Music Review: Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

posted on Nov.14, 2011

“Mylo Xyloto”
Release Number: 5th
Hailing From: London, England
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Parlophone


Coldplay is a quartet consisting of lead vocalist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Johnny Buckland, drummer Will Champion, and bassist Guy Berryman. Their first album, Parachutes, is a collection of bummer tunes mixed in with a few heavier ballads, most notably “Yellow”. Chris Martin is known for their beautiful and serious lyrics about love and relationships delivered by his smooth vocals. A Rush of Blood to the Head has delivered some of their most recognized singles such as “Clocks”, “The Scientist”, and “In My Place”, playing on their earlier theme in their debut yet taking more advantage of electric guitar and piano. Their third album, X&Y, switches from the reflective songs about “me” to songs about “you”, placing doubt in fear in the self. This is idea is highlighted in the hit singles “Fix You”, and “Speed of Sound”. X&Y takes us for a ride, sequentially going from fast songs to slow songs, from ballads to a Chris Martin acoustic set,  almost making one lose patience and want to skip to the good parts.


Finally in comes Brian Eno, producing the masterpiece that is Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends, their most creative and anthem producing album that gave us hits like “Viva La Vida” and “Lost!”. This album focused less on the hopelessness of relationships that is observed in their previous album but rather the joys of life and love. This can be noticed in Martin’s change of tone, belting out tunes rather than singing them in his characteristically low pitch. Knowing a good thing when they see it, Coldplay invited Eno back into the studio to create their latest album, Mylo Xyloto, their most upbeat and poppy sounding creation yet.

One can note their ambition after listening to the second track “Hurts Like Heaven”, a song you want to pound on the table to and actually dance to. Dancing and Coldplay have never really gone together until this album.  There is heavy use of strings in their  second single “Paradise“, a rather optimistic song about a girl imagining her future, probably due to the large success of their string-laden single “Viva La Vida”. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is just one of those songs that you know is going to be on the radio when you first hear it. It takes advantage of the cranked up pounding bass drum that has become characteristic of Coldplay hits. A strict fan of Coldplay’s debut would probably be very disappointed in Mylo Xyloto. It lacks that raw sound and has less emotional lyrics than it’s predecessors, although there are two mostly acoustic tracks, “U.F.O.” and “Us Against the World”, that play on that romantic theme and feature just a guitar and Martin. Another downbeat tune is the Rihanna featured “Princess of China” that is a ballad about loss and heartbreak.

Other than that, expect heavy synth and electric guitar in most of the tracks, with an uplifting message focused on the beauty of love rather than the bummer tunes that we know and love Coldplay for. Where they lack in intimacy they make up for in melodies that make you want to dance and pound on the wall. It’s definitely a different and more evolved Coldplay and not one for a fan of their earlier albums, but give it a chance and you will fall in love with this new and happier Coldplay.

– Michael Vermeuel, Music Staff

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