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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Coldplay -- A Rush of Blood to the Head


Are you ready for the Chris Martin Piano Recital?  I mean, are you ready for Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head?
In late 2002, KLSU's "Request Show" followed my own radio program.  The guys who ran that show had great tastes in music and turned me onto a number of great acts, including Sigur Ros. There were some bands they tried to turn me onto that weren't quite sticking, though.  One of those was Coldplay, but after a certain amount of their badgering, I broke down and picked up Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head on January 26th, 2003 during the halftime of Super Bowl XXXVII (What a lousy Super Bowl!) and before that night's post-Super Bowl Alias episode (What a sweet episode of Alias!).  I wasn't impressed with A Rush of Blood to the Head, even when, that same night, Alias was followed by a Coldplay performance on the debut episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live.  That was almost ten years ago. What do I think now?
I'm still not very impressed with A Rush of Blood to the Head, but it is certainly better than Coldplay's debut.  The main problem with this album is highlighted in the first sentence of this review (Excuse me, I didn't mean to rhyme, give me a break, it's not a crime).  A Rush of Blood to the Head features a whole lot of Chris Martin sitting at his piano singing with not much else happening.  When the rest of the band comes in, their performances are pretty rote. It's like Coldplay thought "what is the safest thing we could do right here?" for almost every moment of the album. However, when Coldplay are all hitting together, things sound pretty good. This album's singles are easily its strong-point.  Unfortunately, these are tracks two through five, and after them are six indistinguishable tracks.  At fifty-five minutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head is far too much of the same.
But again...those singles.
"In My Place" sounds like a classic from the first ten seconds.  "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" is about as naughty as Coldplay can sound. "The Scientist" is unfortunately one of those Chris Martin piano recital songs, but if it was the only one, it would be a standout. "Clocks" is in your head right now.

While A Rush of Blood to the Head isn't great (think I've made that opinion clear by now), it actually shows some signs of greatness. If Coldplay could drop the Chris Martin piano confessionals and draggy moments, they might be on to something.

2002 Capitol
1 Politik 5:18
2 In My Place 3:48
3 God Put a Smile Upon Your Face 4:57
4 The Scientist 5:09
5 Clocks 5:07
6 Daylight 5:27
7 Green Eyes 3:43
8 Warning Sign 5:31
9 A Whisper 3:58
10 A Rush of Blood to the Head 5:51
11 Amsterdam 5:19

1 comment:

Ashleigh said...

"Clocks" was in my head the moment I read the word "Coldplay". It always is, and I hate it.