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Monday 26th August 2002
Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
When a band produces a debut album as successful as Coldplay's Parachutes, the world expects one of two things of the follow-up.
see and hear
audio In My Place
audio The Scientist
audio A Rush Of Blood To The Head
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Review by Chris Long
Out on Parlophone
1. Politik
2. In My Place
3. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
4. The Scientist
5. Clocks
6. Daylight
7. Green Eyes
8. Warning Sign
9. A Whisper
10. A Rush Of Blood To The Head
11. Amsterdam
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The first is that they build and build on that success, producing something even better, à la Radiohead. The second is that they get burdened with that success and it swings like an albatross round their skulls, forcing them to produce something of an infinitely inferior standard (Brown, Squire, Wren and Mounfield, you know who you are).

What people don't expect is for them to produce a solid, if unimaginative second long player that's close enough to the original to keep fans and critics happy but doesn't stray far into the pleasure or pain realms of reinvention. That, however, is exactly what Coldplay have done.

A Rush Of Blood To The Head is what is commonly known as a grower. A little disappointing on first listen, with nothing seeming to live up to the brilliant promise of lead single In My Place, a bit of patience and a disengaging of preconceptions brings the rewards that the album undoubtedly holds.

The blame probably lies with the opening three tunes. Sitting either of the wannabe epic In My Place is the difficult, jarring opener Politik and the dull semi-acoustic number, God Put A Smile Upon Your Face. Battle through them though, and riches await, in the form of the emotion heavy, piano driven The Scientist, that sounds like the breaking of a heart in an empty house, the aching Warning Sign, a tune that sounds like U2's next step, and the title track, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, that builds from a whisper to a rant and is probably the only thing here that can stand shoulder to shoulder with In My Place.

Elsewhere, it's mostly decent fillers (Clocks and Daylight being worth a couple of listens) and almost inexplicable mistakes (Green Eyes standing out as a howler and sounding like a track stolen from The Lost Soul Band).

Coldplay deserve a pat on the back for a good try and for not letting success ruin them, but there's nothing here (bar In My Place) that says they're ready for the arena tour that's been booked to support this release. Stages can be very lonely places and arena stages are bigger than most. It could be very upsetting.

Rating: 6/10

You've read our review but what do you think? Add your comment below.

This is a brilliant album, which is both different from the first and better than the first. It has everything that a classic album has, and people will be talking about it years from now. 'unimaginative second long player that's close enough to the original to keep fans and critics happy but doesn't stray far into the pleasure or pain realms of reinvention' indeed.
Jamie Goodland, Coventry

I have to agree whole heartedly with the reviwers points. The fact that he uses The Lost Soul Band as a point of reference demonstrates that he is insight and wisdom in matters musical.
Richard (ex-LSB), Edinburgh

Well, I'm a recent fan of the band so I'm certainly not in the better place to give a good and clever review about Colplay's last album. But I really disagree with your marks! In a matter of fact, I think you can't "wait" for musicians to give something and compare it systematicaly to what they've done right before. If you have the chance to see the band in concert, you'll se that the set, made of old and new songs, is harmfull. You can't see any real differences and the gig isn't build on singles like "in my place" or "yellow"...
Matt, Belgium

I can't agree with your 6/10 rating. I mean, sure "A Rush of Blood to the Head" seemed a bit unfamiliar at first. It was like an old friend of ours went away for an extended period of time and came back somewhat different. With that, the soulful spendor that was "Parachutes" was only really reflected through a few tracks (In My Place, the Scienist, the title track and Amsterdam) on this new album and the rest have this sudden edge. I'm sure this is because Coldplay doesn't want to be a pretty ballad band, and though their new release wanted to showcase to us their diversity and how they have grown since the days of "Yellow". For me, it took some getting used to but in time I found to love Coldplay even more. "A Rush of Blood to the Head" is an interesting mixture of old and new which provides futher confirmation that this band is worthy of greatness. Furthermore, who wants every one of their songs to be about love and loss? I give the new album a 9/10.
Kimberley, Philadelphia, USA

6/10? What's wrong with that review is that you expect them to do something completely new and innovative. You're not asking for a follow-up album, you're asking for a new band. Silly people. The great success of Rush of Blood... is that it builds on the successes of Parachutes in all forms of music which they are said to specialise, and while there is very little innovation it is definitely a step upwards for Coldplay.
Nick, Huddersfield

Only 6/10??? You've got to be kidding. I am a very picky music critic, but in Coldplay's case I think they have produced what could be the greatest second album of all time. I have been listening to it for days now. This album ebbs and flows like nothing I've heard since U2's "The Joshua Tree". I am in tears of longing and joy by the time Clocks is in full swing, then it eases back gradually to the album's closing. I don't think this review does the album justice.
Brendan, Auckland, NZ

This is an album for insomniacs; forget Nitol this will definitely send you straight to sleep. A dichotomy of soporific and frustrating repetitive melodies put there to ask one question: are we supposed to buy and enjoy an album just because previously a band have produced music of the highest calibre?Why must we therefore assume that this is just as good, it's ok to say this is not up to their usual standard they probably don't even give a shit!


I'm very happy cos I purchase coldplay CD today & I belieave that it'll be the best of best!!
Susan, Seoul, Korea

this is the best album i have ever heard!!!! this is something coming from me!! im a huge oasis fan (and i mean big!!) but this beats oasis hands down this is the greatest album ever!!!. i had 4 great albums they were Oasis: definatley maybe / morning glory steroephonics:performance and coktails and coldplay: paracheutes. but this is better than them all!!! just think if u listen 2 it every song could b a single!! from the soft easy listening of the scientist 2 a great soon 2 b classic rock of politik and a rush of blood 2 the head! i would give this a 20/10 it is that damned good. i will strugle 2 find a better album probabally until the nxt coldplay album
Tim, UK

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