COLDPLAY – X & Y (Parlophone)

Surely everyone who was going to get this album has it by now, but I thought that I would add my two-penneth anyway. Coldplay have defied all the critics by coming up with a third album which is at least the equal to, if not better than, their previous two. You can’t have escaped ‘Speed Of Sound’ as it has been on constant rotation on the radio for months, but new single ‘Fix You’ is even better, and looks set to become a Coldplay classic. ‘Square One’ and ‘Low’ are Coldplay at their most rocking (which, it must be admitted, is not that rocking), with the former having some fine upfront guitar. But it is with the ballads that the band excel, and in ‘What If’, ‘The Hardest Part’, ‘Swallowed In The Sea’, and the aforementioned ‘Fix You’ they have come up with some of their most memorable songs. ‘Talk’ might have lifted its opening riff from Kraftwerk, but they soon turn the song into one of their own, and the title track has one of the album’s most immediate melodies and some great chiming guitar, making it an instant highlight. ‘Twisted Logic’ has some very ‘Abbey Road Beatles’ guitar on it at the beginning, and a plaintive vocal from Chris Martin which gradually builds up, together with the music, towards an emotive chorus. A hidden track at the end is an acoustic version of a song written for, but never recorded by, Johnny Cash – ‘Til Kingdom Come’, and it is as worthy of inclusion as anything that has gone before. You hardly need me to tell you that this album is possibly Coldplay’s finest achievement, and if you are still in two minds about getting it then rest assured that it will be money well spent. If you haven’t yet got a copy then you are probably too late for the double vinyl issue in card slipcase with free poster, but make do with the CD and immerse yourself in some great music.