Wednesday, September 30, 2009

473. A rush of blood to the head- I’ve lost count of the ironic titles.

Album: A rush of blood to the head.

Artist: Coldplay.

Year: 2002.

Genre: Pop


1. Polotik.

2. In my place.

3. God Put a smile on your face.

4. The scientist

5. Clocks.

6. Daylight.

7. Green eyes.

8. A warning sign

9. Whisper

10. A rush of blood to the head.

11. Amsterdam.

I’d like to love Coldplay, I really would. I think my life would be better and I’d be a happier person if I could join the millions of people who are big fans of The Play. I’m one of those people who really respects a band who use their fame to promote a good cause. Don’t go ramming it down people’s throats but why not sing about making the world a better place rather than give us yet another song about sexual prowess? Coldplay seem like nice guys who have conquered the world and kept their head enough not to behave like complete prats. If they want to give their children silly names then good for them, it’s no business of mine.

Yes I’d go so far as to say that I’d really be much happier if I could catch The Cold. But sadly I don’t like their music at all.

A Rush of Blood to the Head is basically an album recorded with care, precision and no real emotion as far as I can tell. From the title track onwards it feels like listening to a piece of IKEA furniture. Everything in its right place. No Alarms and No Surprises. Radio for the head not the heart. It’s the rock equivalent of New Labour- polished, buffed and totally spin doctored. You can’t shake the feeling that the songs were assembled rather than performed in the studio. It’s Sudoko music- all the numbers have to be in the right boxes.

More effort was required behind the mixing desk rather than in front of it to record a track like Clocks. The second time the piano riff comes it sounds exactly like the first time. Did they bother to play it again or just copy and paste the first one down in the right spot? The strings, which are all over this album, come in at just the right time to provide a general wash that makes it immediately more uplifting. The expression A rush of Blood to the Head suggests an action caused by a sudden emotional outburst but there just wasn’t much passion or emotion during these sessions. You can’t help but think anyone getting aroused in the Coldplay recording studio is asked to go and do a crossword until they calm down.

Almost every track on A rush of Blood to the Head sounds like it was written more with a commercial in mind than an emotional audience. It’s no coincidence that almost every song on this release appeared on an ad or television promo. For a time in Britain you didn’t need to put this album on you only had to tune in to a TV station in order to hear the whole thing in bite-sized segments. Listening to the album you can’t help but think most of the songs sound like 30 second advertising soundtracks expanded to song length. None of the lyrics stood out for me except the line: “Shoot an apple off my head” which I thought ironic since Apple is the name of the lead singer’s daughter.

Comparisons with U2 are unoriginal, trite but entirely accurate. Coldplay sound like they’ve been influenced by the four lads from Dublin but they don’t have Bono’s voice, The Edge’s guitar ability or their combined songwriting skills. Most of Rush of Blood to the Head sounds like the album filler you find on U2 releases post Achtung Baby.

Highlights: About thirty seconds of most of the songs.

Lowlights: The yawn inducing strings.

Influenced by: U2, Radiohead and apparently Cat Stevens and Joe Satriani.

Influenced: Tricky question. Are people influenced by Coldplay or are they more influenced by U2 and Radiohead?

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: " As a 74 year old musciologist I have seen many outrages during my lifetime, like World War 2, Pol Pot, Western Exploitation and Stravinsky's 'Rite of Passage' but this album certainly surpasses anything in the 20th century and barring the extinction of the human race (although it does come close) will see out the 21st as the greatest crime ever perpertrated against humanity and more specifically Gary Barlow. When I first heard this 'A Rush of Thievery from Chris Martion' I was shaking with anger for 27 days and 8 hours. I had to put into a seclusion unit with 5 doses of horse tranquiliser a day just to calm me down. Now a year on I am on a mere two doses.
Where to start? First of all, this album robs off that album which transcends music and for many of us music scholar represents the holy grail of music, yes it is of course the towering 'Open Road'. Was this band as naive to think that it would not be noticed? Emotionally this album does not complete me like Open Road. Chris' shreiking high nasal girlie voice does not do justice to the material that it has not being ripped off from, nor does it capture its majesty or magic of 'Open Road'. File this one under- 'Outrages me to the very core of my existence'."

-It's stuff like this that make the hours I spend sifting through Amazon reviews worthwhile.

So do you play this album often or does it just leave you cold? Let me know below.


  1. I love Coldplay, and that Amazon review made me laugh out LOUD.

    Is "Parachutes" by Coldplay on this list?

  2. No this is the only Coldplay album that made it on. It will be interesting to see if they include any more when this list is revised (which I assume they'll do at some point.

  3. I do too. Especially after seeing Rolling Stone's best albums of the last decade, which includes 3 of their 4 albums.

    Viva La Vida by Coldplay is a very nice album, far superior to Rush.

  4. This review is stupid and you're stupid.
    The Scientist is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and listening to Clocks makes me feel the same way every time as the first time I heard it. And no, that feeling is not dull.