Coldplay: Chris Martin (vocals, piano); Jonny Buckland (guitar); Guy Berryman (bass guitar); Will Champion (drums).
Additional personnel: Matt McGinn (guitar); Brian Eno (synthesizer).
Recording information: 2005.
Although Coldplay was already big before A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD's 2002 release, nothing could have prepared the British band for the album's Grammy-garnering runaway success. In addition to becoming a full-blown rock star, frontman Chris Martin remained in the media spotlight through his marriage to actress Gwyneth Paltrow and the subsequent birth of the couple's child. What followed for Coldplay was, reportedly, a difficult and lengthy recording process where the group tinkered extensively with their signature sound and eventually arrived back at square one.
"Square One" is, in fact, where X&Y, the band's third album, begins, with a subtle, dreamy keyboard line giving way to a barrage of razor-sharp guitar riffs and Martin's plaintive vocals. In keeping with RUSH's overall theme, the songs of X&Y aren't simply catchy singles so much as engaging and meticulously crafted tracks that fit seamlessly together. Many of the record's songs clock in around the five-minute mark, revealing that the quartet feels no obligation to create short, snappy hits; instead they take their time establishing a resonant, anthemic atmosphere, most notably on the slowly building "Fix You." It's clear on X&Y that nothing about Coldplay needed to be fixed, since this album serves as a potent reminder of the band's charms and talents.
What the critics say…
Spin (pp.99-100) - "By ratcheting up their guitars and still singing about everyday themes, Coldplay are recasting their nerdy-student Britpop as Important Rock Music without sacrificing the homespun vibe…" - Grade: B+
Uncut (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Coldplay's third album finds this remarkable band cruising into their prime…X&Y is an exceptional pop record."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.63) - Ranked #37 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[N]o contemporary group builds a crescendo more masterfully…"
- Square One
- What If
- White Shadows
- Fix You
- Speed Of Sound
- Message, A
- Hardest Part, The
- Swallowed In The Sea
- Twisted Logic
- Til Kingdom Come - (hidden track)