Long before Rolling Stone dubbed them the “next Radiohead,” Coldplay had accumulated a vocal, if not devoted, following in Great Britain. As with any band that is crowned the “next big thing,” many music magazines were already hard at work dubbing new, up-and-coming bands the “next Coldplay,” a few short months after the release of their debut album Parachutes. But a funny thing happened on the way to the slagheap — Coldplay responded with a brilliant tour and now, an outstanding answer to the question, “what will they do now?” A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay’s sophomore release, should do away with any notions that this band was a one trick pony.
While the new album (in stores August 27) doesn’t do much to push the band musically, this new album will surely cement their renown for fascinating hooks, toe-tapping melody and intriguing lyrics. At first listen, I found the album thoroughly refined, filled with the same melodic twists and stark vocals that characterized Parachutes.
Right from the start of the banging guitars on the albums first track, “Politik,” Coldplay sets the stage for a sound tour of the many influences that have shaped their sound. Well composed and tight musically, you’ll find yourself playing name that tune, bending your mind and ears to discover the origin of a riff here or a melody there. Personally, I found it refreshing to hear a band pay homage to the musical experiences that have brought them to the attention of the mainstream. Yet, Coldplay does a masterful job of letting their influences inspire without letting those influences overshadow the original intent of each song.
The British quartet (Vocalist/pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jon Buckland, drummer Will Champion, and bassist Guy Berryman), have played their respective instruments since their early teens and it is readily apparent on this album. The dedication to their respective instruments borders on a passionate affair, fraught with the same tenderness and angry emotions shared by all great musicians. While I can’t say that I was a fan of the band, I can honestly say that the new album has at least introduced me to a band whose future is clearly one of expectation. If Parachutes was Coldplay’s inauguration into the world of Brit Pop, A Rush of Blood to the Head, easily secures the band a second term as Britain’s freshest export.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
2. In My Place
4. The Scientist
7. Green Eyes
8. Warning Sign
9. A Whisper
10. A Rush of Blood to the Head
11. Amsterdam Powered by Sidelines