Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto – Review

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Coming off the well-received release of Coldplay’s more abstract and visual, fourth album, “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” the Grammy award winning outfit sought to record a more acoustic and intimate, concept record. The result of the orchestral rock bands efforts is their latest album “Mylo Xyloto” which continues the groups fondness for building set pieces and effects-driven rock. This time around however, the band has chosen to include an almost industrial hue to their list of sonic armaments. And much like other Coldplay efforts, “Mylo Xyloto,” with its slight differences and larger story, never seem to disappoint. 

The soothing ethereal backdrop and ringing bells of the title-track into opener, “Mylo Xyloto,” are exactly what fans would traditionally expect from Chris and the rest of Coldplay, resting a resonating build-up on our ears, which leads into their head-bopping track “Hurts Like Heaven” which strums beautiful acoustics with a delayed effect’s assistance and fluttering piano. Listeners will have no qualms stepping right in and picking up these 14 songs, with champion singles like the quasi-industrial cruising track “Paradise” which feeds our fix for Chris Martin‘s signature charming vocals and a bouncy repetitive beat, as well as the earlier released, ”Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” in all of its flicky fretwork and ethereal glory.

It’s the recordings that take a different route for the band that really make “Mylo Xyloto” more dimensional, such as the solo acoustics, loud running basslines and chanted “Ooo Ooo Ooo’s” of “Major Minus,” as well as the cozy fireplace acoustics and violins of the intimate song, “U.F.O.”  The soaring electronica backdrop and carefully delivered vocals (provided by Chris and Rihanna) of “Princess Of China,” as well as the drum-tick beat, silky pianos, and smooth crooning on the stripped down effort “Up In Flames,” both provide earnest, heart-felt music — acting as a calming and steady break in between the over-active portions of the record.

The added conceptual side of “Mylo Xyloto,” which focus on a pair of protagonists: Mylo and Xyloto, who “[live] in an oppressive, dystopian urban environment, meet one another through a gang called “The Lost Boys”, and fall in love,” allows for fans to attain a larger appreciation for the record, while single lovers (ahem: iTunes) and sparse listeners can freely hop around the record, blissfully ignorant of the wonderful story line unfolding around them, while still enjoying the atmospheric wonderment and ethereal backdrops of what can only be described as a stellar Coldplay effort.

As we turn the pages of the album closer “Up With The Birds,” a classic, almost Disney-like, fantasy opus reveals itself to us with heavy orchestral violins, echoed pianos, and Chris Martins grandiose voice, as a team of strummed acoustics and effects powered electric guitar start a cheerful repeating bars that coalesce and showcase everything admirable from “Mylo Xyloto.” A true treasure. [Admin]

Score: 4.5 (out of 5)

Release Date: October 24th, 2011
Record Label: Parlophone Records
Genre: Post-Britpop
RIYL: Snow Patrol, Keane, Kings Of Leon

Track Listing:
1. Mylo Xyloto
2. Hurts Like Heaven
3. Paradise
4. Charlie Brown
5. Us Against the World
6. M.M.I.X.
7. Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
8. Major Minus
9. U.F.O.
10. Princess of China
11. Up in Flames
12. A Hopeful Transmission
13. Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
14. Up with the Birds

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