This New Day
Like nuclear proliferation, Chris Martin has a lot to answer for. Take Embrace for instance. After a brief and baffling first rush of popularity, these heroically turgid northerners looked to have dropped off our collective radars for good until the intervention of the Coldplay frontman. Gravity, his charitable donation to the Embrace cause, propelled the McNamara brothers and their yeoman cohorts back into the big time. This latest offering might proclaim the dawning of a new day but it contains plenty more evidence of the band's diabolical pact at the Notting Hill crossroads with the blandly devilish Mr Martin. The sonic canvas has been expanded slightly to include a host of leaden U2 rip-offs such as opener No Use Crying but the rest of the album sticks faithfully to a formula of overblown potboilers and badly sung ballads. Its enough to make you pine for Coldplay which, you suspect, was Martin's evil intention all along. [Duncan Forgan]
This album is released on March 27.