Review: Jack Foley
COLDPLAY'S path to supergroup status has been the stuff of dreams.
Only a few years ago, this group of four former University of
London students - who apparently shared a passion for Bob Dylan
and the Stone Roses - decided to form a band.
By the end of 2000 - and thanks to the stunning debut album, Parachutes,
and the equally sublime singles, Yellow and Trouble - Coldplay
were everyone's favourite new band. And their appeal wasn't even
constrained to England; as the brick road paved by Yellow, of
sorts, helped make a name for them in the States as well.
So the pressure really was on, then, to follow up Parachutes with
their second album, wasn't it? You wouldn't think so, from listening
to A Rush Of Blood To The Head - an album that is every bit as
accomplished, if not better, than their acclaimed debut.
A Rush Of Blood proves that Coldplay are no one-album wonders,
and, better still, that they are capable of progression. If Parachutes
was a soulful, moody (some say downbeat) collection of heartfelt
love songs, A Rush Of Blood is far more energetic and upbeat,
while remaining unmistakably Coldplay.
As breathtakingly simple as it is beautifully written, A Rush
of Blood is the sound of a band at the height of its confidence.
These are a nice bunch of guys and this honesty and integrity
shines through their songwriting, so that when Chris Martin sings
'God put a smile upon your face', you are certain to react with
A Rush Of Blood isn't just a good listen, it is an uplifting,
thought-provoking, dreamy journey through music heaven; one which
could well be the album of the year, as well as one of the greats
Starting with the powerful Politik, which combines the
aggressive drum beat of The Doves' Pounding with Martin's
familiar lyrical style, the album then follows on with the sublime
first single, In My Place - a track which still sounds
as fresh and exciting as when we first heard it, thanks in no
small part to that terrific, three chord guitar rift which renders
it so effective.
From here on in, things continue to get better. In fact, dare
I say, there is not a bad moment. Nothing here really sounds like
a filler; and every single track could be a single.
Piano-led ballads such as The Scientist and Clocks
are shiver-inducingly good, the type of which you will never want
to listen. Clocks, in particular, is a continually rewarding
listen, getting progressively better as it moves on, and bringing
out the full range of Martin's sweeping vocals. Yet, again, it
is a simple pleasure.
Daylight trades the piano keys for a meatier guitar rift,
which is every bit as distinctive as the one used on In My
Place, while the acoustic Green Eyes is the closest
the band gets to anything on Parachutes.
Warning Sign, meanwhile, is a guitar-based epic which positively
sparkles with angst-ridden intensity, featuring great loops, luscious
background instruments and a truly heart-rending chorus. One can
only imagine how great it will sound live.
And title track, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, is another
slow-building epic - one which begins like several of the tracks
on Parachutes but which builds to a mesmerising chorus (with hints
of the brilliance of Yellow).
This is the type of album that people will be raving about for
years; if you don't already own it, then join the rush now. Martin
may lament that his star is fading in final track, Amsterdam,
but for Coldplay, the dream continues....
2. In My Place
3. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
4. The Scientist
7. Green Eyes
8. Warning Sign
9. A Whisper
10. A Rush of Blood To The Head