In the past, U2 and Radiohead's declarative anthems had been the most obvious benchmarks for Coldplay's grand make-out music, but with X&Y, the band aims for an interstellar majesty that plays like a warmer, less intellectual Pink Floyd. Chris Martin and his mates again display an ingratiating accessibility, building their songs from quiet openings into knock-out-the-lights crescendos. But instant pleasures like "Square One" and "X&Y" feel equally perfect for the radio as well as the planetarium; their lush, groovy space-age keyboards recall the mind-expanding Dark Side of the Moon without the lyrical ambitions. As with earlier albums, X&Y's lesser second-side songs come across as overly earnest retreads of the group's patented romantic formula -- they're just as mushy but lack the inventive hooks that can make your arm hairs stand on end. Nevertheless, such deficiencies won't matter to the millions of lovey-dovey couples swaying along to Martin's every utterance.
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