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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
A Rush of Blood to the Head
Capitol Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Earnest without ever being overly solemn, Coldplay smack of a tailor-made stardom on their sophomore album, the perfect blend of Travis, Oasis and Eric Clapton to get the UK music press all wrapped up in fits of giddiness once again. The four straight-laced lads who met up at the University College of London return on the heels of the touted commercial success of their debut Parachutes which saw them rocket from talent search competitions to international stardom in a couple of years, stopping only long enough to release a handful of rare EPs along the way.

The hum-able warmth of Coldplay's break-out smash "Yellow" was a hard track to deny, even more so after inspiring the pee-colored promotional campaign of ABC television in the US last fall, and that innocuousness is back with this album. A Rush Of Blood to the Head is what one might expect on the surface- the somber, rain-drenched Brit-rock wavering back and forth between mopey tracks like "Warning Sign" and the optimistic club vibe of the track "Daylight". Not a carbon copy of its predecessor, A Rush Of Blood to the Head is more expansive and finds the quartet making a concerted effort to distil their own sound from the sour mash of on-the-sleeve influences that colored Parachutes. Not that the successful formula of their debut has been completely abandoned; one need look no further than "Green Eyes" to fine the clear lineage in the relationship-woe lyrics and overt, sticky melodicism.

As displayed on Parachutes, vocalist Chris Martin possesses a strong set of pipes and his introspective lyrics are rarely delivered out of the appropriate key, panning out on so many lush romances punctuated by bittersweet goodbyes, as exemplified the piano-laced swell of A Rush Of Blood to the Head's standout track, "The Scientist".

With Jon Buckland's gripping guitar work and Chris Martin's candied vocal delivery, Coldplay have a one-two punch that could be hard to keep down in the arena of commercial success. As an album that's initially inaccessible, but without sacrificing the staying power that the more developed songs produce, A Rush Of Blood to the Head is the top slice of sandwich bread to Parachutes' bottom slice. Both are filling and substantial, but a little dry on their own. Hopefully, having not completely bombed on their often-jinxed sophomore follow-up, Coldplay will find the meat and sauce to go in the middle with their third album.

Reviewed by Monique LeBreau

See other reviews by Monique LeBreau



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