Once again, or as always, the best, most beautiful rock music is coming from our friends the Brits. Among the new breed: Travis, Starsailor and indie Britpop band Coldplay, whose second full-length album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, resumes the stark dream-pop of its Grammy-winning debut, Parachute. Singer Chris Martin’s evocative vocal is again front-and-center, at once evoking Pink Floyd (on the opening track “Politik”) and Jeff Buckley (on the title song and “God Put a Smile on Your Face,” a track in which the singer also calls to mind the vocal quirks of another contemporary rock god, Dave Matthews). Martin’s lyrics are universal yet pointed and unique: he sings, “I was scared/Tired and underprepared/But I wait for it” on the album’s first single “In My Place,” while he deconstructs the science of love and loss on “The Scientist” (“Heads are a science apart…I was just guessing/At numbers and figures/Pulling your puzzles apart”) and parallels dark and light with fear and love on “Daylight.” But, of course, Martin is not alone; from the quiet string-imbued “Warning Sign” to the piano-driven “Amsterdam,” Coldplay has once again delivered pure acoustic beauty.
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