Sound — 6
Coldplay's come a long way since Parachutes and unfortunately it's been in the wrong direction. Instead of developing their creative side in terms of their sound and their style, they've found one cliched and over-used style and stuck with it for the entire album. Every song on the album uses the same keyboard chord background (as in "Clocks" on Rush) sound and thus there isn't much variety. The guitarist Jon Buckland's riffs for the most part are corny and boring. The band follows the formula for the stadium rock song that they've come accustomed to since "Clocks" became such a hit. The bass has improved significantly on this album and for the most part plays a bigger role in the band. Will Champion's drumming has gotten much better and it sounds a lot more clean. As a whole, the band has a much bigger sound than they've ever had, they have more things going on at once (or it might just seem that way because of the keyboard background), and they use fewer real instruments to provide the base for their songs. Instead of relying on the guitars for the base of their songs, they've used synthetic sounds instead.
Lyrics — 6
X&Y's lyrics are for the most part OK. They're not clever or witty and all seem to deal with the same subject of Chris Martin's feelings, and hardly about anything else. My favorite song on the album, "Twisted Logic" is a powerful song about the modern world, and is the only song on the album that deals with something other than Martin's emotions. For this reason, it stands out from the rest of the album. Martin's singing is much improved on this album and his range has increased significantly. He sounds as though he takes no effort at all in singing, and always seems to find the right note to sing with the rest of the band at the right time.
Overall Impression — 6
As a whole, the album is vast and expansive, their biggest album to date. However, the same sound thats found in every song makes the album boring and uninteresting. In my opinion, this album is a step in the wrong direction. They're trying to be the biggest band in the world with their sound and popularity, but the people in the band don't match that image. They're not overly exciting and they aren't as eccentric as the other big bands in history.