Album Title: X & Y
Release Date: June 6, 2005
Genre: Rock/Pop
"X & Y" is perhaps one of the most highly anticipated new records this year, and it certainly lives up to all the requisite hyperbole; so much so that copies of the album were leaked online several days before release, much to the restrained chagrin of EMI. This new compilation represents a studied progression for Coldplay, an album replete with material that captures their trademark melodic rock cadences and harmonic depths. Chris Martin's soulful vocals reverberate on each track with unrelenting power, aching with passion and purpose. Songs like the mystical "Talk", and the euphoric "Square One" brim also with Jonny Buckland's primal guitar riffs. The breezy "A Message" and "Fix You" see Coldplay setting new standards in their music, the melodies and harmonies gestating over an 18-month period, culminating in an album of indelible depth and intensity.

The elliptical "Speed of Sound" coaxes a sense of understanding, while the melancholy refrains of "What If" and the tender strains of title track "X & Y" juxtapose a tempestuous edge with a gentler, romantic subtlety, a habit begun in "Parachutes", and continued here, yet the arrangements venture into new ground, uncharted territory that is beguiling, yet reassuring. "X & Y" is a prime example that rock can be intimate and assuaging, by reaching deep into the soul, revealing something relevant within its borders.

Writer: Steve Bromby

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