Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. A Rush of Blood to the Head might not instantly grab listeners, but it's not tailored that way. It pushes you to look beyond dreamy vocals for a musical inner core.
  2. Parachutes was impressive, but Coldplay's new album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, is stunning, the amount of growth from Album One to Album Two equally so.
  3. But while the sound of this album is more expansive, the influences a bit less obvious, and the approach more varied, the guys forgot to tote along their initial strength: the songs.
  4. 100
    May well come to be regarded as the best British rock album since OK Computer. [Sep 2002, p.118]
  5. A collection of vastly moving songs that will render stadiums as intimate as bedrooms. U2, Radiohead... Coldplay? It would seem so. [Sep 2002, p.98]
  6. 60
    The line between hypnotic and tediously repetitive is occasionally crossed. [Sep 2002, p.94]
  7. With A Rush of Blood, Coldplay do more than fulfill the promise of "Yellow" -- they surpass everything they've done up to this point, making first-rate guitar rock with some real emotional protein on its bones.
  8. Dressed up in subtle strings and pianos, and given time to slowly breathe and develop beyond simple pop, A Rush Of Blood's 11 graceful tracks sparkle and swirl, occasionally escalating into a booming crescendo before dissolving back into delicacy.
  9. It's an album of outstanding natural beauty, an organic, wholesome work.
  10. 70
    A guitar record equally suitable for a lost weekend or a good cry. [Sep 2002, p.125]
  11. Displaying a cohesion rarely heard in albums these days, ''A Rush of Blood'' bobs from one majestic little high to another.
  12. A patchwork quilt of wispy Britpop ballads soaring majestically in an effort to overcome their own blandness. [Oct 2002, p.78]
  13. 80
    The sound is simultaneously terse and expansive--moody and powerful, shot through with singer Chris Martin's grainy delivery. [#9, p.145]
  14. A stronger, more distinctive album than its predecessor in nearly every respect.
  15. The key to 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' is to be found not in Martin's presence, but in the intensity, dynamism, verve and style that Coldplay have now nailed, when comparisons to Radiohead, Echo and The Bunnymen and, perhaps most pertinently, U2's 'Unforgettable Fire', manifest themselves in a series of killer strides.
  16. If you're presently in love, A Rush of Blood ... will make you want to frolic like Lily Tomlin with the cartoon animals in 9 to 5. Otherwise, it'll probably make you want to puke.
  17. Fierce and noble and fragile and genuinely moving, 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' is a lovely furnace of searing goodness made by some wonderful contradictory bastards.
  18. 100
    There's nothing quite like the sound of a band at the top of its game.
  19. Coldplay's new record is a little edgier, trancier, and more conversational than their last. It is called A Rush of Blood to the Head, and in waves and swells of major tunes and frisky then looping time signatures, that's just about the effect it has.
  20. It recalls U2's The Joshua Tree, and not just for its stunning guitar work but for its wild passion and spiraling tension-and-release dynamics.
  21. 30
    The most disappointingly safe alternative album of the year.
  22. A very tastefully crafted, tuneful, and affecting piece of work with a band that is still just beginning to tap its enormous potential.
  23. The sound is fuller, the arrangements more complex; most importantly, the songs are just a whole lot better [than Parachutes'].
  24. It's Coldplay's lack of humor, the very straightness of its lyrics, that makes the dourness so detestable. And where miserabilists past had a strong pop sensibility, Coldplay is content to create directionless palettes of sound.
  25. Without the emotional resonance of Martin's voice at its most free, Coldplay's brilliantly minimal musical foundation has nothing to support. So it falters.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 296 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 147
  1. Aug 6, 2011
    For me, the greatest Coldplay album and one of the best of the decade. Possibly the coldplay album with the most piano. Songs like "Green eyes", "clocks", "a rush of blood to the head", "the scientist" or "politik" are top class melodic rock. I would only delete the song "god put a smile up on your face". Here they don't sound like first era Radiohead at all as they did on their fantastic first album. Full Review »
  2. Apr 19, 2014
    A Rush of Blood to the Head is without a doubt one of Coldplay's crowing achievements. It features some excellent music, some of the best we've ever heard from Coldplay. I don't know if I would say this is my absolute favorite Coldplay album, it is one of the best of course, but one thing that puts me off about this album is that I am not a big fan of the album cover, I think it looks a bit bland, however I am not hear to judge the cd by it's cover, I am here to judge it by it's contents. AROBTTH is a excellent album and I think even non-Coldplay fans can enjoy it. My favorite tracks are "Politik", "God put a Smile Upon Your Face", "The Scientist", "Clocks" (This is actually one of my favorite songs of all time), "Warning Sign" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" (the song). Full Review »
  3. Feb 4, 2014
    Born in 1996, Coldplay didn’t mess around. They got right down to business making music and building a fan base that would continue to flourish more than a decade after first sitting down in Parlophone Studios to record their journey through powerful piano ballads and haunting hi-hats.
    From their signature paint-splattered piano to lead singer Chris Martin’s British charm, Coldplay stepped into the spotlight in 2000 with the release of their single “Yellow.” If you weren’t able to see past the pantsuits and razor scooters of the early 2000s, you may have missed the early days of Coldplay. Not only did they cultivate their talents early, but they incubated ideas for years to come.
    Let’s take a look at their second album ever released, A Rush Of Blood To The Head. Opening with the track “Politik,” we can assume from the raging pulse of the drums and guitar that this album has a statement to make. The song begs its listener to “open up your eyes.” Sounding almost mechanical, this intense song is a change in sound from Coldplay’s previous album.
    As the album progresses, we move from eager rhythms to a more relaxed sound, a characteristic of Coldplay’s mellow yellow soul. Things slow down with the quixotic tune, “Clocks,” where Chris flexes his vocal chords to hit the higher notes. Again, there is a very distinct, driving rhythm that keeps you grounded in the song.
    By the time we get to “Green Eyes,” we’re more than half way through this eleven-track album. Coldplay couldn’t help but go back to their heart-warming roots. “Green Eyes” is a sincere acoustic ballad with subtle yet effective harmonies. It’s a nice break from the first few in-your-face tracks, but it’s also the turning point of the album.
    A Rush Of Blood To The Head is almost an emotional journey, laced with love, confusion and introspection. Once we’ve passed the emerald gem that is “Green Eyes,” things slow down even more with the echoing riffs of “Warning Sign,” which has a nostalgic sound we haven’t yet encountered in the album. “Warning Sign” pairs gentle riffs with a roaring truth, “I miss you.”
    The tracks from here on out are much more intimate and heart wrenching. The title track, “A Rush Of Blood To The Head,” rings with longing and desire. The song and album title itself are a good summary for the over-all effect of the album: a rush of blood to the head, an epiphany, an intensity.
    A Rush of Blood To The Head is more mechanical sounding than Coldplay’s first album, Parachutes. The golden-lit spinning globe on the album cover is a good indication of Parachutes’ warm acoustic sounds and dreamy melodies. Their first album was a great start to building their image as a British rock band, and it was almost more inviting in sound than A Rush Of Blood To The Head-— but I think that’s the point.
    While “Parachutes” is comparable to a dimly-lit café with the faint sounds of Sinatra drifting under the smell of freshly baked croissants, A Rush Of Blood To The Head is more like sitting in a fluorescently lit room in a mass-produced, lightly padded chair. While this may sound a little uncomfortable, it has impact, and that is the point of the album. Being cozy has its perks, but being uncomfortable can provoke important questions and evoke a whole new set of emotions.
    If you enjoyed the emotional progressions of A Rush Of Blood To The Head, I encourage you to listen to their other five, start to finish, and marvel at the emotional and mental journey they will take you on.
    Full Review »