We have a pretty significant change of pace today, with a brief departure from the ever-expanding world of hip-hop for an album that is pretty much the direct opposite of hip-hop, “A Rush of Blood to the Head” by Coldplay. I always assumed that Coldplay was pretty much a shell operation for Chris Martin, and I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the band members listed with credits for songwriting and production. I remember my boss at the time, Jim, who was a big music fan, giving me a “burned” copy of this CD, among others. I always enjoyed it, but somehow expected more from their sound, given how much hype they were getting at the time. I think I still feel the same way, roughly twenty years out. This very successful record is rated #324 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Even before Jim gave me this CD, my first exposure to Coldplay was when I heard the song “Clocks”, one of the big hits from this record. As I listened to it on the radio, based on both the vocal performance and the repetitive piano sequence, I was pretty convinced this was a new U2 song. Even as I learned the real source, I always enjoyed that song a lot. Today’s listen pointed out several more that I might like even more. I think my two favorites are probably “In My Place” and “The Scientist”. I find them to be the most compelling melodies on the record, and it isn’t surprising that these were the first two singles released, even ahead of “Clocks”. If I had to pick one other favorite, it would be “Green Eyes”, which is a sweet and simple song, backed primarily by acoustic guitar.
I was driving home late last night, and I was concerned this album might not be the pick-me-up I needed after a long day, but I did enjoy the peace and serenity of this record on a relatively empty highway. It has never been, and probably will never be, an album I go out of my way to seek out, but I’m glad I came back to it and picked up at least three new and old favorites I will add to my playlist.