19. Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
Whether you love or loathe Chris Martin, A Rush of Blood to the Head was undeniably Coldplay’s masterwork. Written at a time when the band itself was at the brink of exhaustion, the album challenged Coldplay’s previous reputation as romantic balladeers (and little else) with the dark opener “Politik” and the stunning “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face”. Quieter moments (“Green Eyes”, “Amsterdam”) and obvious singles (“In My Place” and the inescapable “Clocks”) balanced more experimental material, providing a listening experience that, for such a young band, surprised with its nerve and maturity.