21. Coldplay, 'A Rush of Blood to the Head'
In the early '00s, starry-eyed Brit-pop boys doing a cuddly version of Radiohead were a dime a dozen. (Remember Starsailor?) It was Coldplay's second album that showed they were true contenders. Songs like "Green Eyes" and "The Scientist" brought back the comforting melodies of "Yellow" but revealed a band that was restless and hungry: The twinkling sonics suggested prime Smiths or U2. And darker stuff like the austerely beautiful death meditation "Amsterdam" and the OK Computer-worthy "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" showed the group had more than arena anthems on its mind.
• Rolling Stone's Original 2002 Review