Mylo Xyloto review by Coldplay

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  • Released: Oct 19, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.2 (110 votes)
Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto
6

Sound — 8
Hold your fire. One of the bands that has helped to keep the stumbling mammoth of the music industry on its feet over the last decade is making its late registration for the 2010s. Coldplay have a habitation, and hell, embodiment, of the limelight on a musical level, and that has delighted the fans and the masses while equally large pockets of naysayers feel burnt by their relentless publicity. You've got to work with the tools you're given though, and here the Londoners have used their world class facilities, endless budget and trio of leading producers to create an absolute fairyland.

Inspired, uplifting and exceptionally camp, "Mylo Xyloto" is a headfirst dive into ultra-tech, neon-lit guitar pop, eluded to only by minor flirtations on 2008's "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" and delivered with the sort of confidence that was previously reserved for when a hit single was in the offing. Those who blamed overproduction for bringing down the bloated "X&Y" ought to steer well clear, as there are more bleeps, bloops and studio tricks in opener "Hurts Like Heaven" than most of their back catalogue combined; indeed, remove the Parachutisms of "Us Against The World" and you have to go a long way through this album before there's any sign of the doom, gloom or humility that defined their early years. But if it was lethargic songwriting that killed that third album, here's your respite. All the excess that may previously have been in musical content has this time been stockpiled onto the post-production end of things, and while the intense saturation may have a whiff of glowstick-vomit to it at times, the songwriting never wavers. From the stadium-ready grandeur of "Charlie Brown" and "Don't Let It Break Your Heart" to the simple hit-building of "Paradise", Chris Martin and co. Have perhaps found the best songs and the best mode of expression since their initial rocket course to fame.

Lyrics — 8
Martin is a sticking point for many, of course. As much as the instrumentalists chip in and Jonny Buckland's crisp, melodic guitar lines don't half stand out Coldplay is really Chris Martin's baby and if his tone doesn't do it for you, what is he beyond a middle class fool with silly writing on his hands?

Well, he's a talented singer and a passable lyricist. His manipulation of quasi-alternative vernacular into easily digestible hooks is commendable and while he does so less convincingly on "Mylo Xyloto" than some other efforts, (see: "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall") the ground is made up by the richness of his melody and careful consideration of notes in relation to chords.

Overall Impression — 8
In a world of risk aversion it's refreshing to see Coldplay go for wholesale changes in sound and image, meticulously constructed as they are in this case. Perhaps a cynic would point to "Princess Of China", which features guest star Rihanna, and see more fingerprints of the American megastar than Coldplay in its style - and perhaps they'd be right. However, all the best pop melody has a way of unifying masses of people, from the most passionate of fans to those who see music as sonic padding to television and club nights - Coldplay, always a "songs band" at heart, have finally put together a really strong collection and it's difficult to predict which of these eleven songs will elicit the greatest response from an audience so ready to sing their hearts out.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    eizetjuh
    I personally thought it was boring, because of all the electronics. compared to coldplay's older stuff
    11xXGuitarXx11
    I'm enjoying the album. I've been a fan of Coldplay for a long time, so for me...Mylo Xyloto is still Coldplay. They're just heading in a new direction. I'm happy to follow them wherever they decide to go. I guess you could say I'm a loyal fan lol.
    acade365
    I think that one of the biggest flaws on this album is the (over)production. Everything sounds compressed and bloated, there's virtually no instrument separation or detail. This makes a lot of the songs sound kind of the same. Also, Chris Martin's lyrics are worse than ever, and this comes from a long time Coldplay fan.
    shredder3386
    Nice Review. While I did like the album as it featured some of the most amazing Coldplay moments to date, there are also a lot of things I didn't like about. I found the singles particularily hard to digest (sweet irony) and overall I felt this album was alot more campy and happy than the others. That being said I really liked "Up in Flames" and a few other tracks on the album alot.
    Chickendirt
    i like this album its not the best coldplay album but its still coldplay and they are brilliant
    FN77
    Coldplay is a band who are good enough to make it to may MP3 player, but since Rush of Blood, it's a corner of the device which is rarely visited. There is always going to be backlash for any band who gets as big as Coldplay has, but in my opinion, Mylo Xyloto is just another example of them getting further away from the songs on Parachutes that made them someone to listen to in the first place. There has not been a song in a while that compares to Shiver or Don't Panic
    silent_reaper
    I dunno, part of the point of it was for it to be poppy. This is meant to be a concept album. The theme is finding happiness (in things like art and love) in dark times. It was, after all, influenced by The White Rose movement. So people criticizing it due to its poppy nature is kind of missing the big picture. That was my complaint with the AllMusic review anyways.
    FN77
    GenerationKILL wrote: Sorry to burst your bubble but I have the new Beady Eye album and its horrible, not to mention considered a commercial disaster. Good luck in believing the Gallagher brothers still create relevant music. They sound old and outdated by comparison to some of the bigger british artists these days, its going to hit you pretty hard when you realize how little people care about those two idiots, by comparison to Coldplay or even Muse.
    Noel's album was #1 in the UK, selling over 120,000 copies, which was almost double what beady-eye did in its first week, and almost the same as beady-eye did total at 138,000. Noel's album is great, beady-eye's was terrible.
    silent_reaper
    FN77 wrote: Coldplay is a band who are good enough to make it to may MP3 player, but since Rush of Blood, it's a corner of the device which is rarely visited. There is always going to be backlash for any band who gets as big as Coldplay has, but in my opinion, Mylo Xyloto is just another example of them getting further away from the songs on Parachutes that made them someone to listen to in the first place. There has not been a song in a while that compares to Shiver or Don't Panic
    That's my favorite thing in a band: that they can keep switching sounds. They manage to sound like Coldplay without sounding like any of their previous records. This is also why I stopped listening to Disturbed. Each album sounds exactly the same to me anymore.
    GBcommander
    Only enjoyed a few of the songs. The worst Coldplay album for me by far. A ton of choruses on this album are dreadful. What the hell happened? For example the so called "chorus" in Charlie Brown, ugh. In Hurts Like Heaven I really think they should have fleshed out the chorus more. And the production is pretty lackluster... Oh well, I guess every album they make won't be great. Best tracks imo: Major Minus, Us Against the World, Hurts Like Heaven, Paradise, and Up in Flames.
    GenerationKILL
    This album will be the biggest one of the year, and huge at the Grammys again. Brian Eno is a genius and anyone that disagrees should listen to it with a good pair of headphones. Love the new sound they're adopting and I anticipated this album for months. Major Minus is my favorite song. Regardless of what the trolls have to say, Coldplay is one of the most dynamic bands Ive ever seen live and their sound is a perfect playground for the ambient music pioneer/sheer genius of Brian Eno. They might not write the hardest/fastest/heaviest material but their sound is bombastic at times and lighter than air at others, which makes them world class.
    ItsApocalypse
    Coldplay is one of those bands that i have always had a bad taste in my mouth for. Especially after the countless plagiarism claims.. i don't know if i'll ever be to not view them from that angle.
    rtdgamefan
    I enjoy this album, as I have every other Coldplay release since the Blue Room EP, but man, I', having a hard time digesting it. It's great in comparison to other alternative/indie/ambient rock groups, but compared to Coldplay's body of work it feels like a step to the side in terms of creativity. That, and all I hear are Brian Eno's synthesizers the entire time and I think he is a bit of a pompous prick.
    pwninator123
    JimBonJovi wrote: Major Minus is the only decent song on this record. For me it doesn't even fit in with the others and I can't help but feel that they've sort of crossed the commercial line even more so by featuring Rihanna. I miss the Parachute days.
    Are you kidding me? Parachute was easily their most radio-friendly album. I mean, have you ever actually listened to the Viva La Vida album? That thing was pop suicide! If anything, this is a return to a poppier style after the departure of the last 3 albums.
    johnxfire
    I absolutely love Hurts Like Heaven. Princess from China is kinda meh. ETIAW is pretty good, if you let go of the fact that it's also very poppy. Charlie Brown is great too. Wish I had this album.
    JimBonJovi
    Major Minus is the only decent song on this record. For me it doesn't even fit in with the others and I can't help but feel that they've sort of crossed the commercial line even more so by featuring Rihanna. I miss the Parachute days.
    Hasok
    I like it more than Viva la vida... Idk why but i love U.F.O,nice little acoustic song
    Supersonic1
    GenerationKILL wrote: This album will be the biggest one of the year, and huge at the Grammys again.
    The same year Beady Eye (hate them all you want, the album is solid) AND Noel Gallagher put out albums? No.
    JimBonJovi
    pwninator123 wrote: JimBonJovi wrote: Major Minus is the only decent song on this record. For me it doesn't even fit in with the others and I can't help but feel that they've sort of crossed the commercial line even more so by featuring Rihanna. I miss the Parachute days. Are you kidding me? Parachute was easily their most radio-friendly album. I mean, have you ever actually listened to the Viva La Vida album? That thing was pop suicide! If anything, this is a return to a poppier style after the departure of the last 3 albums.
    I kid you not. Why must you pick an argument when I AGREE WITH YOU. I'm telling you, there's one born everyday...an idiot that is.
    Nasoj
    I gotta say, as much as I do enjoy Parachutes and stuff, I think that they are better now then they were then. Honestly, I think that the songs on Parachutes can get a bit similiar sounding sometimes, but not on Mylo Xyloto!
    HowIshotguitar?
    Am I the only one who thinks "In Rainbows" when looking at the cover of this album? Also while listening to coldplay.
    Chickendirt
    this to me is coldplays best. the production is brilliant and the sound of the album is amazing. Sadly as this is a site for guitars this album wont get praised as it focuses on the whole sound instead of one bit. 2011 album of the year though for me
    KcBrown
    Supersonic1 wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: This album will be the biggest one of the year, and huge at the Grammys again. The same year Beady Eye (hate them all you want, the album is solid) AND Noel Gallagher put out albums? No.
    Who?
    GenerationKILL
    Supersonic1 wrote: GenerationKILL wrote: This album will be the biggest one of the year, and huge at the Grammys again. The same year Beady Eye (hate them all you want, the album is solid) AND Noel Gallagher put out albums? No.
    Sorry to burst your bubble but I have the new Beady Eye album and its horrible, not to mention considered a commercial disaster. Good luck in believing the Gallagher brothers still create relevant music. They sound old and outdated by comparison to some of the bigger british artists these days, its going to hit you pretty hard when you realize how little people care about those two idiots, by comparison to Coldplay or even Muse.