Review Summary: A fantastic piano-pop album that proves that Coldplay is more than your average radio-rock band.
Coldplay is probably one of the most unfairly maligned bands in the music scene today. Called boring Radiohead rip-off’s by many in the general music community, the band is, barring a brief respite after Viva La Vida’s release, generally very belittled. This is quite unfortunate, because this, their 2002 breakthrough “A Rush of Blood to the Head”, is pretty brilliant.
The thunderous piano onslaught of opener “Politik” should be enough to dispel most “boring” comments from listeners. And the stadium ready pop brilliance of second track “In My Place” should once again hammer home the point with it’s shimmering guitars, a pounding beat, and a soaring melody.
From here the band continues to expound on their familiar piano-pop formula, creating some fantastic songs along the way. Hit single “Clocks” is a prime example of this, with its winding melody and ethereal atmosphere creating an instantly memorable hook. “The Scientist”, one of the albums highlights, takes things a little slower, starting with a simple little piano line that builds up as the song progresses.
Another highlight is the guitar driven “God Put a Smile upon Your Face”, which starts with a rather offbeat riff and rockets into a strange chorus that features one of the bands most interesting melodies. “A Whisper” is also fantastic, with a clattering riff and shaky drum beat and some great vocals from Chris.
Unfortunately, the albums middle section is somewhat weak. “Daylight” and “Green Eyes” are rather uninteresting, and though both have their moments, they fail to live up to the promise of the albums excellent first 5 tracks. The ending picks up nicely, though, with the downtrodden title track, and the exuberant build-up of the epic, piano-led “Amsterdam”. Overall, though, Coldplay hit it out of the park far more then they miss, and there are no tracks here that I can really say that I hate.
I would also like to take a chance to give credit to the excellent production. While it’s certainly not the rawest that I have heard, it is, for a mainstream rock release, fairly dynamic. You can really here the building of volume in songs like “Amsterdam” and “Politik”, and there are some nice moments when the instruments begin to drown out Chris Martins voice, which gives everything a nice sense of intensity. There is some great layering here as well, particularly on “A Whisper”, and overall the album just generates a good sense of atmosphere.
So, overall, A Rush of Blood to the Head is a fantastic album that finds Coldplay laying down some of their best songs, and creating some future classics in the form of “The Scientist” and “Clocks”. It’s a great rock album, a great pop album, and it is certainly far from boring.
“In My Place”
“God Put a Smile upon Your Face”