June 6, 2015 Coldplay’s X & Y Prolific British Rock 10 Years Later
Coldplay were at their all-time high in 2005 when their third studio record, X & Y, was released and their creative flow was at an elevated level. Listeners came to see that their style of music became more euphoric and symphonic as they were reaching for greatness.
At the time of its release on June 6, 2005, they were seeking a new sound, a more vibrant sound that was also highly spirited; one that was stadium friendly. This album, in the status quo of stadium-friendly, tends to stay on the borderline of polite and majestic; it slightly leaves some stones unturned, but it still became the first album that gave them major recognition among the masses. Lead vocalist Chris Martin had visions of grandeur for this record after the success of 2002’s Rush of Blood to the Head and the single “The Scientist.”
Taking it back to the beginning, the four-piece, made up of renaissance man/Lead Vocalist Martin, Drummer Will Champion, Guitarist Jonny Buckland, and Guy Berryman on bass, began their music adventures while in university in London. Their 2000 debut release on UK based Polyphone Records, Parachutes, following with the release of their first single, “Yellow,” made them a band to watch out for in the new millennium. Soon after, in 2002, they released the aforementioned A Rush of Blood to the Head, which was filled with hits such as “The Scientist” and “Clocks.” Well on their way, listeners could see after hearing X & Y, they were fully coming into their own, felt comfortable with their sound, and they were ready to take on the world.
The first single entitled “Speed of Sound,” is vibrant and symphonic, as well as beautiful to the ears… and it was only the beginning. Their second single off the album, “Talk,” features catchy riff with the use of keyboard that is very apparent, and lyrically the track talks of fear of the future along with needing someone to get by. Questioning statements appear in the lyrics, such as “in the future where will I be?” It questions the possible exploration of planets and exploring greater possibilities in music.
Continuing to turn heads, their third single off of X & Y, entitled “Fix You,” is a great track and one that is truly inspiring. It is beautifully epic as to how it begins quiet and slow tempoed and how it crescendos and gets louder in volume. It can be relegated to anything in the field of having troubles from weight issues, to drug abuse, and depression. This is a beautiful song to give inspiration to people to get back up and try again. With the words, “Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones and I will try to fix you;” it is as if Chris Martin is a friend. Essentially, this song is completely stadium worthy and became a song for Coldplay that put them on the mainstream map and proved their uniqueness to the music world.
Soon after the release of X & Y, they began to snatch comparisons to bands on a larger scale, such as U2, who also seem to use electronic symphonic sounds to turn their music up a notch. After its release, it became number one in twenty countries and became the third fastest-selling album in British history. Their music videos, following suit, started to take a more artistic and grander direction, such as their video for “Speed of Sound,” which showed them playing in front of a large lighted background that felt like a technicolor spectacle. The name Coldplay, after the release of X & Y, became a household name, as they were headlining more festivals such as the Live 8 festival in 2006, with a cameo performance of The Verve’s classic, “Bittersweet Symphony” with frontman, Richard Ashcroft. They were becoming one of Britain’s elite.
When people think of the legendary bands that have come from England, most think of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and in more recent years, Oasis, as well as, Muse. By 2005, Coldplay became part of that lineup as they were selling out stadiums worldwide and continuing to spread a powerful message of strength and hope in their songs. Coldplay echoes British greats like The Who, who as a four piece were able to create a richer and deeper sound than simply being four instruments alone. The band’s release of X & Y, was followed by rave reviews, and some critics, including ones from New York Times and Rolling Stone, shared mixed reviews, saying that Coldplay is coasting.
Critics may say one thing, but the fans have the right to believe what they want, as long as it translates to them. X & Y became an album with many possible singles and lots of hidden gems, musically and lyrically. Coldplay are still going strong, and have shown that most of their albums since then have continued to follow the same aesthetic. With some mild stumbles along the way, X & Y became a catalyst for their stardom and growing adoration from around the world that has lasted a decade since its release.