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    Parachutes 8 ( 2000 )
    Don't Panic / Shiver / Spies / Sparks / Yellow / Trouble / Parachutes / High Speed / We Never Change / Everything's Not Lost

    "bones sinking like stones....we live in a beautiful world." My thoughts regarding Coldplay when I first acquired this album was that it was an impossibly accomplished set for a debut. Rather akin to U2 going straight to 'The Unforgettable Fire' and missing the first three albums altogether. The comparison isn't as entirely as ridiculous as it first seems. U2 of 'Joshua Tree' had all these elegant guitar lines, and Coldplay also have elegant guitar lines. They have a very different approach to U2 in every single other way, however. Singer Chris Martin sounds a little Thom Yorke, a little Jeff Buckley too, actually. Mostly he sounds like himself, and usually he sounds beautiful. The lyrics I quoted at the start of this piece were taken from 'Don't Panic', and yeah, both the vocals and guitar are utterly beautiful. It's a song to take solace from, draw comfort from, be quietly awed by. The transition to second song 'Shiver' is a work of genius in itself. A lot of great albums have great transitions between songs, and the first half of this album at least also has genuinely great song transitions! You may not care so much about sequencing, just care about how many good songs are here. I like songs flowing easily into each other, or alternately, opposites deliberately placed next to each other for certain other effects on the listener. 'Shiver' has a vocal that could be Jeff Buckley influenced, the soaring vocals are a joy over a reasonably guitar rock based instrumental track. And then, another great transition to the desolate haunting beauty of third song, 'Spies'. I'm often filled with some kind of sense of wonder when listening to this, upon reaching 'Spies' you are often well and truly immersed in this album. It sounds unimaginative of me to call the vocal here spine-chilling, but it really is. Acoustic guitar opens 'Sparks' for another change in texture as far as this album progress is concerned. A warm, intimate vocal, another genuinely lovely sound. 'Yellow' wraps up a pretty flawless first half of the album. You may have heard this song, it's been everywhere since this record came out. Funny thing, though. Even with severe over play as far as music tv and radio is concerned, the song still sounds fresh. The guitar sound here is a throwback almost to the early nineties UK indie scene, a wall of noise but with in-built melodic beauty at the same time. 'Yellow' was pretty much an instant classic that was hard to ignore.

    The second half of the album opens well, Piano a feature of 'Trouble', another nicely melodic song, a fine piece of writing. The title song moves back to acoustic guitars and a problem rears its head. Coldplay start to repeat themselves. The tone of the vocals, the sounds of individual elements of the songs. Like an old seven inch single with an a-side and a b-side, the b-side usually plainly inferior, except this time played out over an entire album long side. 'High Speed' sounds very Verve circa 1993, especially the rhythm section, whilst 'We Never Change' is just lacking in melodies or beauty, if compared to any of the first four or five songs. The closing 'Everything's Not Lost' is a Piano led, a mellow seven minute song, rather ponderous and hardly a highlight. So, the albums tails off badly. In fact, after 'Trouble' the album may as well end right there for all the good it does in continuing. But, the first half of this record is so good, the album still gets a good grade overall. I mentioned the fact I considered this an impossibly accomplished debut? It certainly is in performance and sound. In an unfortunate other way it's also a typical debut, ie, flawed. But, just dig those first songs!

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    Readers Comments

    Simon B slb23@shaw.ca
    A good debut from a good English band. Great music. (Musically like a combination of THE BENDS era Radiohead and late 80's/early 90's U2). Chris Martin has a good voice, but it's stronger on their most recent album (A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD). My only complaints are: 1. The somewhat simple (but still effective) lyrics. 2. The title song ("Parachutes") is too short. 3. "Everything's Not Lost" is too long (and repetitive). 7.5/10

    Dan cadman danielofcadman@hotmail.com
    Its been a while since this release and since I had relistened to it. Following the glamour of Coldplay and Chris Martin I had lost my fondness to their music. But this a great album. Martin has a voice like no other. If you can download any of their accoustic versions it really reflects his quality.

    howil saigon_hanoi75@hotmail.com
    Parachutes, on first listen left me (pardon the pun) very cold. But repeated plays will ultimately reveal the glowing beauty of the album. For me best song is Sparks...that gentle guitar line and complex chords sequence is a strange juxtaposition but eventuates into a song of epic proportions in terms of sentiments

    Jocelyn jocethomas79@hotmail.com
    Hey I just recently came in contact with your site and absolutely lover your reviews on Coldplay. I love XY but Parachutes is my overall favorite. I saw them last Friday in Concert here in Indiana and was just completely blown away. Do you live in America? While reading your review I noticed your not too fond of Twisted Logic I love that song. Keep up the good work on your reviews!

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    A Rush Of Blood To The Head( 2002 )
    Politik / In My Place / God Put A Smile Upon Your Face / The Scientist / Clocks / Daylight / Green Eyes / Warning Sign / A Whisper / A Rush Of Blood To The Head / Amsterdam

    My first exposure to the new Coldplay was watching them perform lead single 'In My Place' on Top Of The Pops. Chris Martin seemed wired, pissed off, weary. Seemed on the verge of falling apart altogether. I was impressed by his passion, also impressed by the song even though it's really just 'Parachutes' stuck in a blender and taken out the other end to produced a new four minute Coldplay single. First song 'Politik' is good though, but only really when it gets to the three and a half minute mark and the 'ugliness' of the opening sequence has finished. A wash of beautiful keyboards and Chris Martin singing wonderfully, the guitars come in full of elegance. It's a sad, serious song, difficult to 'enjoy' in a sense, difficult to love, more something to admire for it's achievement, something to gaze upon and say, 'yeah, that's pretty good.''God Put A Smile Upon Your Face' is horrible, average, half-formed although wonderfully produced and very well performed. Let's put it this way, I don't like the lyrics, don't like the changes or melodic sequences. I like the bass playing, feel the vocals are a little rough. Still, the next two songs more than make up for that. 'The Scientist' is a thing of sheer wonder akin to 'Spies' from the previous album, although this time aided by a string arrangement, a lyric that seems so real and personal, very emotional. A truly beautiful song. 'Clocks' is also easily on a par with the very best of 'Parachutes' and features some of the best vocals on the entire album, too. And, yeah, I was dreading the second half of this album given past experience. 'Daylight' opens things well, though. The string arrangements throughout this album are impressive actually, although never over-done for one second, and the songs certainly don't rely on them, are just enhanced by them, which is how it should be, of course.

    'Green Eyes' is nicely put together and with another lyric that seems to have been drawn from personal experience. I don't know if it was, but here's a little story for you! My very own mother worked for a while as a cleaner for none other than Coldplay's manager. Everytime I met my mother she'd be full of Coldplay stories. One time she happened to mention the fact that Chris Martin hadn't written a lot of new songs, because he was too busy with his new girlfriend. I don't know if any of this is true! Blame Mrs Carol Denning if it isn't! It was silly, my entire family fell head over heels in love with Coldplay circa 'Yellow' and the success of the debut album. I don't actually know what any of them think of this album, apart of my brother Phil, who likes it, although perhaps not as much as he liked 'Parachutes'. And, there you go. Personal stuff out of the way! 'Warning Sign' is another nice, if not terribly exhilarating song, but it really still is a good song. There is no obvious drop for the second half of this album, even as a whole the album doesn't contain as many great songs as the debut. It also doesn't contain as many weaker songs. 'A Whisper' opens with a slightly different guitar sound, lo-fi chords, "whisper, whisper, whisper" repeated by Chris Martin. It's interesting, faster tempo than other songs here and another song enhanced by a subtle but totally effective string arrangement. The title song is is another serious thing akin to 'Politik', although still very much a good song. The closing 'Amstersdam' is Piano led for the most part and a song too many for me, even though the full band come in for the songs close and some of the vocals are very nice indeed. In some ways, this 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' album just isn't easy, even though the sound of the album certainly isn't dissonant or challenging or anything like that. It's a strange thing, something about the overwhelming tone of sadness that permeates the record, and a sadness that's very hard to get a grasp on.

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    Readers Comments

    agustin aguxeneize@msn.com
    Man you think you know lots about music, try to compose what chris and his band does and then critize!!! Im from argentina and no one listens to coldplay much, but a rush of blood to the head is an exellent album. Songs like daylight, god put a smile upon your face, in my place, green eyes, etc are great!!!!! Coldplay fills every gig in UK, and with this knew album there gonna do that again. The islands are ours man, your queen sucks, Aguante Argentina. OASIS and COLDPLAY RULES!!! Write be back please, you can swor all you want

    James james_leicester@hotmail.com
    I was not a fan of Coldplay until I heard this majestical album. Sure the album falls down a bit in the mid section, but some of the songs on here are fantastic. 'Clocks' is simply stunning, the repeating piano figure almost hypnotic. I believe this album is worth more than 7 and a half.

    This album is the best I've ever heard. Clocks, In My Place and The Scientist are one of the greatest hits of the last years, especially in Europe. And the other songs are sure not that bad. They're not as super as Clocks etc, but more worth than almost every modern song. This album diserves a 9.5 at least!

    Nicole cojocarurn@hendrix.edu
    COME ON, MAN! Coldplay is absolutely amazing!!! 7 1/2 is really low for Coldplay. I would, at least give it a 9 1/2, a 9.99. Their songs are incredibly beautiful... 'Clocks', 'Rush of cold blood to the head', 'Scientist'--- 3 amazing songs! Coldplay rules... I saw them in concert and they were great...

    double d cartha.donovan@abbott.com
    I like coldplay a lot, but an album which has 4 great songs and the rest filler material should not have got the blind public acceptance that it did. We ARE allowed to critisize chris martin you know. 710 (because the good songs are so good)

    john,co.kildare john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    my emotions towards this album will always be tarnished by seeing coldplay in concert at the end of 2002, and listening to chris ramble on about how he queued for ages outside hmv to buy the new david gray album, and the cheers that went up from the psuedo indie tabloid radio types who seemed to all at once envelope me in a hitchcockian [thats a real word,cos i said it is ok?!]swarm, made me realise "WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE?! COLDPLAY ARENT THE BAND FOR ME!" i felt like a pub darts player showing up at rugby training. still when all is said and done, "politik" is a masterpiece, and this album doesnt leave you short on a few modern gems. its just that a rush of blood to the head is more of a Q magazine or hot press idea of a perfect album, as opposed to a mojo or uncut classic. i agree with adrian's rating.

    desmond jones www.suz_nyl@hotmail.com
    This was the first Coldplay album I bought and I think it´s a good one,even though it doesn´t reach the same level as Parachutes. I feel very annoyed about this agustin-guy,or whatever he calls himself. We shouldn´t judge him too strongly (he was probably drunk when he wrote it) but I just want to say that I think he´s an incredibly annoying person and I would also like to know what this "swor" he mentioned is. To the reviewer I say "keep up the good work".

    Nick hockey_eh_24@hotmail.com
    Hit the nail on the head with this one. It's a solid cd, and a love a few of the songs, but it really doesn't deserve much more than a 7.5. Maybe an 8. However, you also give the Bends an 8, and I consider that a slightly better album.

    Dan j4triv@lycos.com
    Went into this knowing very little about the band, aside from having liked "The Scientist" and "Clocks", and, Lord, was this lame. "Politik" is a good start, but much of the rest of the album is a mindless drone of mediocre emoting and horrible music, save for "Clocks". "God Put a Smile on Your Face" is so godawful that it ruins "The Scientist" which sounds more draggy than resonant following "God Put Nausea in My Stomach". And naming the album after the process of getting an erection is just lame; not as bad as David Coverdale naming his band after his penis (you didn't really think "Whitesnake" was about an albino reptile, did you?), but still sadly juvenile. 3/10. Btw, the New York Mets (an American baseball team, for those who don't know) have taken to using "Clocks" as the music they play when fans file out of the stadium…but only after losses. ("Taking Care of Business" plays, somewhat predictably, after victories.) What are they trying to say— "We pla! yed so badly that even Coldplay looks good in comparison"? "You thought you were depressed? Well, now you can suffer through this, too!"? (And "Clocks" is still a favorite of mine, but after suffering through the rest of this dreck, I'm all for any bashing opportunity that presents itself.)

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    X & Y( 2005 )
    Square One / What If / White Shadows / Fix You / Talk / X & Y / Speed Of Sound / A Message / Low / The Hardest Part / Swallowed In The Sea / Twisted Logic / Til Kingdom Come

    Well, well, well. EMI's shares fell at news of the delay to this albums release. Such was the perceived importance of the third Coldplay release. Chris Martin sensibly knew the importance of this third Coldplay album also, and took his time. Apparently, around 60 songs were written and whittled down. This is good, as it means X & Y mostly avoids that '2nd half is rubbish' thing that went down with the first two Coldplay albums. And, and, and?! Well, Coldplay finally have pushed their sounds forwards instead of sideways, aka 'Rush Of Blood To The Head'. We've acoustic strumalongs, we've layering of instrumentation that isn't just bass, guitar and piano. We've songs carefully constructed musically, but not so much so that thought hasn't also been put into making the songs last repeated listens. Obviously, Coldplay always had some level of potential for this, witness 'Yellow'. Lyrically, Chris Martin stays with his own tried and trusted formula for making up lyrics that stick to simple words, strong emotional words and stringing them together in a way that is suitably vague, if hardly Bob Dylan. Still, 'Square One' pushes all the right buttons, the opening electronic sequence revealing the time Chris has spent listening to Kraftwerk. It's simple and he sings beautifully over the top. Then, the drums come in and it's quite thrilling actually adding these to the fairly spooky electronic theme. Then, a pause of sorts. Then, the guitars. These guitars sound epic in a 1980s U2 kind of way, as opposed to the guitars on previous Coldplay albums, which were usually overshadowed by the Piano sounds. Plus, these lyrics are clearly actually about something! "line one on the first page", etc, etc. Chris writing about himself and his own creative process. 'Square One' is easily one of the best songs on the album and kicks things off in fine style. 'What If' follows this and keeps up the standard. It's a typical Coldplay ballad, in essence. Just done so well and retains the epic quality of the guitar sound.

    Highlights, highlights, highlights. Actually, a lowlight and a highlight arrive right together at the end of the album. 'Twisted Logic' tries far too hard to be 'an epic album closer', the guitars revert to earlier Coldplay style. Actually, 'Twisted Logic' sounds much like an average album track from 'A Rush Of Blood'. If you liked that, you'll like this. Far, far, far better though is the acoustic, almost folky sing-a-long of 'Til Kingdom Come', the 'hidden' bonus track right at the very end of the album. This one song is proof enough of all the thought that's gone into this record. 'Square One' and 'Til Kingdom Come'? Neither sound like anything from previous Coldplay albums. That's a huge plus point, for me. They have to evolve, and they have. 'Fix You' must surely be released as a single to follow-up the Crazy Frog beaten 'Speed Of Sound'. 'Fix You' is almost perfect. It rivals all their best songs, i'd actually rate it as my own personal favourite ever Coldplay song. It sends chills through me in a way that 'With Or Without You' by U2 used to do when I was younger. The arrival of the guitars and drums after the three minute mark? Perfect, perfect, perfect! 'Speed Of Sound', the first single, initially underwhelmed me but repeated listening reveals a song that actually is quite cleverly constructed. Highlights of the second half of the album include 'The Hardest Part', another song that mixes sounds so well and another song that's quite clearly been written so well. No lyrics of a T.S.Eliot quality, but then, who has lyrics like that anyway?? They serve their purpose perfectly well. True, 'Swallowed In The Sea' has lyrics that appear to be especially trite. This song followed by the trying too hard 'Twisted Logic' threatens to send the album off the rails. Luckily, 'Til Kingdom Come' is enough to pull it back.

    In summary then? Not perfect, but easily the finest Coldplay release so far and enough to out-sell the 16 million copies worldwide that 'A Rush Of Blood' sold. EMI will be happy, then.

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    Readers Comments

    Simon Hollingsworth simonhollingsworth11@hotmail.com
    Hello Adrian! I would have to strongly agree to your review on ‘X&Y’. Personally I felt under whelmed by the album when I first bought it – in contrast to how ‘Rush of Blood...’ was instantly satisfying. In addition I was slightly concerned that some of the songs did echo the U2 ‘style’ a bit too much for my liking. However it has grown on me and I would concur that this does definitely dwarf the other two albums. With ‘X&Y’ I would always believe that you would love and understand the songs that little bit more the NEXT time you listen to them. Great reviews on the whole Denning site!

    Ilya i.grigoriev@gmx.de
    Improvement. Growth. Songwriting. Blissful Vocals. This album screams all that. You know, if people are actually buying this album in millions... perhaps there's still hope in people ;) P.S.: "Square One", in parts, sounds somehow reminiscent of the Russian band "Kino". The vocals would have been much more gruff though. It's a wondrous song!

    Jono Butow imepkunious_jono@hotmail.com
    Could not agree more with that review. When i first purchsed X and Y i slapped it into my CD player. I wasnt a great Colplay fan at that stage but it was the Epic, lyrical, magicalness of coldplays sound that took me aback. "Fix you" Also my all time favourite song came at the right time for me.... sounds corny but i was sitting on the bus thinknig about life as per usual. things getting me down going nowhere and then BANG the guitars come in at the 3 minute mark and gave me the inspiration to change whatever the hell i was doing in my life. the stagnant pool of creativity has now become dynamic :) If a song can do that to anybody then i rate it above anything else in this world.

    Daniel dsteedman@vinidex.com.au
    I was not really a coldplay fan until I heard "Fix You" while in a lounge at Singapore Airport. I was so impressed I bought the album and have been mightily impressed. While not Abbey Road it is a sign that Martin and co are on the road to a truly great rock album. Could album number 4 be their equvalent of the mighty Joshua Tree? I am keen with anticipation!

    Thom Fisher thomfisher@hotmail.com
    Hi Adrian I agree with your review although after listening alot I now rank "the hardest part" as one of the top tracks.The album seem's to draw you into a track which you think is your favourite until you listen to another a number of times and your favourite changes again. I suppose the last three tracks are (at the moment) the weakest for me, but overall a fantastic album. Is it possible for it to get better than this for album 4? P.s my son still prefers Speed of Sound as his favourite.

    Jameswm walkerwyatt@optusnet.com.au
    Funny as a mid-30s bloke I always considered the 60s and 70s music hard to beat and don't listen to a lot of the modern stuff. Unfortunately I have allowed the amount of cr@p aimed at 14yo girls to influence me, but happily for some reason decided to buy a coldplay album recently and started off at X + Y, without ever having heard any of their other stuff (don't get the chance to listen to much radio). Got to say the album is incedible so I have since toddled out to buy Parachutes (Shiver the real standout track there). As someone heavily influenced by older artists like Beatles, Billy Joel, the Police, Queen, Simon & Garfunkel and 80s Aussie pub rock, I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to coldplay and my 6 and 4 year olds won't let anything else go into the car's CD player at the moment. The whole family sings along to the extraordinary Fix You, and I personally rate Talk, White Shadows and What If as the other real highlights. I like the last 3 tracks a fair bit too ! and overall, I can only imagine that those heavily criticising the album are some form of music snobs, who think that they are on some higher level. I personally don't need music to change or shape my life; I have enough to worry about and listen to music to relax and escape a bit. A wonderful listen and overall clearly superior to Parachutes which, Shiver excepted, does not have the depth of X + Y.

    Pah. Sounds, actually, like the band spent a year in the studio before discovering U2's latest had dropped, then proceeded to rip it chapter and verse. Well, whilst conveneniently ignoring "Vertigo", because Coldplay is simply too cripplingly polite as a band to do such a number. And also, of course, without any real meaning; Martin doesn't write lyrics to even evoke any abstract meaning, it seems, merely to add vocals to a song. Bought Rush of Blood after this came out with slight dejection, because having been on an upward trajectory they've now completely shot backwards. If this is the way they're going Rush of Blood will, average as it is, be the best they get. Essentially, they've become a weaker, meaningless version of U2 for anyone who finds U2 waaaaay too edgy. Ditto, really, for Keane, Snow Patrol etc. It's a shame, because U2 are a great band, and they just don't need to be diluted by endless bands offering pale imitations.

    andrew.koole kooleboy127@hotmail.com
    I completely disagree. X&Y is by far the most disappointing album coldplay has released. Where Parachutes and Rush of Blood triumphed in intimacy and lyrical content, X&Y fell for the sake of filling a stadium. The last three tracks belong in a list of coldplays greats, along with the end of 'fix you,' but other than that, X&Y was a mistake.

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    Viva La Vida 8 ( 2008 )
    Life In Technicolor / Cemeteries Of London / Lost! / 42 / Lovers In Japan / Yes / Viva La Vida / Violet Hill / Strawberry Swing / Death And All His Friends

    Why Brian Eno? Why Viva La Vida? Why mess around with things when the last album you made was your best? Ah, but it wasn't the best received by the critics and Chris Martin clearly does care about his bands credibility. So, Brian Eno is brought in to add something brand new to Coldplay. Well let's face it, if you want to change your sound then go to Brian Eno. He might not overhaul you entirely but he'll add enough to at least prove you're trying. Such is the case with the fourth Coldplay LP. You've heard the free download single, 'Violet Hill' haven't you? A song that comes and goes, sounds ever so slightly different whilst still being Coldplay. The title track is something similar, although hinting at the grandiosity that Eno is trying to beat out of them. Martin's vocal melodies are fine and the orchestral sections a delight. I may have been expecting something more radical given the hip-hop community's bizarre love of Chris Martin. Let's have Kanye provide a little hip-soul to the Coldplay party. Too radical for the ten million that bought the 'disappointing' X&Y? Ah, ok then. You know, I expected a five/six minute long experimental opener. What we get instead is a two and a half minute Coldplay tune soaked in atmosphere yet no vocals at all. Silly or brave?

    Silly is the fact the album takes a good ten minutes to get going. The first four tracks amount to nothing less than the worst Coldplay album opening sequence to date. Indeed, it's not until we reach '42' and Chris Martin manages to get that melancholy tone back that we can breathe a sign of relief. What's this though, a minute and a half in '42' turns all funky and we can now clearly hear Eno's influence. It's something several of the tracks on 'Viva La Vida' manage to do, break apart and offer different songs within a song. Wait a minute though, let's backtrack. Coldplay go funky? Well, almost. They introduce some electronics and gather energy and a couple of thumping sections that sound like hand-claps but are actually the drums. Good stuff - ah, we switch back to the gorgeous piano-ballad melancholy, very briefly, to close. '42' isn't all that and a bag of sugar but at least shows the guys trying different things. '42' also leads nicely into the albums best track, the multi-part, seven minute long 'Lovers In Japan'. First half Coldplay pop, second half a quite lovely rolling piano thing soaked in atmosphere and sounding rather wonderful.

    The closing track is a highlight, 'Death And All Of His Friends' forming the second part of the rather long, full album title - 'Viva La Vida or Death And All Of His Friends'. It's something that only Coldplay can do is this tune and for all of Eno's atmospherics and tinkling noises, 'Viva La Vida' is very firmly a Coldplay album. It's unlikely to win over new converts but existing fans will fund much to enjoy here. Cliched that last line I know, but in a Coldplay review, it seems appropriate. <

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    Paul Wishart St Andrews, Scotland
    No mention of 'Strawberry Swing'? My favourite track of the album so far! Seems to be a ongoing theme with your Coldplay page as you neglected 'A Message' from X&Y too, my favourite from that album. Still, the review is pretty much spot on; I like to think of Viva la Vida as their 'Unforgettable Fire.' A lot of atmospherics and whatnot, very loosely structured (almost too unstructured in places) but with hints and snippets of brilliance. And, as a whole, is an enjoyable trip

    jeremy berg jeremy@bergermeister.plus.com
    There's something so Pink Floyd about Coldplay, and it's as if they are desperately looking to be them, and still trying to make a "Dark side of the Moon", but always not quite managing to get past "Meddle". That having been said this aalbum has real quality, beautiful quality - the second part of "Lovers in Japan" ("Reign of Love") was only their second track (after "Fix You") to have me in tears when i heard it and very few tracks have ever done that. It's as if they are desperately looking for inspiration at times, and bringing in Eno just feels like part of that desperate process. However we are left with an album which is sumptous in parts and just plain frustrating and annoying in others- for example there's nothing to really be said about "Cemeteries of London" and "Yes"is summed up by the words "When we started we had high hopes"- what is this all about Chris? I mean it's quirkily enjoyable, what with that violin which sounds like it has been sampled from D! ylan's "Desire", but why? And what has that thrashy bit at the end got to do with anything? In the final analysis this is a quirky, worthy, and at times brilliant album, but it ain't Radiohead because Radiohead manage to sound like they really mean it, really believe it and this album (and others) sometimes feel as if they are experimenting for the sake of experimenting. 8 is fair.

    Al Canada
    I agree. This isn't their best album - X&Y was. But hats off to them for trying something different. There's a couple of "pop radio" tracks (Lost,Viva La Vida). The rest reminds me of a mix of early Supertramp and U2. I'm warming up to the album. It took awhile. But I don't think North America will like it much. It will likely do much better in Europe than here.

    Craig Pound Melbourne, Australia
    At 48 years old I am a loyalist to the 1970's rock music era where albums were listened to and appreciated in their entirety unlike the trend of today to only download and listen to individual favourites from the latest musical offerings. For me the construction of Viva La Vida is a throwback to an epic 1970's album where appreciation of the total, with all of its crafty and thematic production is greater than a listen to the individual parts as good those individual parts may be. I was very much a disengaged contemporary music listener for over 15 years until I heard the majestical piano riff driven 'Clocks' as a background to a TV news promotion whilst visiting New Zealand in mid 2003. It was not until arriving back in Australia 3 weeks later before I could learn the song's title and the artist as Coldplay. From that point onwards I became an avid fan in much the same way I was with 70's bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Sure critics today write about flaws perceived! in Coldplay but all of the great bands in the past had their flaws too. The quality and consistency of Coldplay's catalogue to date including on Viva, which is as good or better than their previous outings, is equal to any rock act of the past 40 years. Yet for me they promise to get even better just like I expected from my favourite bands all those years ago.

    Adam London
    Similar to Radiohead's latest in that there are only ten songs. Obviously trying to cut the slack which 'Coldplay' and most other artists leave on their CD's. To be fair it generally works. Nearly all the songs are interesting and strong. The highlights being the gorgeous 'Lovers in Japan', the crashing closer 'Death and all his Friends' and the three songs in one '42'. There are moments which toach briiliance but other moments are run of the mill. It's not an overblown stadium filler CD, even U2 got bored of that. However it's still quite a big change in direction for them. But they have'nt gone totally weird and done a 'Kid A' on us. Maybe that will come next.Production, instrument atmosphere and innovation wise, this is'nt as impressive as Radiohead's latest. However this is only Coldplays 4th CD. I'm still listening and enjoying it after several weeks, so for me it's a thumbs up.

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    Mylo Xyloto 7 ( 2011 )
    Mylo Xyloto / Hurts Like Heaven / Paradise / Charlie Brown / Us Against the World / M.M.I.X. / Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall / Major Minus / U.F.O. / Princess of China / Up in Flames / A Hopeful Transmission / Don't Let It Break Your Heart / Up with the Birds

    According to Coldplay 'Mylo Xyloto' is a blank canvas, their friendship with Jay-Z is mystifying, Coldplay have made a schizophrenic album and last yet most bizarrely of all that Gwyneth Paltrow is Chris Martin's beard. I would say that crediting Brian Eno with additional composition and 'Enoxification' is both telling and pretentious, but in reality it's only the latter. 'Mylo Xyloto' continues the usual Coldplay way of gifting their fans easy and hummable melodies and that's not a bad thing. Eno does color in some of the greyer parts of the record, but despite being credited for additional composition you don't really get the sense this record is Coldplay breaking out of any kind of comfort zone. What do I know however, I'm just a stuffy record critic, Coldplay still sell millions of records and have yet to make a bad album. True, it may be beyond them to release their own 'OK Computer' or 'Achtung Baby' but not every band is capable of such a transition and/or achievement. Closer to home and back to 'Mylo Xyloto' I'm not a fan of the rather overcooked mix, it seems compression is the order of the day as if the album has been designed for digital consumption only via an MP3 player or phone rather than to appreciate at home on a decent stereo system. If you're going to make the needles go into the red on the mixing desk at least do so for solid, artistic reasons. Well, compare the clarity and natural sound of their earlier albums to this and you will hear what I'm referring to.

    Different Coldplay albums have different flavours to them, I was wondering what phrase to use, but that will do. This is their 'pop' flavour album yet we don't even get a little bag of salt with it to adjust to personal taste! There's no denying the commercial quality of 'Hurts Like Heaven', 'Paradise' 'Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall' or the Rihanna assisted 'Princess Of China'. All have memorable and catchy choruses and do the job they are supposed to. Better and perhaps purist Coldplay is 'Us Against The World', a tender Chris Martin vocal laid bare across delicate acoustic guitar with an electric U2 style emotional tweaking towards the end of the track - a track that's the highlight of the set simply for not trying too hard. 'Up In Flames' also benefits from this less is more approach whilst album closer 'Up With The Birds' apparently features a sample of 'Driven By You' by Brian May.

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    Ghost Stories 5 ( 2015 )
    Always In My Head / Magic / Ink / True Love / Midnight / Another's Arms / Oceans / A Sky Full Of Stars / O

    Tom Bailey was the studio assistant. What, did he make the tea? The odious Paul Epworth produced, so hence no subtly is to be heard anywhere at all. Tagged as 'heartbreak' on many musical streaming sites, Coldplay return! With their engineers and studio assistants and no doubt special chairs to help Chris overcome his divorce. As for 'Ghost Stories', it is often forgotten that Coldplay are more than just Chris Martin - that they are an actual band with bass, drums and guitar. These days, it is especially easy to forget such things, when 'Ghost Stories' contains only the barest hints of Coldplay any more being a full band project. Also, as you can imagine with Chris splitting from his long-term partner, this is a particularly dour album, but it's dour without reaching genuine depths of emotion - Coldplay haven't gone all Leonard Cohen on his - really because Chris Martin isn't a good enough lyricist in order to do so. I mean, 'Anothers Arms' - what is this song actually meant to be? Particularly towards the end where he gives up singing and just speaks - albeit semi-melodically?

    'Always In My Head' is a good, downbeat and unassuming opener and 'Magic' has melody but it isn't until track 7 I get a sense of writing, of writing that made Coldplay one of the biggest bands on the planet in the first place. We've got acoustic guitar and it's the first major contribution (7 tracks in!) by the guitar player. Chris sings like he means it, for a change. It is a song that could fit on any Coldplay 'best of' - shudder, if such a thing actually exists. 'A Sky Full Of Stars' was the main radio hit from this set, and it sounds like a Martin solo project. No drums, no guitars and no bass are audibly present, instead we get dance beats and huge swathes of synths. What, did the guitarist or drummer play those? Did they produce, or engineer? No, of course they didn't - which renders the entire point of Coldplay as a band an entirely pointless exercise.

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    this page last updated 27/3/16

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