on 9 October 2002
To tell the truth, before this album, I wasn't a big Coldplay fan. 'Parachutes' was a nice enough album, with some good tracks... Trouble, Shiver, Yellow and Don't Panic... although the others are less memorable.
But this album has completely blown me away! It's pure class. Stand out tracks are The Scientist, Clocks, Daylight and Warning Sign. The others are great too. Politik is a stomping opener and Amsterdam a beautiful last track. In My Place deserved to get to number one, and Green Eyes is a great acoustic track.
This is the album of the year so far (closely followed by Doves and Idlewild). Coldplay have excelled themselves, far surpassing their first album with what will soon become a classic. Well done, lads!
on 8 September 2002
After Parachutes, this album needed to be special. Coldplay started life as glum indie rockers, strumming their way to success with their first album. However, A Rush of Blood to the Head had to be more educated to fulfill the appetite of the bands growing faithful. I don't think anyone knew just how much the boys had grown up. This is truly a work of pure genius. The album opens with Politik, a Pounding like tune that appears to be going nowhere, until it transforms into a glorious finale. In My Place is the supposed lead song of the album, and despite knowing that it is an epic piece of music, it is safe to say that this is not the finest song here. The fourth track, Scientist, is a mind-blowingly powerful track, that builds from the start, and finishs in a fiendishly beautiful manner. The title track is again very powerful, as is the last song, Amsterdam.
This album matches any album in the last ten years, for accessability, quality and ingenuity. It simpley is the finest album of the year, even the Doves' effort does not come close to challenging this. If you like music that is full of guitar, piano and pure emotion right from the start, look no further, but don't listen to it if you have just split with a girlfriend; you won't last five minutes with this ringing gently in your ears. Glorious.
on 20 August 2007
More moving that the former and latter this album gives a much more rounded consistant quality between parachutes guitar and piano driven emotion and X&Y's rockier feel. The reason I rate it so highly is simply, every song on here feels different and the album frequently gives me shivers with its raw emotion.
The album opens up with Politik an arena bound protest song pleeding to the G8 about fair trade. Getting lost in the worldlyness of this song is easy and the lyrics feel so wise and true, shaking you towards the end when Chris pleads for 'love over this' bridging very nicely into In My Place's 'come back to me'.
From here all of the well known singles (God put a smile / the scientist / Clocks / In my Place) are squeezed together to make lesser bands produce a one sided album. Especially with the quality of those 4. While Daylight and Greeneyes feel like lowlights only in comparison to the former and later parts of the album the touching Warning Sign is guarenteed to pull on the heart strings.
The title track itself has a cold and chilling persona as Chris explains calmly and coldly how he would do anything for his lover 'buy a gun, start a war' A brilliantly unique love song, with a killer chorus and riff.
But its the final moments of the album that provide both the most depressing of songs and coldplays greatest moment of redemption. As human kindness pulls a man back from suicide. As gripping as Running to stand still - U2. It ends the album on a totally uplifting feel.
And there you have it, second only to efforts by Pink Floyd and Radiohead, this is one of the best albums i've ever heard.
on 12 February 2003
Yes, It's been said, BETTER than Parachutes. An awsome start, swelling from nothing to the amazing Politik, sliding into the hit single (not their best by any means but...), followed by the almost ditty-like God put a smile. Then, the masterpiece arrives... The Scientist. The single most gorgeous Coldplay song ever, with a simple piano riff to start you off, moving into what becomes a classic tearjerker. Don't listen to this song if you are single through your own fault... You WILL cry. A couple of songs later you hit Green Eyes, with the most gorgeous outro in the entire world..."And I crawl back, into your arms again", again, jilted ones... step away. The AMAZING title track sums up the entire ethos of the album. Quite whimsical, very self satisfying and all in all quite impulsive listening.
Ironicaly, i usedto hate the last song, it always had me reaching for the remote, in order to retstart the cd, but now, Amsterdam has to be the perfect ending to an album, which (hopefully) points to whatever direction they take next. Now if only Radiohead would return to OK Computer Territory as expected..ahh musical bliss
on 3 September 2002
A Rush of Blood to The Head is the first CD I've ever owned that I actually began to wear a bit of the paint off of from repeated playing. Having "found" Coldplay only several months ago, and really enjoying 'Parachutes', it was almost with trepidation that I purchased Rush of Blood. I didn't want to be disappointed. Clearly, not something I needed to have worried about. This sophomore album from Chris and the boys is simply exquisite. And I don't throw around words like "masterpiece" easily.
From the beginning power of Politik ("Give me real; don't give me fake...") to the hauntingly beautiful The Scientist ("Tell me you love me, Come back and haunt me, Oh and I rush to the start.."), this album is pure talent, pure pleasure. Chris Martin doesn't just sing -- he feels. And you'll be right there with him.
Oh yes, and when you find yourself alone in a quiet spot, don't be surprised if the songs begin playing themselves in your head. It's one of those albums. My favorite album in many a year. Favorite tracks: The Scientist, In My Place, God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, and Warning Sign. But they're all amazing.
on 5 November 2002
Parachutes was really something you had to listen to a few times to appreciate. Dogged with a reputation as depressives, due to songs like Don't Panic, Spies and Trouble, there's much more to Coldplay than meets the eye (as anyone who's heard Shiver, Everything's Not Lost and hidden trick Life Is For Living will know). But here, they play the happiness card a bit more than before.
Politik is a song about range, it seems, beginning with a deep sound, moving to the grand, then to the emotional ("Give me love over" etc). In My Place, first single, is the happiest song here, and a great sign that Coldplay are about more than moaning. Similar happy moments appear with Clocks, Warning Sign, Green Eyes and Amsterdam... all relatively calm or acoustic, except Clocks with its relentless piano tune and Warning Sign with its odd effects. The Scientist is simply the most beautiful song I've ever heard - Martin truly sounds like these things have happened to him, and his voice comes across as pure distilled heartbreak. Things like Daylight and Whisper don't appeal to me so much, though there's nothing inherently wrong with them. And one of the album's most overlooked moments, the title song, is an ode to "heat of the moment" negative acts - it's quite harrowing, and quite different to the rest of what's here, much like Travis' Last Train which stood out like an excellent sore thumb amongst the happy-frolic-music repetoire of the Invisible Band.
It would be wrong to say Coldplay were going in any shocking new directions with this second album, but all the emotion of Parachutes is captured with some added effects. The Scientist and Rush of Blood to the Head are indesputable masterpieces, and In My Place is impossible not to love.
Overall, it's an uplifting, often classy sounding album, which is more than a match for Parachutes, even without a Yellow.
on 1 September 2002
I have to admit it - when I first bought the album I thought I'd wasted my money after listening to the first few songs. I loved Parachutes and it's still in my CD player, but this one wasn't what I'd hoped for.
Or so I thought. After a few repeat listens I was hooked. The opening track 'Politik' and single 'In My Place' remind you that Coldplay are well and truly back. But it's the fourth track 'The Scientist', driven by piano and Martin's heartfelt vocals that really opened my ears. The foursome have grown musically and even started to experiment with more piano riffs and harmonies than the previous album, evident in 'God Put a Smile Upon Your Face' and 'Daylight'.
The track list doesn't seem to contain any garbage at all. The acoustic 'Green Eyes' and the wistful 'Warning Sign' carry the album through brilliantly. I still can't belive that I passed these tracks over on the first hearing, they're what make the album so varied.
It's the last track 'Amsterdam' that won me over - just a few chords and a piano riff work so well with Martin's understated, passionate vocals. The band really sign off on a high.
If you liked the guitars on Parachutes but weren't so keen on the pianos, you might like to borrow it first, as the piano takes more of a central stage here. But if you want a great album that does the unthinkable and surpasses the Mercury Prize winning Parachutes, I recommend parting with the cash!!
on 19 September 2006
I have subconsciously been a Coldplay Fan since they released Trouble off Parachutes. I heard the song on the radio and immediately it conjured up Pink Floyd (Meddle era) only problem was that I could not tell people who the Band was as I never got to the end of the song. The song had number 1 written all over it. They dominated Glastonbury and live8 over the next few years that came along. When X & Y came out, I simply went and got all 3 Albums all at the same time.
X & Y sounds more structured, more U2 (better to be compared to U2 than take that), Parachutes is mesmerising, But A rush of blood to the head steals it, only just. Often the best singers are the ones who don't have to try, they have a unique way of sounding natural. The Rest of the Band are equally important, The lead guitar playing often sends me on a beautiful day dream elsewhere (don't know where), The bass playing is stunning and melodic and the drums are simplistic and give time to the rest of the Band, they don't get in the way, merely complement the music. The Piano Playing is somewhat unique and is part of the successful ingredient that is Coldplay.
I don't have a favourite track on the Album, best not to, the music should be listen to as a whole, If they make a Classic Sounds Album, this album needs to be used. You don't listen to the hype, you listen to the music, Coldplay won't like this, but musically then stand up against Early Queen, Bowie and the Who, because the music swirls and is adventurous. They don't need to be only compared to Oasis, Travis and Radiohead (who all, by the way, are talented by their own standards). I have no more to add.
on 25 February 2003
As I write this, Colplay bask in the glory of Brit and Grammy awards, and there has not been a more deserved winner in a long time. With this album Coldplay have stepped up and joined the big boys (the U2 and Radiohead comparisons might not be so far out). The disc starts with the fantastic Politik, that doesn't seem much at first listen but when the outtro hits you'll realise that this is something special. The pace is furious as In My Place hits like a dose of Prozac. The guitar hook is enough to carry any album. If the band thought Yellow was their Magnum Opus then thet should hang their heads, The Scientist is richer, deeper, more intense and everything that Coldplay stand for. There is some filler, A Whisper is a small lull in the action but it only serves to make the title track more stunning. As the chorus explodes from your speakers you almost feel like your feet leave the ground. I first listened to this album a few days after it came out and it still sits in my CD player above all others. The passion of U2, the beauty of Radiohead and the intelligence of R.E.M. are all in evidence but Berryman/Buckland/Champion/Martin have raised the bar to a new level. Stunning
on 25 August 2002
Amidst all the hype of a couple of years ago, a select group (to which I most definitely belonged) remained steadfastly unconvinced by Coldplay. 'Parachutes' seemed to amount to a couple of strangely successful, resoundingly unremarkable singles and little else. Whilst its fans hailed its 'emotional depth' and 'subtle beauty', critics preferred to focus on the fact that, beneath the whiny vocals and overwraught, ambiguous lyrics, there was little of any real substance. That criticism could hardly be levelled at its follow-up. 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' is far more ambitious and, crucially, far more convincing than its predecessor. The dour ballads that have made Coldplay unlikely stars are still here, but they have swelled with genuine feeling and intelligent arrangements. They are also accompanied by some genuinely affecting songwriting that works hard at breaking free from the limitations of guitar based music.
'In My Place' was a pretty safe bet for first single - a powerful ballad complete with a slightly cloying vocal and one of the most naggingly infectious guitar lines to have graced the top ten in recent years. Yet, despite the comfort of familiarity, 'In My Place' demonstrates neatly the newfound vigour and dynamism that this band have acquired. Its an affecting song - but it comes nowhere near to scaling some of the heights found elsewhere here. 'Politik' is the grandiose opener - all thumping drums and striking piano chords, highly reminscent of Blur's early masterpiece 'Sing'. Martin sings 'Give me real, don't give me fake' and sounds like he means it. The structure is detailed and considered, the performance full of conviction. Other highlights include the delightfully melodic 'Clocks', the swooning ballad 'The Scientist' (surely their best candidate for a number one single) and the epic 'Amsterdam'.
There are some moments that disappoint. 'Green Eyes' is a country-tinged ballad betraying their affection for Gram Parsons and Lee Hazlewood. Nothing wrong with that per se, it's just that this sounds more forced than natural. 'Daylight' is an eastern-tinged mantra that is marred by the lack of a melodic focus and the title track is just a little too long. Right now, however, these seem to be minor problems. This is the sound of a band full of confidence, overcoming their limitations and producing a warm and artiulate record full of emotion and intelligence. Instead of merely drawing lines, they are now constructing a complete vision.