Coldplay: A Rush Of Blood To The Head

Coldplay: A Rush Of Blood To The Head

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Coldplay

Album: A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Label: Capitol

Coldplay's initial full-length entry in the crowded Britpop sweepstakes was in many ways unassuming, as the band got lumped in with Travis and other acts that favored pretty pop over the leering swagger and bombast of their peers. But Parachutes quickly asserted itself as an endlessly ingratiating keeper, its remarkable consistency overshadowed only by the presence of 2000's best single, the irresistible and inescapable "Yellow." A Rush Of Blood To The Head doesn't retrace that moment of perfection, but it does pile on the goodwill, firmly establishing Coldplay as perhaps the world's most listenable band. That may sound like faint praise–inoffensiveness being both a blessing and a curse–but it isn't. Like Travis' pale The Invisible Band, A Rush Of Blood seems to keep its tone and tempo fairly constant, but the similarities end there. Dressed up in subtle strings and pianos, and given time to slowly breathe and develop beyond simple pop, A Rush Of Blood's 11 graceful tracks sparkle and swirl, occasionally escalating into a booming crescendo before dissolving back into delicacy. The hooky heir apparent to "Yellow," the winning single "In My Place," generates the fondest immediate impression, but each successive listen illuminates yet another warm, brooding winner, with early rewards generated by the swooning likes of "The Scientist," "Clocks," and "Warning Sign." Considering Coldplay's status as the world's most listenable band, it's hardly a chore to troll for A Rush Of Blood's countless hidden gems.