He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Coldplay - X&Y (2005/Parlophone)

X & Y Album Cover

"Their best yet", say NME. Well, at least, that's what the sticker on the cover says. Reading that, your expectations are high from the start.

I've listened to this album, many, many times. Normally, this would be because it's what I call a "grower" and the more you listen to it, the better it gets, but in this case I'm listening to it a good few times so I can get my head round why every other review I've seen seems to like it. Perhaps I don't get it?

Don't get me wrong, there's some damn good tracks on there. Square One, What If and White Shadows give you the impression that the little sticker means something, but then you get to Fix You.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Whinging vocals, almost sounding like another group doing a parody of Coldplay, I can't get through the first minute without skipping the track. Quite simply, it grates on my nerves. Forty-five seconds, tops, and I've gone on to Talk, which manages to claw back a little bit of credibility.

The title track doesn't really do much to help, either. This is blandness incarnate.

Does Speed of Sound sound just a bit like Clocks but with less soul? You be the judge....

The only remaining track that I can say has something good to it, is Low, which has a nice edgy sound, but by the time you've got this far, you'll probably not want to bother listening much further. Go to the bonus track if you want to hear something a little bit more like old style Coldplay, but there's not much here to ensure you play on repeat.

I've listened, listened and listened and tried to be fair, but this album is bland, offering little new from the previous two offerings. Some of it is quite simply overproduced and I can see this will probably replace the Lighthouse Family as the music that's universally played in elevators and department stores everywhere. This will be the anthem to all sales execs driving their Mondeos everywhere. Avoid. You won't be missing much. Mediocre at best.

Overall: 2/5
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