Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
Record Label: Capital / EMI
Release Date: August 26, 2002
Deciding that merely one Coldplay review was not enough, I came to the conclusion that I should probably do all three, but I'll have to do it in reverse chronological order, because I started with X&Y. A Rush of Blood to the Head is Coldplay's second album, released in 2002. Riding on the back of 2000's Parachutes and especially "Yellow", this was Coldplay's chance to blow away any opposition and to cement their position as Britain's best and most popular indie band. As you may well know, Coldplay achieved this, and moved themselves to do a whole lot more besides.
Opening track "Politik" is a strong album opener and probably the right one to choose to start off the record. But what it excels at is climaxing perfectly into the sheer brilliance to follow. "In My Place" is a heartfelt song of sorrow and misery which Chris Martin and co. channel superbly into that somewhat depressing, vibrant tone that is Coldplay's trademark. The music complements the soothing, emotional vocals which made this song an obvious choice for a single release, and a big one at that. "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" is an altogether different song; lyrically Martin sounds much more in control of what he is delivering, stating his case in a happily proverbial style.
"The Scientist" and "Clocks" represent another type of mood, both portraying Martin's reminiscence of past times; times of regret, betrayal and hurt. All of the latter four songs were successful single releases in the UK, and it's no coincidence this was the case.
That in no way should be read as a statement of disappointment in the remaining six tracks, however. "Daylight" is a far more upbeat, anthemic song which possesses a repeated motto: "slowly breaking through the daylight" is the infrastructure upon which the other parts of the song work around, to create a much more controlled, solid effort, rather than the breezy, depressing sound usually known.
"Warning Sign" is similar to this, with more emphasis on musical aspects, rather than Martin's excellent vocal abilities. The last two tracks, the title track and finale "Amsterdam" are sorrowful, emotive songs which make a moving exit for this album, one key addition to any music collection.
In hindsight, this is a major achievement for Coldplay at this stage of their career. It could still be bettered (see X&Y) but for only a sophomore album, A Rush of Blood to the Head is an astounding creation. It has a variety of musical styles in only 11 tracks, and not once is there a track which I would skip over. All four singles also excel, and I would easily rank this album within my top twenty of all time.