Rush of Blood to the Head

By Tebo Ramosili  

The talents of guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion and the authentic lyrics of lead vocalist Chris Martin are successively combined in the audible magic that is Coldplay. This alternative rock band’s success can be weighted in hits like ‘Yellow’, ‘Viva la Vida’,  ‘Fix You’ and ‘Paradise’, however it’s their second studio album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, that their true ‘ness’ began.

Released in August 2002, A Rush of Blood to the Head, reveals a more confident and mature Coldplay, influenced by fellow British bands like Pink Floyd, Radiohead and U2. Unlike their first album, Parachutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head involves a more collaborative effort from all the members, with improvements in lyrics and instruments in all of the 11 tracks. 

The bands composition style tends to vary in each song, underlined by a consistent acoustic sound. ‘Clocks’ has a mellow acoustic pop sound, aided by its 130 beats per minute tempo. The words ‘you are’, sung by Martin in falsetto, float over the fluid piano riff. The song carry’s the album’s theme of impulse, or Martin puts it, ‘doing something on impulse’ hence the title, A Rush of Blood to the Head. ‘Green Eyes’, has a folk sound and is lyrically rich, expressing Marin’s feelings of gratitude and love for a green eyed someone, singing “How could anybody deny you” Critic Rob Sheffield explains ‘The Scientist’ as, ‘an overt sequel to “Yellow” (“Let’s go back to the star”) with a cataclysmic falsetto finale that could raise every hair on the back of your neck.’

Martin’s emotive singing styles, and simple but expressive lyrics, have been long celebrated. ‘Warning Sign’ expresses the relatable story of two people who like each other, but find reasons (warning signs) to no be together. In a gentle desperate whisper, Martins final words, lulled by soft piano chords and buzzing guitar strings, are sung, ‘So I crawl back into your open arms.’

In a modern world of auto tune and techno music, Coldplay’s use of actual musical instruments is somewhat refreshing. Be it Champions steady high-hat cymbal bass drum and snare drum combinations, or Berryman’s mellow and ‘smooth’ bass, to Buckland?s catchy melodic strumming, Coldplay is as actual musical band.

The album’s awards include a Grammy Award: Best Alternative Music Album for 2002, a Grammy Award for Record of the year for 2003 and a BRIT Awards nomination in 2010.

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