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This is a story about ambition. About four people who formed a band not to become famous or provide fresh soundtracks for TV ads, but because they wanted to write great songs, to make music with real honesty and passion. We were trying to say that there is an alternative, says singer Chris Martin. That you can try to be catchy without being slick, poppy without being pop, and you can be uplifting without being pompous. Because were sometimes playing quieter stuff, its hard to sound like were trying to change things, but we wanted to be a reaction against soulless rubbish.

Their second album, A Rush of Blood To The Head, although still recognizably Coldplay, is louder than the last, more up-tempo and energetic. Theres a lot more fear on the last record, a lot more blatant insecurity, whereas on this one its more hidden, says Chris. Weve grown up a bit, traveled a lot more, met so many people. Musically too, weve heard more: the Bunnymen, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, New Order The last two years, weve been like a cultural sponge. Weve sucked it all in and now its coming out on this record. A lot of it is meant to be about drive and confidence in the face of worry and insecurity.

But the politics on the album are often personal. We made this album feeling like every day could be the last, and we just wanted to get everything out, do everything to the maximum, say Chris. We might as well make the most of things and live everything utterly with conviction. Its about making the most of this amazing opportunity, because we cant believe weve been given it. That applies to the band and to our lives in general. And its about girls, of course. Because isnt everything?

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