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Coldplay’s latest stays middle of the road

Coldplay
X&Y
Interscope

GRADE: C-

Every band is entitled to one misstep, and X&Y is Coldplay’s. The record is flawed; it sounds forced, and the first single, “Speed of Sound,” too closely resembles the band’s 2002 hit “Clocks.” While the album as a whole isn’t nearly as bad as most recent releases adorning store shelves, it pales in comparison to the group’s previous efforts.

In 2000, Coldplay released its debut album Parachutes, garnering critical praise and landing multiple hits such as “Don’t Panic,” “Trouble” and “Shiver,” but it was the single “Yellow” that caught the attention of mainstream listeners.

A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay’s sophomore offering, was the album that turned the group from darling of the critics to fan favorite, though, as the album sold more than 3.5 million copies and earned the band global recognition. Songs such as “In My Place,” “The Scientist” and “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face” kept the album on Billboard’s Top 200 list for more than two years. Now, Hits Daily Double, a leading sales analyst in the music industry, is predicting X&Y will enter the charts at the top slot with sales exceeding half a million.

Despite all the band’s successes, X&Y is a disappointment for fans expecting a steady progression in sound and lyrical depth; the album unfortunately stays on neutral. “Low” and “A Message” both lack any appeal, as the tracks remain stale throughout their duration. The best track on the record is the bonus track, “Til Kingdom Come.” Maybe it’s the fact that Coldplay had scrapped two previous versions of the record in an effort to create the best possible album, but the tracks that did finally make the cut lack solid melodies, which has always been one of Coldplay’s strengths.

X&Y is not a terrible record, just a letdown from a band with an overabundance of talent and an excellent repertoire of songs. Perhaps marrying Gwenyth Paltrow and becoming a father prevented Chris Martin from putting his full attention into this project. X&Y should definitely keep Coldplay afloat with four or five choice candidates for radio singles, but this record just doesn’t live up to its predecessors.

Contact Pablo Saldana at oraclepablo@yahoo.com