Coldplay: X&Y

X&Y was Coldplay’s third full-length studio album. After the success of Coldplay’s 2002 album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, which catapulted the band into worldwide fame, the group felt compelled to come up with something even better. Over 60 songs were written for the new album, most of which were discarded, while other original tracks were perfected in live performance and re-recorded. After several delays, X&Y was released in June of 2005 and became and instant number one album in both Great Britain and the United States. It contained 12 new songs (and one hidden track), six of which were released as singles. Critics, while generally positive, considered it to be less substantial than A Rush of Blood to the Head. However, the album was a huge commercial success, achieving multi-platinum status in over 20 countries and winning numerous awards for the band.

Drawing on various influences, including electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk and Brian Eno (who plays on the album), X&Y features the band’s usual trademarks of keyboard-driven ballads, catchy guitar hooks, and relective lyrics. The album was dedicated to the memory of actor Bruce Paltrow, singer Chris Martin’s father-in-law. This is especially evident on the poignant ballad “Fix You,” which features  an organ sound from a keyboard that Paltrow had given as a gift. The song has become one of the band’s most popular songs and has been covered and sampled by many groups, including the senior citizen vocal group Young At Heart, who featured a heart-rending version of the song in their documentary movie. Other stand out songs include “Speed Of Sound,” “Talk” (which features a riff from Kraftwerk’s Computer Love), and “What If”. (Buy it here.)

Suggested Reading:

Matt McGinn. Roadie: My Life on the Road with Coldplay.