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'Collection of Mylo Xyloto reviews after the dust has settled' thread


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[Review] Houston Chronicle - Haters will hate, and Coldplay will show the emotion (4/5)

 

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Haters will hate, and Coldplay will show the emotion (Houston Chronicle, 4/5 stars)

 

I'm not exactly sure why or what happened or who decided - but it's not cool to like Coldplay.

 

Professing love, or even like, for Chris Martin's emotive art-pop is not just an alarm for taste levels. It's meant to evoke a question of - or provide a punch line for - intelligence or, worse, manhood. (See the admittedly hilarious bit in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.)

 

"It's us against the world," Martin sings on one of the disc's sentimental ballads that seems destined for a full-on brigade of lighters and cellphones on tour.

 

But, really, that couldn't be further from the truth. Coldplay is one of the biggest bands in the world, and 50 million albums aren't just going to droopy teens and women (despite what your boyfriend says). Mylo Xyloto, online and in stores today, has already been atop the iTunes album chart for several days.

 

Maybe that's why Coldplay inspires so many Facebook rants and drunken put-downs. Martin writes, and sings, with unabashed emotion. The group makes no bones about being a big, commercial band with global aspirations. (The inevitable U2 comparisons are, to a certain extent, fair.) Bigger isn't always better, but it works for them.

 

Count me - gasp! - among the fans of the band and this album. Mylo Xyloto isn't as immediately engaging as 2008's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, but it's an effective follow-up, expanding on some of those sounds and veering in a few interesting new directions.

 

Hurts Like Heaven and recent hit Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall put a welcome bit of groove into the band's drone. And current single Paradise builds to chest-swelling, gloriously over-the-top proportions. All that's missing is a light show and smoke machine. (The band's last tour ended with a shower of multicolored paper butterflies raining down on the crowd. I still have a few.)

 

Princess of China teams Martin up with Rihanna, which seems an initially odd pairing. But her sweet-tart persona finds a comfortable place amid the thumping beat and squealing guitars.

 

There are, of course, moments of perfectly crafted pop heartache, thanks in large part to co-producer Brian Eno. Up in Flames is an aching, low-key standout; and Don't Let it Break Your Heart is its polar opposite, a barrage of crashing instrumentation and echoing vocals made for the big screen (or at least another iTunes commercial).

 

Mylo Xyloto likely will fuel the ever-present disdain, and that's OK. Give it a few weeks. Without even wanting to, you'll catch yourself singing along, ready to catch the paper butterflies.

 

http://www.chron.com/life/article/Haters-will-hate-and-Coldplay-will-show-the-2234165.php

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[Review] Mylo Xyloto IGN.

 

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Hey guys, I know IGN are not the best reviewers of music but here is their review of Coldplay's new album Mylo Xyloto.

 

Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto Review 8/10

 

Chris Martin and co produce an album with a ridiculous name but a very big sound.

 

by Chris Tilly.

 

Ah, Coldplay. The world hates you, as you regularly claim. And yet the world buys your albums in their tens of millions, which suggests otherwise. And Mylo Xyloto - pronounced my-lo zy-letoe - looks to be no exception, an epic record that will doubtless sell by the planet-load in spite of the ridiculous name.

 

Unfortunately, it appears to be something of a concept album, set in a strange dystopian future and revolving around a pair of star-crossed lovers fighting the power and dreaming of escape. But if you ignore the band's somewhat embarrassing efforts to make a musical Nineteen Eighty-Four, it's really rather good, the foursome knowing their limitations and taking an 'if it ain't broke' approach by crafting a set of stirring anthems that will doubtless trouble the top of the charts for months to come.

 

Proceedings kick off with a trio of tracks unquestionably cut from Coldplay cloth - epic tunes that sound like they were scientifically engineered to trigger mass sing-alongs in giant stadiums.

 

Hurts Like Heaven is a pacy number chock-full space-age sounds and cascading guitars. Charlie Brown is built around a powerful guitar riff and utilises the familiar Chris Martin warble to great effect. And Paradise is a hook-heavy monster of a song, the catchy chorus of which will take residence in your brain with little interest in moving on.

 

Yet while the melodies are great, the lyrics are as clich�-ridden as ever; bland generalisations about boys and girls lying underneath the stormy skies and never letting go of each other. There's even a song called Us Against the World which smashes the listener over the head with the album's central theme of love conquering all.

 

Yet in spite of this lyrical mediocrity, the songs draw you in. Don't Let It Break Your Heart is a bombastic rocker that's bathed in an irresistible optimism, and Every Teardrop is a Waterfall is a glorious celebration of life that builds to a genuinely uplifting harmonic crescendo.

 

It's not all guitar-driven anthems, though, with the boys dabbling - albeit superficially - in electro on Rhianna collaboration Princess of China. And while the result is far from inspired, the combination of the aforementioned Martin warble and the unmistakable Rhianna wail is surprisingly effective in the song's closing moments.

 

The record is less successful when the foursome slows things down, with ballads like Up in Flames and Up with the Birds sounding bland and uninspired, lacking the intimate intensity of something like The Scientist, and suggesting that Coldplay shouldn't start songs with the word 'Up.'

 

There are times when the album feels somewhat over-produced, with layer upon layer of noise suffocating songs that sound desperate to breathe - though that may be down to the involvement of uber-producer Brian Eno, whom the liner notes escribe as responsible for 'exonification.' Whatever that is.

 

Yet all the noise in the world can't obscure the fact that at its core, this is a collection of very good songs written by a band that knows its strengths and plays to them. It lacks the raw brilliance of Arcade Fire, or the evocative power or early Bruce Springsteen - both of which Coldplay ape here without ever equalling - but taken on its own terms, Mylo Xyloto may be the best album that the band has yet produced.

 

The result is a glorious, effervescent powerhouse of a record that sounds good now, but will truly take flight when sung in stadiums and arenas around the globe.

 

 

8.0

OVERALL

 

http://uk.music.ign.com/articles/121/1210628p1.html

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I don't really think that the review justifies the 8/10. To sum it up, they say the boys stayed in their comfort zone, mediocre lyrics, over production etc...

Heck, it even says that Up in Flames and Up with the Birds are bland and uninspired.

However, the reviewer agrees with Pitchfork and thinks that MX is the best Coldplay album.

Thanks for posting.

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[Review] - American Songwriter - 3.5 stars

 

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[Review] - American Songwriter - 3.5/5 stars

 

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.

 

From the very beginning, Coldplay conveys an inviting musical tone on the instrumental title track, which sounds like the bells of a church in London on Christmas morning. From there the first song with vocals is “Hurts Like Heaven,” which lyrically sets the tone. It offers the group’s most overt lyrical look at the economically-challenged world we live in where so many people are out of work and facing tough times. “Paradise” also follows this theme, but in a more personal, emotional and spiritual way. It has a near Genesis-like feel, particularly the guitar work of Jonny Buckland. “Paradise” also references the title of “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” and, like that song, it continues a feeling of empathy and seems to be a veiled reference to a Buddhist or other Eastern philosophy that if one person is suffering, we all are.

 

“Charlie Brown,” one of the most exciting new songs on the group’s recent tour, stakes out new musical territory. “Us Against The World” is one of several very stripped-down, acoustic tracks and gives a sense of the recording’s genesis. Lead single “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” was inspired by a nightclub scene in the movie Biutiful, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. As it turns out, the song that was on the soundtrack was actually based on Peter Allen’s “I Go To Rio.” It’s the most overtly pop song on the album and continues to reflect the growing guitar talents of Jonny Buckland.

 

Another highlight is “Princess of China,” which with vocal assistance from Rhianna, could become a hit on dance-oriented stations. The musical styles range from the occasional instrumental interlude, a sparse, keyboard-oriented moment on the gorgeous “Up In Flames” and plenty of those big Coldplay epics we’ve grown to love such as “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart.”

 

The success of these past two Coldplay albums says as much about Coldplay as it does about Brian Eno. While the group’s first three studio releases were highly successful, they can’t compare to Viva La Vida and immediate chart success of Mylo Xyloto. Some of this success has to be attributed to Eno’s involvement. While it appears he was less involved with this new release (his credit in the liner notes, positioned under the album’s co-producers Markus Dravs, Daniel Green and Rik Simpson, reads: “Enoxification and additional composition by Brian Eno.” That may be purposely understated and oblique at Eno’s request. It’s interesting how a record producer whose career is so rooted in the avant garde (early Roxy Music, his collaborations with Robert Fripp, ambient music, etc.) has been able to help great rock bands achieve such mainstream pop success, without diluting what they do.

 

Although the reviews of this new album have been overall very positive in their praise, the group still has its critics. It’s a shame that a band that tries to be uplifting and have such respect for its audience is often scorned for those very reasons. What Coldplay seems to be is a group that proves that a rock band taking album-making seriously is a worthwhile endeavor. The hope the group has for the idea of the album and for the world, makes it the right band at the right time.

 

 

http://www.americansongwriter.com/2011/10/coldplay-mylo-xyloto/

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I liked the review except for the part of Up In Flames and Up With The Birds been uninspired. In my opinion UWTB is my favorite track and it's so beautiful, inspiring and uplifting that I can't think of a better album closer. But still 8/10 is pretty damn good.

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[Review] Dale & Co - Coldplay With a New Spring in Their Step

 

Hi guys. I write for a website called Dale & Co, which is mainly focused on politics and current affairs, but I managed to persuade the editor to publish my review of Mylo Xyloto. Hope you like it (it's as unbiased as I could make it!)

 

http://www.iaindale.com/posts/coldplay-with-a-new-spring-in-their-step

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Coldplay With a New Spring in Their Step

Robert Smith reviews Mylo Xyloto, the latest offering from Coldplay which looks set to take the world by storm.

Bono once said during the promotion for All That You Can’t Leave Behind at the turn of the century that U2 were “reapplying for the job of the best band in the world”. To the same extent, Coldplay, the apparent heirs to the Irish rockers, seem to have been justifying a similar position with every output since X&Y in 2005. This time, with the release of the mysteriously named Mylo Xyloto, they certainly explore different musical approaches, but retain an underlying desire to go big.

 

According to the band, while the naming of the title is entirely frivolous - the criteria being that “it couldn’t be found in a Google search” - essentially it documents “loosely a kind of romance [between two protagonists, Mylo and Xyloto] in an oppressive environment”. Originally planned as a stripped back and acoustic record, the final result is the polar opposite; washes of colour, dance beats, synths and electronics show the band moving out of their comfort zone, though the guitar hooks, piano solo’s and heartfelt lyrics which are so synonymous with Coldplay remain.

 

Brian Eno, this time “more a collaborative writer than a producer”, stamps his mark of so called “Enoxification” on the record from the outset with the opening title track, one of three instrumentals on the album, which according to lead singer Chris Martin involves all four members of the band trying to “play their instruments as fast as they can” in order to “shake off any nerves” at the start of live shows. However, as it blends into ‘Hurts Like Heaven’ it’s hard to comprehend how even the famously self-depreciating Martin could possibly be apprehensive. The upbeat nature of the track suggests the band have a newfound spring in their step as jumpy guitars, energetic beats and talk of “spray can soul” liken it to the post-punk of Echo & the Bunnymen and the Cure.

 

On reflection, it’s now difficult to believe how the second single, ‘Paradise’, was so divisive among fans upon it’s release. With it’s epic strings, R&B influences, piano jigs and ultra-singable lyrics, it now seems to fit comfortably within the repertoire. However, despite its’ obviously lofty pop ambitions, the next track, ‘Charlie Brown’ is more likely to provide Xyloto’s ‘Viva La Vida moment’. Buckland’s guitar hook throughout is instantly recognizable to the extent that you begin to seriously question whether you’ve heard it before. It’s certainly hard to comprehend how it was once the focal point of the early acoustic LP initially planned by the band in their North London studios ‘The Bakery’ and ‘The Beehive’, and that it originally “featured an organ”. Thankfully, the version we are presented with today is less of a church hymn, and more of a hallucinogenic licence for stadium crowds to spring into action. “Took a car down town and took what they offered me, to set me free, I’ll be glowing in the dark” exclaims Martin rather uncharacteristically considering this is the rock band who are known for having a self-imposed policy which strictly prohibits the use of hard drugs. That being said, the recently released music video for ‘Paradise’ may suggest the rule is less stringent now that it once was...

 

‘Us Against The World’ brings Coldplay back to their musical roots, and thus would not feel out of place on their debut album Parachutes. Nevertheless, as the band have pointed out in numerous interviews, it’s appropriate in describing the band’s current mindset. “We felt so many people had already made their minds up about us, both good and bad” admits drummer Will Champion “[so we decided to] sort of start again from scratch and try to reflect all the music we listen to and love’”. The cringe-worthily named lead single ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ confirms this by showing that they have no issue with breaking away from the mould in which people might like to fit them in. The now familiar synth-led song, with its’ youthful lyrics and high pitched guitar riff remind us of how long Xyloto has been in the pipeline. However, unlike with the taster EP released in June earlier this year, the song is greatly enhanced by the preceding simplistic instrumental ‘MMIX’.

 

‘Major Minus’ shows Coldplay at their edgiest, darkest best, and is perhaps more representative of their rockier live experience. Muffled vocals become entirely justifiable when considering the ‘Big Brother’ context of the song as “They’ve got one eye watching you, so be careful what you do” makes Chris Martin’s description of Mylo Xyloto as a “schizophrenic” album clearer. It also provides an insight into where Coldplay could take their sound post-MX era. Contrastingly, ‘UFO’ is a song which, despite its cosmic name, has its feet firmly on the ground. Just like ‘Us Against The World’, it’s the sound of Coldplay when they were more often described as “just a bunch of geography teachers” than the dinner friends of Beyonce and Jay-Z. That’s not to say it’s any less worthwhile; it proves that they can still relate to their roots despite coming an extremely long way over a relatively short period of time.

 

The much deliberated ‘Princess of China’ fits more comfortably into the track-listing than one might think it would; but fundamentally the vocal input of Rihanna’s still seems slightly false. Indeed, it might be the one moment on the album where Coldplay take one step too far out of their natural comfort zone. Unfortunately, despite it being believable that the band are fans of the Barbadian diva, it inevitably comes across as a marketing stunt. For one of the most “Marmite” of bands, this offering will only continue to divide opinion. But expect it to become a guilty pleasure, do well in the charts and introduce Coldplay to a new audience. Still, Chris Martin’s “Hugh Grant moment” when approaching Rihanna to sing in the song shows his inability to act like the frontman of the world’s biggest rock band. But arguably, his modest, self-effacing personality is principally what defines his knack for emotional, often troubled songwriting; a style which is displayed perfectly by the following track ‘Up in Flames’, which initially appears, with its repetitive beat and ultra-simple structure, to be a rare example of a Coldplay filler, but after a few plays grows on the listener to become the album’s unexpected gem.

 

‘A Hopeful Transmission’, in effect a remake of the instrumental opener, leads into ‘Don’t Let It Break Your Heart’, which more or less serves as a microcosm for the band; lyrically poetic and heartfelt, if perhaps sometimes a little shallow, but packing a distinctly melodic punch created by the layering of flourishing instrumentals. ‘Up With The Birds’ is a song of two halves; initially appearing to provide a cloudy, dreamy end to the record, before Buckland’s input of noticeably Edge-like strumming finishes the 45 minutes on a high.

 

It’s not often that an album fundamentally consisting of pop tunes satisfies the need to be experimental, but Mylo Xyloto seems to do just that. It manages to easily please those who demand a continuous supply of stadium-ready anthems, yet at the same time provides enough progression that it doesn’t make us feel as if we’ve heard it all before. It might not stand the test of time like their magnum opus A Rush of Blood to the Head will - in thirty years time that will still be the piece of work which will define them as a band - but Mylo Xyloto is an album immersed in the present. It’s more modern, urban and expansive offerings may indeed satisfy those who up till now have not felt a likening to the “nobody said it was easy” and “I never meant to cause you trouble” nature of Coldplay songs past, but essentially it’s still the same four-piece at heart. As Martin wails “It’s Us Against The World” it’s hard to see how the “nice guys of rock”, with a new spring in their step and armed with new ammunition, will not come to “rule the world once” again.

 

Rating: 8.5/10

 

http://www.iaindale.com/posts/coldplay-with-a-new-spring-in-their-step

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Coldplay's 'Mylo Xyloto' Will Translate to 'Huge Debut'

 

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As previously reported, Coldplay is easily cruising to its third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart next week as "Mylo Xyloto" will top the tally. While on Wednesday, the set was projected -- by industry sources -- to sell at least 440,000 to 450,000 copies by week's end on Oct. 30, that prognostication has grown a bit.

 

"Mylo" should start with a minimum of 450,000 -- and could be bigger, depending on how the weekend shakes out. With lots of people out shopping this weekend for the Halloween holiday, anything is possible. A sales start north of 440,000 would secure Coldplay the third-biggest sales week of the year, behind Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" debut (1.1 million) and Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" start (964,000).

 

On SoundScan's Building chart below -- a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants, Coldplay is expectedly found at No. 1.

 

Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" is at No. 2 on the Building Chart, while Michael Buble's new "Christmas" album sits at No. 3. Clarkson's new album is poised to become her fifth top three on the Billboard 200, with around 150,000 in sales. It follows 2009's "All I Ever Wanted," which launched at No. 1 with 255,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Buble's first full-length holiday offering could sell around 125,000 -- and is doing better than expected.

 

Also projecting as a solid top 10 debut on the Building Chart is Toby Keith's "Clancy's Tavern" (No. 5) which would be the country star's 10th straight studio album top debut in the upper tier. Other top 10 entries could come from chart veteran Tom Waits and dance act Kaskade. For Waits, his "Bad As Me" set could become his first ever Billboard 200 top 10 in a chart career that began in 1975. See Chart Below:

 

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart

Rank LW Artist Title

1 NEW Coldplay "Mylo Xyloto"

2 NEW Kelly Clarkson "Stronger"

3 NEW Michael Buble "Christmas"

4 1 Adele "21"

5 NEW Toby Keith "Clancy's Tavern"

6 3 Scotty McCreery "Clear As Day"

7 NEW Tom Waits "Bad As Me"

8 7 Lady Antebellum "We Own the Night"

9 NEW Kaskade "Fire & Ice"

10 6 Lil Wayne "Tha Carter IV"

 

The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.

 

http://www.billboard.com/#/news/coldplay-s-mylo-xyloto-will-translate-to-1005452552.story

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Very interesting review by PlatformOnline

 

Album: Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay (Track by Track)

 

Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 in Music, Music Review.

 

Following an ethereal performance at Glastonbury earlier this year and a recent release of tour dates for the final few months of 2011, the next stop on the Coldplay comeback train is Mylo Xyloto; the long awaited fifth album comprised of all things atmospheric (you know, what you’d expect from Coldplay after 15 years of impelling tracks).

 

Expressing the concept of love, Mylo Xyloto heads in a different direction to their previous releases. An inclusion of Techno and synth sends the album into a whirlwind of chart-pop crossover.

 

Mylo Xyloto – The first and titular track on the record, Mylo Xyloto lulls you into the atmospheric dystopia that the record conveys. The tender chimes and subtle acoustics build delicate momentum before you’re thrown into an album of chart-pop crossover.

 

Hurts Like Heaven – Despite the occasional falsetto, the track leaves you chasing Chris Martin’s vocals. Toe tapping guitar laced with atmospheric synth gives evidence to the 4-piece’s reach for a new direction.

 

Paradise – Although the track features a quaint orchestral intro and filmic riffs, the creativity of the lyrics left me apprehensive. As Chris Martin coo’s “para, para, paradise” I am left questioning the lack of lyrical innovation.

 

Charlie Brown – Preserving the atmospheric spark that Coldplay are notorious for, Charlie Brown leaves me reminiscent of tracks such as ‘Shiver’ and ‘Lovers in Japan’. The sheer simplicity of the melody amplifies their ability to work without techno gimmicks. Leaving you basking in the purity of the piano keys, Charlie Brown stands out as a true Coldplay track.

 

Us Against the World – Providing what sounds like an intro from a Manic’s track, the song heavily relies on soft acoustics and Martin’s voice. As he breathe’s “it’s us against the world” upon the delicate strings, the song strays off on a different path to those that have gone before on the record.

 

M.M.I.X. – Taking a break from the record, M.M.I.X is 49 seconds of atmospheric build up featuring what sounds like the undertones of panpipes.

 

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall – “I turn the music up, I’ve got my records on”. Not your typical Coldplay lyrics. Lyrics that leave me awaiting the drop of a poorly constructed rap from Example. The song is said to relate to a new generation’s take on rock n’ roll. Funny, since the majority of our generation’s take on music depends on who David Guetta will collaborate with next.

 

Major Minus – A Collision of edgy acoustics and raw electric riffs, Major Minus brings yet another attribute to Mylo Xyloto. Despite the lyrics being repetitive and less demiurgic than I had hoped, the guitar solo salvages any dignity that was lost during the previous track.

 

U.F.O. – For the second time, we witness a truely stripped-down acoustic track. Providing an ambient backdrop behind the strings, the simplicity of the track acts as a reminder of ‘see you soon’.

 

Princess of China – A questionable concoction of techno, “la la la’s” and a Rihanna collaboration, Princess of China doesn’t shy away from appealing to the wider demographic. The inclusion of one of the biggest female artists in pop may sell records, but does nothing for the album.

 

Up in Flames – 11 tracks in and it’s the first time we’ve heard Mr. Martin’s voice go hand in hand with a piano alone. Despite providing a factor that fans relish within during tracks such as ‘Fix You’, Up in Flames fails to captivate in the same fashion.

 

A Hopeful Transmission – 33 seconds of orchestral beats subtly implying a demure take on the album. A light introduction to the following track.

 

Don’t Let it Break Your Heart – Being one of the few anthems featured on the album, the penultimate track has you running alongside the melody. Although slightly forgettable, it distils a fraction of classic Coldplay.

 

Up With the Birds – Featuring a Leonard Cohen sample, the final track has you hanging alongside Chris’ voice off the piano keys. Despite a session of upbeat acoustics and a few final notes of ambience, I am left questioning Mylo Xyloto’s preservation of what stands to be signature Coldplay.

 

Despite the reach for new Heights, the albums consistency fails in comparison to the likes of ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’. Mylo Xyloto features a few moments of Classic Coldplay, however focuses too heavily on appealing to the current demographic rather than their fans, who indulge in the epic instrumentals that they are renowned for.

 

5/10

 

Platform Rating

 

(http://platform-online.net/2011/11/album-mylo-xyloto-by-coldplay-track-by-track/)

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