Sound — 8
There have been complaints that X&Y and (Coldplay's biggest hit) A Rush Of Blood To The Head sound the same. When I bought the album, I was cautiously optimistic that it would be vintage Coldplay. I got my wish. From the streaming guitars in 'Square One' to the powerful, ballad-like ending of 'Fix You' (which I'm sure that will be the closer to their tour this year). 'Speed Of Sound' sounds strangely similar to Coldplay's mega-hit, 'Clocks' but is somehow hauntingly different. Similar enough to remind you of 'Clocks', but yet different enough to consider it a different song in itself. My only complaint about Colplay's sound is that on this record, they use these strange harmonics, which is not only annoying, but they take away from the song. Be prepared to wait 10-20 seconds for the actual intro to a song.
Lyrics — 6
This is my main Coldplay complaint. These lyrics range from above average to absolutley dreadful. For example, in 'Square One' Chris Martin inquires "Is there anybody out there who... is lost and scared and lonely too?" First of, how in the world are you lost, scared, and lonely? You're married to Gweneth Paltrow, one of the hottest women in Hollywood. If I was married to Gweneth Paltrow, I would be sure not to be lost, scared, or lonely. He seems like he tries to rhyme lyrics with the first thing that comes to his head. When Martin promises to "write a song, a hundred miles long," it's romantic, but any girl would rather him not. Especially if he's going to talk about how he's lonely, when he's not.
Overall Impression — 8
Highlights: Square One, Fix You, Speed Of Sound, A Message, Swallowed In The Sea (despite the bad lyrics, it's a good song), Twisted Logic (the sole song with really good lyrics), Til Kingdom Come.