gravatar

    AJ Harbison on 10.08.2008

    Hi Weaver,
    Thanks for stopping by! I would (obviously) recommend buying the CD; but if you keep reading through this week, you’ll get more song clips and a better feel for the album as a whole. Thanks for listening!

    AJ Harbison

Leave a Comment