‘Umbrella’ Watch 2008: Is Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ the Song of the Summer?


From now until something displaces last year's "Umbrella" from the top of our iTunes most-played list, Vulture will be judging the contenders for this year's Song of the Summer.

Were the universe governed by logic and reason, the title track from Coldplay's just-leaked fourth album wouldn't stand a chance of being this year's big summer hit. It's catchy, sure, but there are barely any drums, meaning it's hard to dance to, and its lyrics are about a rich world leader being reduced to a street sweeper (or some such nonsense), making it an awkward fit on a beach-party playlist. Also, as Idolator points out today, it's a no-show on Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay chart, mostly because radio stations are still pushing the album's first, equally dour single "Violet Hill." Obviously none of this matters, though, because it's in an Apple commercial, which — since the record labels can no longer afford payola — is probably the last remaining surefire way to turn a gloomy half-ballad by a bunch of self-important British miserabilists into a chart hit. Predictably, it's currently the most-downloaded track on iTunes, at least until commercials for the new iPhone arrive next week.