Coldplay's 2000 debut, Parachutes, earned critical raves for such crossover hits as "Yellow" and "Trouble," but the praise seemed a bit much for a young band still so beholden to its influences (Jeff

Coldplay's 2000 debut, Parachutes, earned critical raves for such crossover hits as "Yellow" and "Trouble," but the praise seemed a bit much for a young band still so beholden to its influences (Jeff Buckley, Radiohead). On A Rush of Blood to the Head, the U.K. foursome proves worthy of the superlatives, crafting a stronger, more distinctive album than its predecessor in nearly every respect. The breathtaking "Clocks" and the magical piano ballad "Amsterdam" are the band's finest achievements to date, showcasing more confident vocals from Chris Martin and a refreshingly stripped-down approach to modern rock. The emphatic downstrokes of "Politik" and the urgent "Daylight" add a little muscle to the mix, while "The Scientist" and "Warning Sign" improve on the gentle love songs that dominated Parachutes. Throw in the single "In My Place," and you've got an excellent collection of tunes with universal appeal. Platinum status awaits.—JC

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print