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A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay (2002)

Questions and answers: we ask the former to find the latter, haunting untamed trails in our reckless flight from uncertainty to security. Once we find the answers, our confidence knows no limits, and we tackle any challenge that attracts our hungry souls. This is a journey that we repeat often-questions are always popping up, and we cannot allow them to go unanswered. Together, all these questions and answers weave an intricate tapestry that we call life.

It's this same life—not a pop star's bubblegum existence or the jaded life of a rapper—that fills A Rush of Blood to the Head. Musical affairs abound as strings seamlessly collide and blend with resonant guitar and insistent piano backed by a solid rhythm of drums and bass. Floating on top of this musical scenery are Chris Martin's sometimes-pleading, sometimes-asserting vocals. At times the music reaches an unbelievable climax, lifting you to a high mountaintop from which the world and all that is good can be seen ("Politik"; "The Scientist"). Other melodies consume you in their ocean-like depths of longing ("In My Place"; "Warning Sign"). And that's just the music.

The lyrics, like their musical counterparts, are full of life. "Politik" is a plea for sight and for real love over a blind acceptance of fake smiles and words that we so often put up with. Moving forward in time, "In My Place" looks at past moments where we were lost, but also look forward to a salvation:

Please, please, come back and sing to me
To me, to me, me, come on and sing it out
Now, now, come on and sing to me
To me, me, come back and sing to me

And what of the salvation they long for? "God gave me style and gave me grace," croons Martin in "God Put a Smile Upon My Face." What does this mean? To quote the song, "Your guess is as good as mine."

Moving from salvation, the CD has several songs that address romantic love. "The Scientist" is a wondrous, piano-laden diary of reflective love that is painfully awakened by the reminder that the love has to go. The sole acoustic number, "Green Eyes" finds Coldplay reveling (for once!) in a love that has not faded... yet. As if to apologize for a lapse of reason, "Warning Sign" laments the blindness of love that couldn't see the danger and turns into a full-fledged cry in the chorus ("But the truth is, I miss you"); yet, in the end, the danger turns out to be little more than a nightmare, and love's arms are once again welcoming and ready to hold our despondent protagonist. Sinking back into doleful thought, "A Whisper" wonders, "Who remembers you when you are gone?"

So, what ties all these songs together in a neat bundle? "A Rush of Blood to the Head." Mistakes will be made, faces will be dirtied, plans will evaporate into thin air. What do we do? Attack our challenges for all that they're worth and give them our fullest effort.

As the CD wraps up with "Amsterdam", Coldplay enters with a firm thought: "Time is on your side … not pushing you down and all around, no, it's no cause for concern." Reflecting once again on the past, they recall a time when jumping off a bridge tied to a noose was the best solution. And what happened? "You came along and cut me loose."

Who cut them loose? Has God really given them style, grace, and a smile upon their face? Coldplay are content to leave us with more questions than we began with, and strangely enough, there seems to be nothing wrong with that: there is completeness in the doubt.

Anyone who asks questions is respected, if only because they're not ignoring the truth. But, in the end, time is on the side of those who have the right answers. Chris, Jonny, Will, and Guy: hope you find them soon if you haven't already.