Recording information: Open Vein Studios, Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
Coldplay's adoration for pop music's subtle, simple artifice isn't a secret. But it really becomes clear with this tribute, on which a stable of unknown up-and-comers perform 12 of the band's songs. Material like "Don't Panic," "Warning Sign," and "Trouble" are revealed as malleable, swaying ditties that stand on their own two legs, even without Chris Martin's choked Jeff Buckley impersonation or his band's distinctly British, dream pop bent. Many of the arrangements here ape American pop and indie rock. The breakthrough anthem "Yellow" becomes a Posies B-side in the hands of Underground; Airfield Conductions transform "Clocks" and "Politik" into indie-twee, complete with a female vocalist. Downside of Ever's "In My Place" plays closest to the original recording. A Tribute to Coldplay offers a fresh look at the group's material, which is nice, because many of the songs have suffered from overplay and overexposure. ~ Johnny Loftus