First Listen: Coldplay – X & Y

Another reinvention results in a massive success for Coldplay. X & Y’s leadoff single is the most familiar sounding on this disc as the rest of the tracks, while staying inside their genre, take on a new flavor from the previous two albums. Parachutes seemed to bask in melancholy rhythms and played out in a rather downer tone (think Trouble, Spies, Don’t Panic). A Rush of Blood to the Head was more anthematic with Politik, The Scientist, and Amsterdam. X & Y, while still in that vein, brings in more synth keys to give a fuller sounding bed to build upon.

This structure is sometimes bigger than usual as the guitars build to a chunky climax in Talk, or light and floaty during the opening of Fix You only to explode with the drums in the second half. These two tracks upon my first listen were the real standouts. Fix You is destined to be the new Yellow that won’t get overplayed (I hope) since it takes a while to build up. Square One opens with a direct homage to Pink Floyd that will have some people checking to make sure Wish You Were Here didn’t sneak into their cd player when they weren’t looking. Swallowed in the Sea is also a great track with some great wordplay at work with a great piano/guitar mix to carry it forward.

My take? 4.5/5 stars on this one. Good stuff.


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