With the release of last year's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, Coldplay managed to distance itself more from the ridiculous titles bestowed upon it over the years — i.e., "U2's heir apparent" or "Radiohead's bastard offspring." What the haters often forget when scrambling to denounce a widely popular act like Coldplay is that a band might be occasionally onto something when it sells millions of records. Vida is a beautiful, imaginative and sonically lush record — and the result of a very fortuitous collaboration between a band reaching maturity just in time to work with an incomparable producer like Brian Eno. (Alternately, perhaps Coldplay reached that level of maturity because it was afforded the chance to work with just such a mastermind.) Whatever the reason, Coldplay has become the rare group that keeps pushing its creative limits while somehow holding onto the mass appeal that fuels its grandiose vision.