Record Review

Phases and Stages


A Rush of Blood to the Head (Capitol)

Musically, Coldplay are comfort food: easily digestible, not at all spicy (but not necessarily bland), probably a little fattening. The macaroni and cheese of rock bands. The Londoners' 2000 debut Parachutes was an island of hand-knitted warmth in a sea of manufactured self-loathing and aggression, and sophomore swoon A Rush of Blood to the Head ups the soft-blanket-on-a-cold-day quotient considerably. Singer Chris Martin, still the scourge of boyfriends everywhere, is ever the sensitive, considerate lad, and a deuce of a songwriter to boot. The chiming "In My Place" is like a giant hand wiping the sweat from your fevered brow, while "The Scientist" ponders man's powerlessness in the face of love much the same way their breakthrough "Yellow" did. The countryish "Green Eyes" may be the best song about a girl's peepers since the Old 97s' "Big Brown Eyes." Meanwhile, "Clocks," "A Whisper," and the wry "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" pulse quicker than anything off Parachutes save maybe "Shiver;" credit guitarist Jon Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and (especially) drummer Will Champion for refusing to allow Martin to be swept away by his own rhetorical flourishes. A droning, Indian-style violin lends "Daylight" a nice "Tomorrow Never Knows" feel, but let's not kid around: If you're presently in love, A Rush of Blood ... will make you want to frolic like Lily Tomlin with the cartoon animals in 9 to 5. Otherwise, it'll probably make you want to puke.

*** .5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Patricia Vonne
Patricia Vonne
Shine a light

June 30, 2017

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle