REVIEW: Coldplay Continues To Please With "Mylo Xyloto"
Though iTunes allowed streaming of the songs one by one in the days leading up to the release, each individual track paled in comparison to the richness of the album as a whole.
“Mylo Xyloto” is a concept album, tied by the theme of a "love story with a happy ending." Theoretically, it takes place in a futuristic dystopia where two protagonists, Mylo and Xyloto, fall in love.
While the concept can seem a little dark, the album is generally filled with blissful sounds and positive, uplifting lyrics.
The album title itself, "Mylo Xyloto", has no significant meaning. Chris Martin told The Sun (a UK newspaper) "Something about it feels quite fresh… Other [album titles] made more sense but we just liked this one, that's all we can defend it with".
The 42-second "Mylo Xyloto" intro warms up the listener’s ears for "Hurts like Heaven," the perfect opening track. The feel-good upbeat song makes you want to jump up and dance around, echoing Martin on stage at his concerts.
"Paradise," consisting of intense strings and strong beats, gives the first hint at the more electro-dance-pop sound of the album as a whole. Martin sings about a disillusioned girl that escapes through her dreams into a better place – paradise: “When she was just a girl/She expected the world/But it flew away from her reach so/She ran away in her sleep.”
"Charlie Brown" could arguably be called the best track on the album. Like every favorite Coldplay song, this track combines strong drums, guitar and piano, with lyrics rich in colorful imagery.
As the song surges on, the echoing and repeated lines beg the listener to sing along.
After three knockout songs in a row, the album slows down a little. Ballads “Us Against The World” and “Up in Flames” bring the idea of the album back to a love story: “Through chaos as it swirls/It’s just us against the world.”
“Princess of China” is an unexpected but very successful collaboration between Coldplay and Rihanna. She adds a darker, sexier allure to an otherwise lyrically shallow song.
Summer favorite “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is strategically placed in the middle of the album, as the first released single. What sounded like untraditional Coldplay at first, was quickly realized to be the new electro-pop sound of the album. Every chord brings on a new set of chills, as the song builds.
Every song on the band’s 5th album flows from one into the next, a trait that can be attributed to co-producer Brian Eno. The album is comprised of songs that are catchy, but not in a tired way, filled with classic “woah-oh” sing-along choruses and echoing, overlapping guitars.
The sound is an extension and elaboration of “Viva La Vida,” though more intimate and slightly more experimental, but nothing that pushes the boundaries. “Mylo Xyloto” is exactly what you want and expect from Coldplay – a feel-good, pop-rock album with a unique twist only they can add.
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