Chris Martin ~ Vocals and Piano
John Buckland ~ Guitar
Will Champion ~ Percussion
Guy Berryman ~ Bass
Coldplay is one of the best live acts out of Britain and in the studio they pack a powerful punch as songwriters. X&Y is their long anticipated release featuring the hit single "speed of sound". Although this is not the best song on the album I'd say it is one of the better. The whole album is broken into two parts "X" and "Y". (The album also features a bonus track represented as + on the album but really is the song "'Til Kingdom Come" originally written by the late Johnny Cash. Further the song was never used on any of Cash's records because he passed away before taking the opportunity to do so. I believe that the song is also used during the credits of the movie "Bobby Long Love Song".) X is filled with unanswered questions and childlike pondering, whereas Y is more of a sorrowful explanation and lamented reality of the truth. Upon looking at the cover you wonder what the meaning is, but while examining the booklet you discover that the symbol represent none else than 'X&Y'. The whole album is a fine display of songwriting skills and impressive vocals as well as impressive instrumentals.
Onwards to the review!
(X1)Square One ~ Unconventional uses of instruments have almost become their signature and are expressed heavily in this song. The song is a beautiful introduction to the entire album and has a certain amount of truth to it. The last verse is defiantly the best part of the song and the acoustics are a perfect fit to the lyrics.
(X2)What If" ~ A great message and a song that some people may be able to relate to. The piano is masterfully transformed into the chorus section. The writing on this whole song is impeccable and the themes are conveyed very well. The bass is a perfect fit when countermeloding the piano and guitar chords. Hits of a string section shine through following the very legato instrumentals in this song.
(X3)White Shadows ~ One of the trippier songs on the album. The guitar bass combo on the intro is very intricate. The verse setup and backing is very well structure and backing vocals are awesome. The pre-chorus and chorus are a fine display of vocal ability. The final verse of the song is probably the most awesome lyrics in Coldplay history.
(X4)Fix You ~ The song is led into by the end of the last track with awesome organ-like keyboards. The first intro verse rings good truth to it, but as the second intro comes in the pipe organ chords are pleasant and very cool to listen to. The lyrics on the second verse are better than most that I have heard from Coldplay in the past. When the piano comes in the song takes a turn for the better. The three sets of keys work well together but then soft strumming comes in completing a great set of instrumentals that continue to be accented by wonderful lyrics. Most of the keys drop off about now and are replaced with electric guitar and percussion. Harmonizing of voices makes the song even better as the song comes to a close. Finished with Chris Martin and piano making for a beautiful song.
(X5)Talk ~ Guitar takes the intro twice with reverb then twice without. The guitar rings clearly making for a great set of instruments. The chorus is probably the best part of the song other than that the song is rather boring.
(X6)X&Y ~ The verses are quite good lyrically and so are the strings. Slower drums are a change to the fast paced beats the usually showcase. The song made me become very nostalgic of some old Pink Floyd records that I haven't dusted off in a while.
(Y1)Speed of Sound ~ The piano intro is simple yet so very cool. The lyrics on this whole 'Y Side' are not customary of traditional Coldplay. They are like queen in the sense that every song sounds like it was written by a different person, but that was probably because they sampled so many artist to make their unique sound. The chorus is definitely catchy and probably the best display of lyrics on the Y Side of this album. From 3:50 the whole feel song is much more incredible than before than point.
(Y2)A Message ~ The best acoustic song, next to "Til Kingdom Come", in my humble opinion, on the whole album. "Your Heavy Heart is made of Stone" is a beautiful metaphor. The soft spoken lyrics take a subtle change during the chorus and the vocal styling is much different than anything else I've heard. The electric guitar that is faded across the whole balance knob gives you the feeling that you are spinning around. The song is ended very nicely.
(Y3)Low ~ Oddly enough Chris Martin uses his lower register for this song. The lyrics are just above average for me. A 2:00 a strange instrument comes in that disturbed me when I first heard the song. The song really didn't do that much for me actually.
(Y4)The Hardest Part ~ Some vocal exercises must have been used before singing this because it is an excellent display of his abilities. I don't know about the rest of you, but for me this was one of the harder parts of the album to listen to. The songwriting ability was not at its peak for this song that is for sure.
(Y5)Swallowed in the Sea ~ The lyrics on this song made me wonder if they were smoking crack while writing this song. The best lyrics are when he talks about "writing a song 1000 miles long”, but for gods sake please make it sound nothing like this song.
(Y6)Twisted Logic ~ I think Yoko Ono produced and wrote this one because I'd rather put my penis in a meat grinder than listen to that. I guess this whole album just went down hill from A Message. The only twisted logic is the fact that I'm required to listen to the entire album before reviewing it. And what’s up with the 30 seconds of silence at the end, like I'm gonna wait around to listen to that at a concert before cheering.
(+)Til Kingdom Come ~ I think Coldplay has done this song its fair amount of justice. The lyrics and guitar playing are very Johnny Cash. The progression is something I might actually hear from him. The piano chords accent the guitar strumming and then a second guitar comes into make the song a little more interesting. “I don't know where I'm going, I done know where I've come" that is possibly the greatest lyric ever recorded by Chris Martin. The second verse makes nonsense, but is made up for by an awesome chorus.
In conclusion, this was a good album, but not as consistant as A Rush of Blood to the Head. The themes of the whole album were scattered and almost unimportant. The instrumentals were suprisingly different than most mainstreem "rock" bands that are big today. Vocals were very awesome, but the second half of the Y Side would have been masacred on S&L over in the forums and they really sound mediocre. Overall I think they just became tired and sort of dropped off towards the end, but it still was an average to excellent album.