Sound — 6
Even if you didn't have awfully high expectations after the excellent previous albums, this a real let down. A few songs are worth your time, namely Kingdom Come, Fix You, and Square One for their relative originality, and Speed Of Sound for it being clocks 2.0. The sound hasn't really changed, it's just the lack of good songs.
Lyrics — 6
I used to be fine with Coldplay's lyrics, and in an age where bands like Three Day's Grace pass for music, I can't consciously give Coldplay any less than three stars. In any case, nothing impressive here, nothing like on the last two albums. Coldplay used to have a hopeful sort of woe-is-me vibe that fit very well. However, it seems like they're taking upon a woe-is-us feel trying to share their problems more with the listener than in the past, and I don't feel they've succeeded.
Overall Impression — 6
It's not often that I actually agree with a Rolling Stone review, but it was spot on. This isn't terrible music, but that is because the general blandness prevents anything from sticking out as really bad. There's just nothing to push it over any other halfway decent band out there. In a way, it's the same "maturity" that Green Day had with American Idiot. I mean this musically. I'm sure Coldplay means everything they say, and their hearts are in the right place. They are known as one of the most polite and friendly bands out there. However, this just isn't a good album. Listen to both their other albums, and their EPs, and if you can deal with an entire album that's on the level of the worst songs they recorded before, then you know you are a huge fan and go ahead and buy this. Othewise, spend the money on a concert ticket, 'cause they still rock out live.