Taking notes from their more melodramatic brethren Mansun and the Manic
Street Preachers, Coldplay seem to have woken up from the dreamy stupor of
Parachutes and have turned in a jangly good second effort.
Parachutes always felt slightly wan, as if the boys were content to slowly float down to earth
instead of rising above it. But A Rush of Blood to the Head is exactly
thatcheeks are flushed, lyrics are forceful. It's orchestral and moody as
hell, morose and slightly paranoid, heartfelt and nearly hopeful. Coldplay
makes every effort to be meaningful and weighty here, from liner notes about
fair trade to the banishment of that bashful tremor in Chris Martin's
soaring vocals. Yet, they haven't wandered far from the deliciously romantic
longing that made "Yellow" a standout hit on Parachutes.
In an odd turnabout, this CD is actually a bit darker, yet feels altogether
happier. That wooden house that they wanted to buy so they'd have more
friends around? This time Martin threatens to burn it down. Yet, as he also
sings in "Daylight", Coldplay has slowly broken through to the daylight, or
at least some area of England where the sun shines every once in awhile and
they've definitely found a place where the term "sophomore slump" doesn't
exist. This second CD easily outshines their first rather shiny effort. When
Martin opines that "God gave me style/God gave me grace," it may be
unabashedly egotistical but it's awfully true. A Rush of Blood to the Head
takes Coldplay from the "potential one hit wonder" category and firmly
establishes them as "most likely to succeed."