"How long am I gonna stand with my head stuck under the sand/I'll start before I can stop, before I see things the right way up … A sign that I couldn't read, a light that I couldn't see/Some things you have to believe/Others are puzzles puzzling me … All those signs I knew what they meant/Some things you can't invent/Some get made and some get sent."
—from the hit single "Speed of Sound"

Love or hate Coldplay, it's obvious that the British pop/rock band has hit it big and is poised for career longevity. Their 2002 sophomore effort A Rush of Blood to the Head sold 3.7 million copies, and X&Y, their 2005 follow-up, sold more than a million in its first two weeks. Most reviews have been strong, but some critics offered scathing criticism as a backlash to the popularity—a sure sign of runaway success. There's also something to be said for defining a genre and, like U2 and Radiohead, becoming the standard for comparison to numerous copycats. It all comes with the territory when you're reportedly vying to become one of the biggest bands on the planet.

Regardless of how you feel about their music, Coldplay has clearly chosen to run with the qualities that made Rush so successful, only to amplify their sound for soon-to-be packed arenas. The four members won't be regarded as the most skillful musicians, relying heavily on simplistic hooks. But they're proving themselves masters of dynamic, minimalist arrangements that elicit the same emotional responses as history's greatest arena rock bands.

Guitarist Jonny Buckland sounds like he's been intensely studying the U2 playbook to borrow several Edge-styled guitar riffs, while the addition of organ and swirling synthesizer pads suggest frontman Chris Martin is ...

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