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Coldplay: “Violet Hill”

On Tuesday, mood-meisters extraordinaire Coldplay released the first rocking single, “Violet Hill”, from their upcoming album “Viva La Vida”. But the big news isn’t the song itself — which is awesome! — but the fact that it is available for one week only for FREE on the band’s website! Yeah, you heard me…free.

Even non-fans of the band will have a hard time resisting the simple beauty that is “Violet Hill”. Perhaps as a reaction to criticism that their sound was becoming stale — especially in light of the flood of like-sounding imitators they have spawned over the years — the band has really changed up their sound this time.

Not only is Chris Martin’s usually smooth, melodic voice a bit raspier than usual, but the song itself is infused with a lush, orchestral vibe that will leave you a little bit breathless. Seriously, it’s kind of hypnotic…

And did I mention it’s totally free? Apparently borrowing a page from fellow UK mood-meisters, Radiohead, Coldplay is offering the single as a free download for one week only. And whether the free song is a callous marketing gimmick, or a heartfelt thank-you to their die hard fans hardly seems to matter as the single was downloaded a whopping 600,000 times in the first day alone.

And the free download is just the beginning as Coldplay has also announced plans to stage two free shows for fans in New York and London in June. Cool, huh?

So, until Chris Martin and company announce plans to put on a free show in Los Angeles, I guess I’ll have to take solace in my free MP3. To download the song for yourself, check out the band’s website at: coldplay.com, and remember to act now as the song is only free until May 6th.

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