Day 13: Coldplay – X&Y

Day 13: Coldplay X&Y

Tracklist

  1. Square One – 4:47
  2. What If – 4:57
  3. White Shadows – 5:28
  4. Fix You – 4:54
  5. Talk – 5:11
  6. X&Y – 4:34
  7. Speed of Sound – 4:48
  8. A Message – 4:45
  9. Low – 5:32
  10. The Hardest Part – 4:35
  11. Swallowed in the Sea – 3:58
  12.  Twisted Logic – 5:01
  13. Til Kingdom Come* -4:10
*hidden track

About the Album

X&Y is the third studio album following their smash hit, A Rush of Blood to the Head. Recorded in 2004 through to 2005, it was released in June of 2005 through British record company, Parlophone. The album experienced significant commercial success, charting in many different countries and reaching number one in many as well. The album sold over 8 million units alone in 2005… it is considered 2005’s best selling album… selling over 13 million units worldwide.

Thoughts on the tracklist

First off, if you are looking for songs that will pump you up and get you ready to rock or take the bull by the horns… these songs aren’t it. Although for some, they could be.

The opening song, “Square One” it is apparent that the record is a little more sonically dense than the band’s previous efforts. “Square One”  picks up where ‘Politik’ left off, in my opinion. It starts quietly before Chris chimes in with that broken glass voice, now as identifiable as any in music, and Johnny Buckland works through The Edge’s collection of effects pedals. The song; about cracking puzzles and codes, solving riddles which is seemingly a recurring Coldplay obsession.

“What if” is a gentle, pulsing big ballad. This song, could be easily read as a simple message to his wife. It’s also not a stretch to see it as a message to fans. Martin, ever the pessimist, is very unsure if he pushed things too far, if Coldplay had been front and center for too long, and if he might lose the muse and never write another word or note of
worth.

When “Fix You” kicks in on track four, it’s an old-fashioned hair on the neck moment. It’s a wonderful song that shifts from simple stark piano and voice to a ringing, clattering burst of intent and a form of proto-progressive four-part harmony. It has become a massive live track.

“Speed of Sound” is built around a piano riff, the song builds into a huge, synthesizer-heavy chorus. It is a song that has a piano riff as memorable as the one in “Clocks,” ringing guitars, martial drums, orchestral pomp and, in the center, Chris Martin’s keening vocal, so vulnerable and yet forceful enough to stand out from the mass of sonic detail.

Thoughts on the Album

I love this album. It was one of the best from 2005 that had releases from the Foo Fighters (In Your Honor), Weezer (Make Believe), Franz Ferdinand (You Could Have It So Much Better), Bon Jovi (Have a Nice Day), and many more. This album is confident, bold, ambitious, bunged with singles and impossible to contain, X&Y doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it does reinforce Coldplay as the band of their time. Like on previous albums Parachutes and Rush of Blood, all the songs on X&Y are ruminations on Martin’s doubts, fears, hopes, and loves. Martin’s words are earnest and vague, so listeners can identify with the underlying themes in the songs. And with his plain, every-man voice, sighing as sweet as a schoolboy, is unthreatening and unassuming, so it’s all the easier for listeners to project their own emotions into the song.

Conclusion

This album, to me, is one of the best albums from the past decade. It is a good album to listen to, to decompress and relax. As with most albums, it is not without flaws. But X&Y, is the perfect follow up album to A Rush of Blood to the Head.

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