"This album was fuelled by a desire to move from black and white into colour," says Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. "Or, if you like, we decided to let our garden grow a little more unkempt. The bloodhound was let off its leash." However you might describe it, there's no mistaking the artistic leap which 'Viva La Vida’ represents for the four friends collectively known as Coldplay. "I think it's our boldest and most confident record," says bassist Guy Berryman. "We were much more open to new ideas and influences and much less afraid to experiment." "It can be easy to stop yourself from trying things because you're scared of what people might say," adds Martin, "but we forced ourselves not to do that." The result is a record where groovesome programmed beats jostle with grand swells of church organ ('Lost!'), where the space between verse and chorus is filled with deliciously propulsive stabs of North African-styled strings and tablas ('Yes'), where breezy Flamenco handclaps drive a tale of gloom and despair ('Cemeteries Of London'), or where four-to-the-floor rhythms meld with weeping strings for an ode to lost glories ('Viva La Vida'). It sounds like Coldplay, only different. "The starting point for this album was listening to an amazing old Blur song called 'Sing (To Me)' while we were on the road with 'X&Y'," says Martin, referring to a pounding, hypnotic track from Blur's first album. "I remember hearing it and thinking, 'OK, we need to get better as a band'." The first song for Coldplay's new album was written the very next day. "We've definitely stretched ourselves," says guitarist Jonny Buckland. But those sonic stretches didn't come at the expense of the diamond-tipped melodies which have helped make Coldplay one of the world's favourite bands since they released their debut album, 'Parachutes', in 2000. 'Viva…' might find Coldplay in experimental mood, but its 10 songs still burst with big, life-affirming hooks and choruses. "I hope so," says Buckland, "We've never been ashamed of tunes and we never will be." "We're still obsessed with making songs that can be sung to the rafters," agrees Martin. "We just wanted to present them differently."