Coldplay
X & Y


3.0
good

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
June 6th, 2005 | 203 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


When Coldplay released their first album, "Parachutes" and their first single, "Yellow", no one would have ever thought that they would rise to the status they have now, even with the mass success of "Yellow". But in 2002, they released "A Rush Of Blood To The Head" and with singles like "In My Place" and "Clocks", they became one of the biggest bands on the planet. Adding just as much to their stardom, Chris Martin started dating the movie star Gwyneth Paltrow and eventually married her. Now he is as big a star as can be and has a child called Apple. In some respects, Martin is still the same person. He still promotes the Make Trade Fair campaign. He still dresses like your average next door neighbor. He still tries to look like Thom Yorke in photo shoots. The release of X&Y, however has highlighted a new part of Martin's personality.

Coldplay:

Chris Martin - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Jonny Buckland - Guitar
Will Champion - Drums
Guy Berryman - Bass

Coldplay released the unimpressive single "Speed of Sound" to kick off X&Y. Sounding like a reworked version of "Clocks" (from "A Rush of Blood To The Head"), some fans were dissapointed, the mainstream fans loved it and the rest of us waited for something better from the release of the album. Coldplay essentially had two options with the release of X&Y. They could make a record that would top the charts and was full of (probably) uninspired pop songs. Or they could go "OK Computer" and use their credibility to experiment with their sounds more. After hearing "Speed of Sound", most people knew which option Coldplay had decided to take. Sure, they do try to fool you by adding beeps at the start of the first track, by having Tetris looking artwork and by nicking a Kraftwerk riff, but this is as mainstream as Coldplay has ever been. When a band has released two good albums, it's hard to believe that this is the best they could come up with in three years. Full of such terrible lines as "My song is love" and cliches such as "When you get what you want but not what you need", X&Y is both predictable and a major step back for the band. Being the band that they were, Coldplay essentially had to reinvent themselves to make a good record. It seems like they have tried to do that, but then abandoned the idea halfway through the process. Chris Martin is still sad but this time it's really hard to believe. He's just been married and had a daughter, not to mention his last album sold 11 million copies.

Of course the album isn't all bad. There are some good moments that are definitely worth hearing. The first is track 4, "Fix You". It boasts an anthemic section similar to the end part of "Politik" from the last album. "Twisted Logic", while blatantly ripping off Radiohead progresses nicely to the end. It really is a shame to see what Chris Martin has turned into. He used to be a nice well spoken gentleman from that nice little English band. Now he's just not that anymore. His attempt to simultainously be Thom Yorke and Bono just don't work. His personal life is common knowledge, and however little they do know about him, the general public feel as if they know Chris as their next door neighbor. He cannot be Thom Yorke, because no one sees him as misunderstood. He can't be Bono because all he does is write some charity website on his hand at concerts. So we are left with someone who is not really Chris and an album which is not an accurate reflection of who he is.

The biggest problem with X&y is the lack of passion and the fact that it just doesn't seem like a real album from the guys who wrote "Yellow". Instead, we are faced with something totally different and far insuperior. Listeners who can make it all the way to the end are rewarded. Possibly the album's best song, "'Til Kingdom Come" seems like a last minute effort. It has not much besides an acoustic guitar, Chris' voice and some light organs. In the song, we finally hear Chris sounding as humble he has been for years, and if X&Y is anything to judge from, as humble as we are likely to hear him for quite a while. The issue of X&Y being bad really isn't the problem. The real problem is that it's just not very good. It becomes very hard to believe that with 50 songs and 3 years, this is the best they could give us. Maybe they are trying too hard. Maybe the fame has gone to their heads. Whatever the case, this does not feel like a true representation of the band or of Chris Martin. Maybe next time they can pull out an OK Computer or a Joshua Tree. The biggest difference between Radiohead and Coldplay lies in their attitudes. While they don't seem to want to say it, Radiohead, like Coldplay do care what people think about them. The difference is that Radiohead still do what they want with their music and people love them anyway. It's hard to invision 11 million people buying this album and being satisfied with it.

Pros

- Has a few of the best Coldplay tunes yet
- Interesting use of a Kraftwerk riff (They use the riff from "Computer Love" on the song "Talk")
- Chris' falsettos are quite lovely

Cons

- Boring and uninspired
- Some really godawful lyrics
- This is the best they could come up with in 3 years?

Reccomended Tracks

Fix You
A Message
'Til Kingdom Come

FINAL RATING: 3/5



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user ratings (1832)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Innervisions26 (3)
X & Y is like a puzzle in that it's complex and requires patience to put the pieces together....

ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin (2)
The weakest in their discography to date due to generic instrumental work...

Adam Downer STAFF (3.5)
...

kevbud187 (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Little Man being Erased
June 6th 2005


87 Comments


That's about what I would have expected from X&Y. Definitely not gonna bother with this one.

Med57
Moderator
June 6th 2005


1001 Comments


You beat me you terrible Australian you!

*deletes* :evil:

Seriously though, good review. This is basically exactly what I was going to say about the album, which, as far as I'm concerned, is the worst thing they've ever released. It sounds to me overproduced, as if they've lost what it was that made them good...emotion, basically. In trying to be U2 they've thrown away what made them as good as they were, and that's just a real shame. It's been shockingly overhyped over here as well.

morrissey
Moderator
June 6th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yep, I was afraid of this. "Speed of Sound" was a really disappointing single, and it still hasn't grown on me in the past month. I'll probably still buy this when it comes out on Tuesday, because despite all their blandness, something about their songs just works for me.

Very nice review.This Message Edited On 06.06.05

libertine2020
June 6th 2005


21 Comments


Well I've heard about 5 songs from this and liked them all. I'll definitely pick it up. I don't know, sometimes I just like listening to "uninspired pop songs".

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 7th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[QUOTE=Med57]Seriously though, good review. This is basically exactly what I was going to say about the album, which, as far as I'm concerned, is the worst thing they've ever released. It sounds to me overproduced, as if they've lost what it was that made them good...emotion, basically. In trying to be U2 they've thrown away what made them as good as they were, and that's just a real shame. It's been shockingly overhyped over here as well.[/QUOTE]

I just read the Rolling Stone review of it. It agrees with us, almost exactly.

Grr, this album was exactly how I thought it would be. Maybe they can pull something good out in the future. I'm going to try to find some B Sides though, considering they wrote 50 songs, it's impossible to believe that these are the best.

Med57
Moderator
June 7th 2005


1001 Comments


I haven't seen the Rolling Stone one...I know Q gave it 5 stars (literally, they do that about twice a year or something), and NME gave it 9/10. :-/

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 7th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

RS gave it 3 stars. As Tangy said, no doubt this album will be heralded as the best rock album since OK Computer.

The Ashtray Girl
June 7th 2005


108 Comments


Hmm, I really liked everything I've heard of here so far, I'm picking it up at the weekend, and I hope I like it more than you and Med. =/

clearvision
June 7th 2005


36 Comments


I wrote a massive page on this but decided not to post.

I basically explained that coldplay have tried progressing much like radiohead, but instead of changing the sound a bieng very fresh with each release like radiohead, they have become boring and generic. Parachutes was a great album, ROBTTH was middle ground and this, this is just plain average.

There are a few good tracks, talk is nice, A message is cool and white shadows is catchy. Coldplay are a band with massive potential, shown on some select songs and on a load of songs off parachutes, but to me they just seem to waste it.

This album will no doubt be loved by NME and the rest of the mainstream world, but to me this is pretty boring, I'll probably use it to relax and sleep to.

***

mx
Moderator
June 7th 2005


733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Although this album is certainly not as good as A Rush of Blood to the Head, it is not mediocre, and the middle part of the album has some outstanding tracks that are definitely worth a listen. Particularly "Fix You" and "Talk." I also think that you should focus less on Chris Martin in your review... he's not the whole band after all, and this isn't a celeb site.



mx
Moderator
June 7th 2005


733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not to accuse you of anything, but this is remarkably similar to the RollingStone review. Did you read that beforehand, or is it just coincidence?

clearvision
June 7th 2005


36 Comments


He says in his second post, that he just read the RS review and it agrees almost entireley.

And why the hell do i get logged out every time i leave sputnik :confused: it doesn't happen on the forums...

Sok98
June 7th 2005


36 Comments


I really like this album... it doesnt seem uninspired to me. The only problem is comparing the three albums because this truly is the worst coldplay has released. Oh well.

Mambuto_O'Mally
June 7th 2005


33 Comments


What the in hell is the Kraftwerk riff? Other than that good review mate!

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 7th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They use the riff from "Computer Love" by Kraftwerk in the song "Talk".

[QUOTE=mx]Although this album is certainly not as good as A Rush of Blood to the Head, it is not mediocre, and the middle part of the album has some outstanding tracks that are definitely worth a listen. Particularly "Fix You" and "Talk." I also think that you should focus less on Chris Martin in your review... he's not the whole band after all, and this isn't a celeb site.
[/QUOTE]
I think it's mediocore. 2-4 good songs do not make an album. I'm pretty sure one of the good songs is a Johnny Cash cover too. "Talk" is alright, slightly better than a song like "Daylight", the worst song on "A Rush of Blood".This Message Edited On 06.07.05

TheBeatnik
June 7th 2005


1 Comments


Thank you! I've been saying the exact same things. This is not the same band who wrote "Yellow" and "Shiver". I hope they can do better with the next one because they hold a place in my musical heart.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 7th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^^
Agreed


To mx (continued): I focused on Chris because he like like 1/2 to 2/3 of the band. He's the main songwriter. In my opinion, the reason for the averageness of this record is the fact that Chris changed so much on becoming a star. I didn't mention him that much and when I did, it was all relevant to the album. The rest of the music on the album isn't much of a focus either, besides the odd guitar riff and one or two cool drum beats.


Masakik
June 7th 2005


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've been reading a lot of reactions on this board, from people who have been comparing X & Y to Parachutes and complaining that it doesn't stack up. Many consider Parachhutes superior. Some believe AROBTTH is superior as well. Many people seem to be disappointed. I, on the other hand, really love this new album. I must qualify this by saying that I am a huge Radiohead fan. What do I mean by this?

Coldplay are following a similar trajectory that Radiohead followed in their early career.
Rest of the GOOD review here.
http://forum.coldplaying.com/viewtopic.php?t=17590


br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 7th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What are you talking about? Radiohead released one mediocore album, their first and then released 3 masterpieces. Coldplay released a great album, a less great album (though it had some of their best songs ever) and now this. A boring and average record.

I just read that link you posted and I don't agree at all. I've listened to this album close to 10 times now. I like it more than the first few times, but the fact that the songs have grown on me doesn't make them any better, it just means I like them more.This Message Edited On 06.07.05

Masakik
June 7th 2005


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Meh, everyone can have an opinion thats whats great about music.



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