Everyone knows about Coldplay. Formed while at university in London, the quartet recorded a debut album, Parachutes, that sold over five million copies worldwide and included the brilliant and omnipresent "Yellow." Their second full-length is A Rush Of Blood To The Head, and while most of us had already heard this epic record as, it only officially hit store shelves this week. The sophomore effort is a decidely darker undertaking than the debut, which is no surprise as frontman and vaguely-strange-choice-as-heartthrob Chris Martin said that the band were greatly impacted by the events of September 11. So impacted that they tossed a good chunk of the material they had already written and replaced it with what you hear on Rush. All is not dark and gloomy, however, as first single, "In My Place," is a pure pop gem and standout tracks, heavy or otherwise, are abundant. The spacy "God Put A Smile Upon My Face" fits in that category, while the guitar bits on "Daylight" prove that the band's time with Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen definitely rubbed off. The peaks on the album for me are the anthemic "Warning Sign," which is a crush tape must-include if I have ever heard one, and "Clocks," a dead-ringer for "It's Alright" by Swedish dream-poppers The Motorhomes (do your research). A Rush Of Blood To The Head proves the band suffers no sophomore slump and I only hope the band can withstand the mental pressures of stardom to deliver a career of excellence, continuing to build on the excellent foundation they have already lain.