With recent appearances in gossip columns, celebrity "news" magazines as well as seemingly every charity event going, it is perhaps inevitable that Chris Martin would have endured some kind of backlash. That he is the frontman for one of the UK's most successful bands probably doesn't help either but at least the songwriting quality hasn't diminished even if 'X&Y' isn't a great stylistic change from its predecessor. It's main calling cards are a sense of humanity and memorable tunes which ensnare music fans caught between the indie/popular music threshold. 'X&Y' has a few piano ballads to keep those seeking the comfort factor happy and 'What If' and 'Fix You' certainly have the legs and emotional weight to be future singles. That rumoured Kraftwerk influence turns up only once but in very obvious fashion as 'Computer Love' is turned into a guitar riff quite cleverly on 'Talk'. Yet once again the better songs seem to be the harder-edged ones; the haunted ambient quality to 'White Shadow' or the Bunnymen-esque 'Low' and 'The Hardest Part'. If it's originality and experimentalism you're after, then it's best to look elsewhere but this is Coldplay's most convincing statement yet that they are first and foremost a band, rather than one high-pitched singer and three other blokes.