Release Date: Oct 24, 2011
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
In the three years since Coldplay's last album, the world's problems have gotten a little more urgent. A cratering economy, riots from Tahrir to Tottenham, the prolonged ubiquity of the Kardashians – these are things that can't be solved with a lullaby, even from the biggest band to emerge in the 21st century. Chris Martin knows this. But Coldplay's fifth album – and most ambitious yet – suggests Martin cares too much not to at least try to help.
Review Summary: Watch Coldplay abandon their sham revolution and take up a real one.And so you have the second side to the euphoria; Coldplay's comedown from Viva La Vida's restless charm and globetrotting influences is nothing but a take-off, an album filled to the rafters with pop ideas and pop execution. Brian Eno may be brilliant but Mylo Xyloto proves the value of embracing the populist, waterfalls and all. All the ecstasy from "Lovers in Japan" and "Viva"'s wordless chant spreads its arms and invites you to fucking celebrate, man, and damn if we don't need a bit of that at the moment.
Review Summary: give Coldplay credit for their waterfalls.Mylo Xyloto is perfectly designed to blow up in your face. Eleven proper songs, all named after the biggest and the best, like landmarks tumbling side by side: holy lands, flames, princesses, waterfalls and uh, Charlie Brown? Each song hits some sort of ridiculous climactic hotspot that seemed impossible the second before it happened. Just listen to “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” the moment the drums kick in for real.
You know what you never hear about Coldplay? That they’re funny. Or grooving. Or blithe. Or that theirs is nothing less than the statuesque soundtrack to the everlasting kingdom and the glory. Amen.Whether they’re ever actually being profound or just acting it out, Coldplay’s take on the art ….
For rabid consumers of music, there's nothing better than a good surprise and this year has held quite a few. Prior to their last album, 2008's Brian Eno-produced Viva la Vida, Coldplay were mostly a punchline to this writer, but that album's sonic explorations and undeniable hooks gave me good reason to take Coldplay a bit more seriously. Mylo Xyloto—with Eno at the helm once again—strengthens that argument even more.
"No one knows what it means, but it's provocative… gets the people going. " A couple of Chris Martin's good buddies memorably flipped this obscure bit of Blades of Glory dialogue on Watch the Throne to annotate the purchase of Margiela jackets, but it's every bit as applicable to the title of Mylo Xyloto and speaks toward Coldplay's lofty ambitions on it. A new Coldplay album is the sort of thing that's used as a health check for the record industry, and the band is very much aware that they could just release "a new Coldplay album" that would leave everyone involved satisfied-- this is essentially what happened on 2005's X&Y, their fastest seller and also their weakest LP according to many.
Coldplay finally surrender to their essential good nature on Mylo Xyloto, their fifth album and first to ditch all pretense of brooding melancholia. Which isn’t to say the band doesn’t drift along on some pleasingly spacy atmospheres conjured by longtime producer Brian Eno: there’s still a veneer of classy disaffection that inevitably dissipates due to the relentless sunniness of Chris Martin and company. Eno's echoes and ambience -- the only things that still mark Coldplay as anything resembling progressive -- positively sparkle when they meet the band’s bright, chipper melodies, yet Coldplay's innate good manners restrain the album, keeping it just this side of a rush of candied pop.
Right at the start of Coldplay’s new album, you’re reminded that they’re permanently stuck between commercial considerations and purity of artistic vision. Mylo Xyloto opens up with an instrumental that bridges immediately into the first song, “Hurts Like Heaven,” so it seems the tracks should be one. Instead, they’re separated -- presumably so “Hurts Like Heaven” will work better as a single without 40 seconds of wordless twinkle.
Coldplay probably don't get enough credit for their consistency. They're an easy target because of Chris Martin's incessant need to always be The Uplifter and for grating lyrics that attempt to convert the personal to the universal (not to mention their questionable authenticity). But through it all, they've delivered a steady stream of well-written pop rock like that found on fifth album Mylo Xyloto.
Coldplay have always wanted it both ways. Since they arrived on the scene back in the early, early 2000s, they’ve (somewhat awkwardly) balanced two aspirations: being mega-pop titans and the next great art-rock band. On 2008’s Viva La Vida, their finest album to date, these four good-natured Englishmen were both of those things simultaneously—filling stadiums, dominating radio, and still managing to push their music forward into unexpected places.
A far sight better than either its ridiculous title or Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, the lackluster EP that preceded it, would suggest, Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto perpetuates at least some of the progressive influence that Brian Eno brought to their last album,Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends. Coldplay’s biggest selling point has always been their gift for indelible, outsized melodies, and the band pushes that element on Mylo Xyloto in some effectively unexpected, innovative directions. Where Coldplay struggles, however, is in writing lyrics that have the same evocative qualities as their music, and it’s there that Mylo Xyloto underwhelms.
Chris Martin has described Coldplay's fifth album as a dystopian love story rock opera but wacky names and high concept can't seem to elevate their music from the sonic equivalent of a cup of tea made with a used bag: it's a bit uplifting, but ultimately insipid. Sometimes their widescreen emoting rings true, and this time round it's helped by robust guitar, including some very un-Coldplay chugging riffs on "Major Minus". But the main surprise is "Princess of China", the much-anticipated Rihanna duet set over a storm of synths.
When considering a proven route for taking a pop act to achieve towering levels of success, the one virtue that exceeds them all is sacrifice. An act becomes an investment once he or she submits to scrupulous consultation, or in some cases, hopelessly depends on the guidance to boost one’s confidence. It has been historically proven that a surge of popularity is too intangible to explain, and yet, vainglorious major label moguls continue to believe they’re right “on the money” the more they command the entire process.
Coldplay's followup to 2008's biggest-selling album is a curious thing. On the one hand, it aims for a certain ponderous gravitas. Mylo Xyloto is a concept album complete with a short filmic overture, interstitial instrumental pieces called things like A Hopeful Transmission, and recurring lyrical themes, set, as concept albums are legally obliged to be, in a futuristic dystopia: you can tell it's a futuristic dystopia because one of the interstitial instrumentals, M.M.I.X., is helpfully bedecked with the sound of burbling computers.
Are Coldplay ”as hated as a band can be”? That’s what frontman Chris Martin recently told EW. True, a Seattle woman once assaulted a man who wouldn’t stop singing their mellow 2000 hit ”Yellow” at a karaoke bar. (According to the bartender, it took several bystanders to hold her down before she was arrested.) But sold-out stadiums full of glow-stick-waving fans would disagree.
Hello bombastic nonsense! We are old friends, you and I. When I am at Glastonbury and in need of some crowd-sourced euphoria on the Saturday night, or in my car and want to do some indiscriminate caterwauling, I can seek you out and you will be my non-judgemental partner in crime. Whether we want to admit it or not, there is a time and a place for the likes of Coldplay.
When Chris Martin admitted the other week that he doesn’t make his kids, Apple and Moses, listen to Coldplay at home, it was the latest in an endless line of self-lacerating mumbles. It was typical of a man who consistently reminds us that names, as well as sticks and stones, can hurt. ‘[b]Yellow[/b]’ might have been the colour that made them but, says the chatter of the blogosphere, it’s magnolia that has sustained them.
You know that you’ve fully engrained yourself into the very fabric of modern pop culture when you find yourself getting sued. A lot. In the story mentioned at the top of this review, Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin says that he was warned: as soon as he had a chart-topping single, the litigation would come, and, ‘lo and behold, following the group scoring a trans-Atlantic Number One with what is arguably their best song to this point, “Viva la Vida”, out comes rock guitarist Joe Satriani claiming that the band deliberately lifted a melody from his lesser-known track “If I Could Fly”.
Coldplay – noun – an English quartet that creates accessible alternative rock, glazed over with just enough sentimentality to strangle your heart. (Related forms: Travis, Radiohead, U2, Oasis, et al.) Some love ’em, some hate ’em. Regardless, their success is paramount. In a recent op-ed piece in The New Yorker titled “Why Don’t I Like Coldplay?: An Investigation”, writer Sasha Frere-Jones digresses: “What puts [Coldplay] up into some higher level of accessibility must be an averaging of [Chris] Martin’s guarantee to never shock or offend anyone—which parents value—and the toy soldier brand of pageantry and celebration that underpins so many songs.” Fan or not, it’s hard to disagree with Frere-Jones here.
It's the music you can enjoy between meals without spoiling your appetite, made by the world's favourite band and hand-built by robots. Lipsmackin', thirstquenchin', acetastin', motivatin', goodbuzzin', cooltalkin', highwalkin', fastlivin', evergivin', coolfizzin' Coldplay: Designed for living. Engineered for life. Doesn't your home deserve Coldplay? It's a good question.
A triumphant fifth LP which reveals familiar strengths in all the right places. Martin Aston 2011 Don’t Coldplay love their Xs and their Ys? And their enigmatic album titles? After 2005’s X&Y and 2008’s Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends comes Mylo Xyloto. Well, it beats Coldplay 5. But any title that needs a pronunciation guide (it’s "My-lo zy-letoe") sounds like it’s trying a bit too hard.
While Viva La Vida at first appeared experimental, slightly ominous and even downright subtle in spots, Mylo Xyloto is an album on which Coldplay is not afraid to consistently and unapologetically display its overtly pop side. In the past, the mystery and experimental musical detours meant that listeners needed time to fully absorb and understand the music. Mylo Xyloto is fully realized and instantly revealed on first listen.