A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Capitol Records, 2002
REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/21/2005
Every now and then, there comes along a record that sells more on the buzz than on actual quality. Unfortunately, A Rush Of Blood To The Head is one such example.
This was an album that I really wanted to like, All the hype seemed to make it out to be one of the best records of the new millennium. I had not heard Coldplay's first effort Parachutes, and had only been exposed to the brilliant single that was "Clocks." So, the stage was set, the curtain was drawn back and….blah.
In one word, that is
A Rush Of Blood To The Head. Blah. It's neither good nor
bad. It doesn't make me feel anything, but doesn't bore me. This
sucker goes right down the middle, and I suppose that's a testament
of sorts to the album, but that's not a good thing here.
Let's get the good stuff out of the way first. "Clocks" is a tremendous song, that cascading piano riff that gets things going gives me chills every time I hear it. "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" also bucks the general sound of the album, with a decent melody and better than average lyrics. "The Scientist" starts off softly, but builds a slow, burning intensity as the music unfolds. It was moments like these that made me wonder why couldn't Coldplay turn in performances like these throughout the whole album?
Once you hit "Clocks," you've passed the point of no return. Three of the first five songs have been good, so of course you've got to finish the album. Problem is, the remainder of the tunes don't do much. They meander along at a very slow place, with three of the tracks topping off at about five and half minutes. "Green Eyes" is the lone exception; it is short, sweet, and bare. Don't get me wrong, the production on this album sounds good, but the album misses out by not including more songs in the vein of "Green Eyes."
One strike right now, but here comes the second. Lyrically, the words the band sings fit in very well with the mood of the album. Dark and lonely images abound:"Lights go out and I can't be saved / Tides that I tried to swim against / Have brought me down upon my knees." Guess what though -- this isn't the first time someone has used the ocean as a metaphor for the ocean, or a crushing force. Many of the words you hear throughout A Rush Of Blood To The Head you've probably heard many times in many other songs. Again, there are exceptions; "A Rush Of Blood To The Head" echoes the sentiments of albums like Nebraska, and it works. There just aren't enough moments to keep me interested.
I've come down pretty hard on Coldplay, but they do have something that will make me want to listen to future releases; potential. It's there in the music, and it's there in the lyrics and production. If the band can manage to get those three aspects to mesh where they are at the same level of quality, Coldplay can record a kick-ass album. However, they aren't there yet.
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