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

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Mylo Xyloto: Coldplay's lukewarm electro pop entree (OMG Records)


Coldplay, one of the world’s biggest indie rock groups, follow up their 2008 release, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, with Mylo Xyloto, their fifth album that further cements the band’s bold shift into pop, featuring an intriguing collaboration with RB diva Rihanna.


Mylo Xyloto opens with a Christmasy prelude, which segues nicely into Hurts Like Heaven, a somewhat erratic number where Chris Martin unabashedly sings ”Cause you use your heart like a weapon, and it hurts like heaven.” It’s an energetic dancey rock tune, but still leaves us underwhelmed.


The heart-wrenching string arrangement during the intro of the next song, Paradise, brings hope that things will be salvaged, but it turns out to be heavily cliched, with cop-out lines such as, ”When she was just a girl, she expected the world/but it flew away from her reach/so she ran away in her sleep.” The song has US pop-rock outfit OneRepublic written all over it.


The up-tempo Charlie Brown is reminiscent of early songs by the Killers, while Us Against The World is typical of the band’s acoustic ballad style, rife with biblical references: ”Oh morning come bursting, the clouds, Amen/Lift off this blindfold, let me see again/And bring back the water, let your ships roll in/In my heart she left a hole.” Preceded by the interlude MMIX, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall best exemplifies the band’s new pop direction. Jarring guitar riffs coupled with anthemic, almost chant-like, lines: ”I turn the music up, I got my records on/I shut the world outside until the lights come on/Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone/I feel my heart start beating to my favourite song.” It’s catchy, but it’s far from memorable. The same could also be said for the following track, Major Minus.


Die-hard fans will swoon over slower gems like UFO, Up in Flames and Up With the Birds. The former is a tender acoustic offering where Martin quietly laments life’s uncertainties. New fans, however, will fall head over heels in love with Princess of China, a successful electro pop/rock/RB track in which Rihanna’s reigning pop status is, if possible, heightened, and works more in her favour than the band’s.


Unlike Viva la Vida, Mylo Xyloto sees the band pushing forward into the pop kingdom, bringing with them strings, synths and electronics. While you can admire their ballsy moves to explore other musical avenues, it’s certain that the boys are capable of so much more than just mustering the courage to ask Rihanna to collaborate with them (granted that Princess of China is, hands down, the best thing on the album).


Despite being ambitiously produced, Mylo Xyloto feels strangely held back, not to mention the unforgivably cliched lyrics. It’s decent for what it is, which is a listenable pop anthem album, but the band may want to take a long hard look at what it is that they want to achieve musically to further evolve and impress.



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Album Review: Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto (123 Twitter Trends)


Coldplay are easily the most polarizing band in the world right now. Depending on who you ask, they’re either almost as good as Radiohead, or almost as bad as Nickelback.


I’ve always been in the former camp, and after Mylo Xyloto, I won’t be switching sides anytime soon. This is yet another strong album of beautiful melodies, and expert instrumentation from a band that seems capable of turning out great music in their sleep. as with their last album (2008’s excellent Viva La Vida or Death and All his Friends), Mylo Xyloto beings with an instrumental, in this case the 42-second title track. After that, the band takes off with “Hurts like Heaven,” a nice slab of electro-Springsteen that will surely reverberate all round the world on their next tour.


“Paradise” comes next, an equally thrilling number that sounds like U2 circa Achtung Baby if Timbaland were producing. In the past, Coldplay were lambasted for not being diverse enough, but on this album they shed that issue entirely. There’s nary a genre they won’t experiment with. most ambitious is “Princess of China,” the group’s much-discussed collaboration with Rihanna. In lesser hands, this would’ve been a failed experiment in genre synergy, but here it flows perfectly. Rihanna’s soaring vocals give the song a decidedly epic vibe, which Brian Eno’s brilliant-as-always production only adds to.


The album’s emotional peak is the ballad “Us Against The World,” a softer, gentle number that wouldn’t have felt out of place on Parachutes. Lead single “Every Teardrop is A Waterfall” provides a stark contrast; being the closest Coldplay’s ever gotten to a rave atmosphere. It’s easily the most danceable Coldplay song ever.


The biggest key to Mylo Xyloto’s greatness is that Coldplay are able to expand their sound and explore new styles of music without forgetting why they were successful in the first place. The ballads that drove their first three albums are here in spades, but adding elements of electronic music and dance is a big help. It allows Coldplay to place their music in a new context without robbing them of their identity. Worth noting, the album is actually a concept album about two lovers fighting the oppression of their dystopian society. That theme becomes prevalent on songs like “Up Against In the World,” and “Major minus,” which discusses the possibility of the government coming for them. with that said, the concept, while noble, isn’t especially noticeable.


I was too busy enjoying the exquisite jams on this album to really pay attention to the (very loose) story. But whether you take notice of the story or not, the greatness of this album is hard to deny. Based on the mixed reviews this album has gotten (currently averaging a rather mediocre 60 on Metacritic), it won’t change anyone’s mind about Coldplay, which is too bad.


They’ve been a great band for a full decade now, but people seem to resist them because for whatever reason, they’ll never be “cool.” if anyone is still on the fence however, this album is highly worth a listen.



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On Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto (Allyn Gibson)


Coldplay’s fifth studio album (or sixth, if you count Prospekt’s March as an album, which I do) came out two weeks ago, but due to Amazon being a bunch of raving maroons, I didn’t have it until about five days ago, making Mylo Xyloto the first Coldplay album since Parachutes that I didn’t have one day one.


Over the summer, Coldplay released the first single from MX — “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” I was indifferent to the song, honestly. I liked the B-sides that came with it more; “Major Minus” was more like what I wanted, and “Moving to Mars” was sublimely lovely. I might even go so far as to say that “Moving to Mars” is one of the ten best things the band’s recorded.


Ironically, “Moving to Mars” made me feel far better about Mylo Xyloto than “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” did; if the band felt like they could leave a track like “Moving to Mars” off the album, then Mylo Xyloto must be something special indeed.


Then Coldplay had to take away any goodwill I was beginning to feel by releasing the video for “Paradise.” Something about the video was just… offputting.


I suppose I should state for the record that I generally don’t “get” videos. I’m used to music as music. Adding a visual component as a framework for understanding music or imparting the meaning of music doesn’t make sense to me.


Suffice it to say, I had a low opinion of “Paradise” because of the video. Thus, when the album finally arrived, it was with some trepidation that I put Mylo Xyloto in the CD player, and I listened to it without much enthusiasm.


And I didn’t like it.


I didn’t get it.


I understand, from reading about the album, that it’s some sort of dystopian rock opera, about two lovers — Mylo and Xyloto — living in an oppressive totalitarian future.


Okay, sure.


I gave the album a few more plays, and with each successive play, I liked it a little bit more. This isn’t unusual; I didn’t like Elbow’s The Seldom Seen Kid the first three or four times that I listened to it; it took hearing “The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver” just so to unlock the album for me.


Now I love Mylo Xyloto. The album’s a grower. I love the sound of the album. “Paradise” now makes me happy when I hear it, “Charlie Brown” (which has nothing at all to do with Charles Schulz, as far as I can tell) is amazing, and then that leads into the gentle and lovely ballad “Us Against the World.” Even “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” which I was indifferent to, resonates with me. The second half of the album doesn’t stand out to me in quite the same way, it’s not quite as memorable, though “U.F.O.” is a moving love song and the track that features Rihanna, “Princess of China,” is solidly enjoyable. And the final track, “Up With the Birds,” is strangely haunting.


Mylo Xyloto marks a return to the form of X&Y after the art-house pretentions of Viva La Vida. It may not reach the heights of A Rush of Blood to the Head and I may rank it fifth out of Coldplay’s six albums (counting Prospekt’s), but it’s still a very good album and a damn fine piece of work.


I quite like Mylo Xyloto, even if its rock opera-esque storyline has totally passed me by.



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Coldplay gets cheesy with ‘Mylo Xyloto’ (Telegram: 3 out of 4 stars)


“Mylo Xyloto” Coldplay (Capitol)

If there is ever an Occupy Pop Music Movement, Coldplay would most likely be commissioned to provide the soundtrack. This is due solely to the Britpop band’s consistent track-record for feel-good protest songs where no one gets hurt and no one knows what the hell they are rebelling against.


Coldplay makes songs that sound bigger than life, while, at the same time, are far removed from reality. Whatever you do, don’t tell Coldplay’s singer-songwriter Chris Martin that the problems of two little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. I don’t think he could handle it.


In many ways, Coldplay’s fifth studio disc, “Mylo Xyloto” is a cheesier, less successful cousin to 2008’s “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” so much so it could be aptly renamed “Viva la Vida Velveeta.” How cheesy is it? When it comes to arena-friendly pomposity, Martin makes Jon Bon Jovi and Bono look like street mimes.


Allegedly inspired by the New York graffiti culture of the 1970s and the student-led Nazi-resistance White Rose Movement, Martin (although you wouldn’t know this unless somebody told you) weaves together a functional love story about two young lovers falling in and out of love and trying to stick it to the proverbial man with big, bombastic anthems. Martin delivers cathartic, hook-laden choruses against a series of swelling sonic tapestries that are so grandiose and epic that it would make Cecil B. DeMille feel inadequate. From Martin’s soaring vocals to Coldplay’s sweeping mix of swirling keyboards and surging guitars, many of the album’s opuses are rousing and majestic, even though the listener has very little idea what Martin is carrying on about. Then again, Martin and company gives the listener very little time to catch their breath, let alone time to peel back the sonic layers and look beneath the surface.


Coldplay — which also includes lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion — comes barreling out of the starting gate with so much unabashed enthusiasm and gusto on “Hurt Like Heaven” that it’s impossible not to get sucked in, hook, line and sinker. Martin, in the guise of the ordinary (and overly sensitive) everyman, commiserates how the everyday rat race and lame graffiti messages (such as “Do you ever get the feeling that you’re missing the mark?”) are bringing him down. Stealing Bono’s ever-so-earnest “Woah, oh, oh, oh” mantra and turning it into an overused pop commodity, Martin pummels us with the hokey sentiment, “Yeah, it is true/When you use your heart as a weapon/Then it hurts like heaven/And it hurts like heaven/Oh oh oh-oh.” If this is heaven, I hate to find out what hell feels (and sounds) like.


Martin laments about a woman who expected the world but settles on dreaming about “para-para-paradise” instead on, you guessed it, “Paradise.” If you can get over the fact that the song’s hapless heroine sounds like the “A Dolly for Sue” ragdoll on the “Island of Misfit Toys” (Note: in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the doll had more emotional depth and charisma) and the inane lyrics (case in point, “Life goes on. It gets so heavy”), Martin delivers another humdinger.


Martin comes off as a complete blockhead on “Charlie Brown,” a pseudo-rebellious opus (and Arcade Fire-rip-off) named after the beloved Peanuts character. Accompanied by an adrenaline-pumping mix of bustling keyboards, chimy guitars, thumping bass and drums, Martin passionately belts out the fist-pumping, anthemic chorus, “All the boys, all the girls, all the matters in the world/All the boys, all the girls, all the madness that occurs/All the highs, all the lows, as the room a-spinning goes/We’ll run riot. We’ll be glowing in the dark.” Good grief! The song ends with a sparse piano interlude that sounds like a morose variation of Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts theme, which would be great musical backdrop if they ever make a TV special called, “I’m Pretentious, Charlie Brown.”


On the big, bombastic and beautifully brazen “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall,” Martin envisions the disenfranchised youths of today breaking into friendly flash mobs in the streets. And, he has put it upon himself to find the perfect song for these lovable hooligans to bust a move to. He might have found it. With plenty of big, fat, clunky keyboard chords being pounded all around him, Martin delivers the rousing (albeit sniffling) battle cry, “As we soar walls, every siren is a symphony/And every tear’s a waterfall.” All in all, “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” is a great pop song with an unwavering spirit and stomping beat.


Don’t expect too much from the much ballyhooed pairing of Coldplay and Rihanna on “Princess of China.” It’s no “Love the Way You Lie” or “Shy Ronnie,” the duets the R&B singer did with Eminem and SNL’s Andy Samberg, respectively. The Barbados-born bombshell is always her ultra-cool self, but by the time she coos, “I could have been a princess. You’d be a king/Could have had a castle and wore a ring/But no-o-o-o-oh, you let me go-o-o-o-oh,” the listener is singing, “Let me go-o-o-o-oh.”


Obviously one who’s not afraid of infringement of copyright laws, Martin bastardizes Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” on the album’s uplifting (but unoriginal) closer, “Up with the Birds.” Singing how “The birds they sang, break of day/Start again. I hear them say,” Martin pulls at the heartstrings as he sparsely tickles the ivories. Despite the blatant Cohen thievery, Martin’s soothing voice ends on a resounding high note. And if you’re going to crib from others, Coldplay, at least, has enough sense to do it from the best (and from people a bulk of their fans have never heard of).



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Coldplay’s ‘Mylo Xyloto’ continues to amaze (Seaman Clipper: +ve)


Coldplay’s recently released their fifth album “Mylo Xyloto” after a three year waiting period since their last album “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.” Topping the sales charts, Mylo is very different when compared to their previous albums. As a sort of techno, concept album, this release appeals more to the masses than seasoned Coldplay fans. Crossing over into the mainstream pop realm, Coldplay leaves behind their classic style.


The first actual track after the intro is “Hurts Like Heaven.” This very upbeat, happy song will have you, as Mr. Ferrell would say - shucking and jiving.

The next song, which will most likely be the biggest hit on the album, is Paradise. Chris Martin’s repeating vocals will definitely get you singing along to this track; guaranteed to get stuck in your head. The song’s title describes the mood and theme of the entire rest of the album, Paradise.


Songs later in the album grip at the raw talent of the band. “Major Minus” displays the talents of guitarist Jonny Buckland. Several songs such as “Up with the Birds,” which highlights Martin’s vocals, dancing along the soft piano keys, and “Charlie Brown,” snap back to the classic Coldplay that fans from around the world have grown to love.


In “Princess of China,” Coldplay does something they’ve never done before: feature an artist. The artist of choice however is a little iffy. Rhianna, being from the pop genre is almost one of the last choices you would expect to feature on a Coldplay track. However, her vocals team up with Chris Martin’s to form a delightful tag team on this fast-paced track.


The new style is, without a doubt, a fantastic change that Coldplay fans should be looking forward to. A perfect balance of their classic melodies and newer techno sounds bring together a killer album. “Mylo Xyloto” is an album any music enthusiast will thoroughly enjoy.



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“What Are YOU Listening To?” Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” (The Bottom Line: very +ve)


The opening notes of Coldplay’s 2000 single “Yellow” will forever remind me of my first kiss, which took place during the summer after my freshman year of high school. As anticlimactic and awkward the kiss itself was, the song was anything but; this feeling translates to literally every song the band has produced since their genesis in 1996.


Fans and critics alike praise Coldplay for their opulent melodies, lead singer Chris Martin’s distinctive vocals and provoking lyrics, and the band’s desire to continuously develop their sound while still perpetuating the distinguishable musical qualities that their fans crave.


Their latest album, “Mylo Xyloto,” does exactly that. While expanding their repertoire to feature more electronic and synthetic elements, as well as outside voices, the group still puts forth a sound that is all their own, and they don’t disappoint.


I want to dispel any accusations upfront that may criticize Coldplay for “going mainstream” or trying to conform to what is considered popular, by emphasizing their transition to more synthesizer/electronic-heavy songs on “Mylo Xyloto.” We’re not on the level that Kanye West went to on his “808s & Heartbreak” album, people. For one thing, as far as I’m concerned, Chris Martin didn’t go anywhere near Auto Tuning software (not that he remotely needs it).


While the technological components of the songs do have a stronger presence in “Mylo Xyloto,” Martin’s voice and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland’s catchy riffs still wear the pants in this sonic relationship. Evidence of this is the album’s lead single, “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” which was released June 3. This upbeat, colorful song acts as an anthem for the band; it weans the listener onto the album’s additional electronic sounds, while satisfying their cravings for all things Coldplay, with lyrics like “I’d rather be a comma than a full stop,” notable guitar interludes, and drum beats that both complement the melodies and take the reins at respective moments. The song acts as a multi-hued metaphor, taking the audience on a vivid trip that encourages a listener to “turn the music up” and makes their “heart start beating” just a little bit faster.


Another example that Coldplay hasn’t abandoned their roots Turn up “Major Minus,” which keeps it old school and reminds listeners that Coldplay can work with a plethora of musical content as well as the bare bones. The guitar-only exposition evokes a sense of antiquity throughout the entire song, void of any sound artificially formulated by the click of a mouse. Those cynically expecting synth-like parts to come in at any moment will be pleasantly surprised, because the only other elements to the song are the ephemeral “ooh, oohs” sung by Martin that layer on top of his crooning voice and a steady bass drum beat. Less does appear to be more in this case–though this is not the be-all-end-all for this album.


The curveball that “Mylo Xyloto” throws comes in the form of songs such as “Princess of China,” which is a double-whammy of unknown sonic elements for die-hard Coldplay fans. Not only is there a prominent amount of synthesizers that are relentless until the culmination of the song, pop songstress Rihanna also makes a guest appearance.


Truth be told, I was skeptical when I first realized this. I’m not exactly the biggest Rihanna fan, and any chance that an outside vocalist might steal the thunder from Martin raised a red flag in my book. But astonishingly (if not a bit begrudgingly), I was both impressed with how Martin and Rihanna harmonized together and relieved that she didn’t steal his limelight. One of my biggest musical pet peeves is when the ‘featured’ artist sings more than the actual artist does, and/or is the first person to sing in the song. Such was not the case in “Princess of China;” rather, Rihanna lent a sultry vocal touch to the song, giving it a femininity that was appropriate given the song’s title.


I give props to Coldplay for successfully diversifying their listening demographic without compromising their core sound in “Princess;” the song probably garnered them a respectable amount of new fans from Rihanna’s fan base but doesn’t turn off a notable amount of ‘traditionalist’ fans. Others may disagree, but I believe that “Princess” was a fair balance of old and new, as is the album in its entirety.


Besides the aforementioned songs, other noteworthy tunes on the 14-track album include “Paradise,” “Hurts Like Heaven” and “Charlie Brown.” However, since the album is a concept album, I’d recommend listening to all of the songs together for the complete experience.


Coldplay seems to be comfortably easing into a new era of sound with this fantastic concept album. Although the criticized “Mylo Xyloto” is the most drastic departure from the band’s strictly alternative rock origin, I am inclined to argue that their metamorphosis is not something to be condemned, but rather embraced.



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Mylo tops international iTunes charts (Tiger Online - 5/5 stars)


In the summer of 2008, everyone knew the phrase “Viva la Vida,” as Coldplay’s hit album climbed to the top of the charts and remained there for weeks at a time. Three years later, the band’s new album is experiencing the same success; the only difference is that no one knows how to pronounce this one’s title.


Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay’s fifth full-length LP, represents the band’s first attempt at a concept album, and although the concept isn’t always readily apparent, the music is just fine without it. Fans of both old and new Coldplay will be pleased, as the album incorporates just as many intimate acoustic moments as it does electro-rock synths.


The record’s title track serves as a short, instrumental introduction to “Hurts Like Heaven,” the first full-length song on Mylo. Previewed many times at summer festivals, it’s an upbeat, drum-driven number that showcases the talents of guitarist Jonny Buckland. Following the subsequent “Paradise” comes the album’s high point, in the form of “Charlie Brown.” With an irresistible hook and beautiful outro, “Charlie Brown” is undoubtedly one of Coldplay’s finest songs to date.


Also not to be missed are “Us Against the World” and “Up in Flames.” The former features a rarely-heard duet with lead singer Chris Martin and drummer Will Champion, while the latter’s structural simplicity and falsetto vocals are heavily reminiscent of “Fix You” from X & Y. This satisfying blend of old and new sounds makes for an album that is surprisingly cohesive considering the standout singles it contains.


“Princess of China,” which precedes “Up in Flames,” has proved to be the most polarizing song in all of Coldplay’s works. The song features world-famous pop artist Rihanna, and fans are split—some see the track as confirmation that the band has sold out and others defend the decision to include the Barbadian singer. Regardless of the band’s motivation, the song (originally written with Rihanna in mind, says Martin) takes them in a completely new direction. Backed by hazy synths and a clubby beat, it seems like a track you’d expect to find on Beatport rather than a Coldplay album.


For a band older than some students at this high school, Coldplay has demonstrated a remarkable ability to keep its music current and fresh—Mylo Xyloto is no exception.



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Is ColdPlay's New Album Timeless Or Tiresome?"




During an interview on Hamish and Andy’s Gap year, Coldplay front man Chris Martin said the band wanted an album title that was completely unique, with nothing but the music giving the words meaning. So, what does Mylo Xyloto mean?


Kicking off with the titular song, Mylo Xyloto offers a warm greeting to listeners before adopting a rapid tempo that sucks them into their world. Instantly listerners know Mylo Xyloto won't be another linear exercise, instead it'll take them on a hike with highs and lows.


Follow up tracks like Hurts like Heaven, Charlie Brown and their album debuting Every Teardrop is a Waterfall charter familiar Coldplay melodies, distinguished by rhythmic instruments and the soothing complements of Martin's voice. These gentle rock tracks strike the perfect balance between vocals and audio, with each adding to one another. As with Violet Hill, the lyrical narrative sets up climactic musical ballads that make them emotive, albeit not as profound.


There are momentary detours with Us Against the World and U.F.O, donning a sombre mood through Martin's lonely voice and the plucking strings of a desperate guitar. Potent instruments typically dominate so many of Coldplay's songs that it's easy to overlook Martin's vocal abilities. But in Us Against the World his vocal demeanour conjures thoughts of longed, wishful thinking:


And if we could float away

Fly up to the surface and just start again

And lift off before trouble

Just erodes us in the rain


Breaking up the album are a few short tracks that prelude others, acting as music foreplay to prep listeners for songs to follow. Such is the case with M.M.I.X as it leads into Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.


They don't fall into the trap of simply repeating themselves by including a hybridised Rock/R&B track with Rihanna called Princess of China. Coupling the two—almost antithetical—genres could've resulted in travesty, but somehow their differences complement one another, giving rock more bass while its R&B counterpart benefits from a smoother, acoustic melody.


The impressionable Up In Flames also benefits from R&B attitude with the same poignant bass lining the gaping piano presence, all tied together with Martin's lonely voice.


Don't Let it Break Your Heart comes closest to replicating the old Coldplay magic found in Fix You and Yellow, although not as deep. With a quicker pace and the universal empathy that stems from broken hearts, it's arguably the track that'll have fellow commuters catch you sing out loud.


To conclude what is meant to be an enigmatic step forward for the band is Up with the Birds which brings to mind Ray Charles' What a Wonderful World. Slow and mellow, it does its part as an album filler but probably won't be the track left on rrepeat.


By the album's end you learn that Mylo Xyloto must be synonymous with "not their best." Although it's a good album, that'll help time pass, it's obvious that each track has an expiry date, growing tiresome instead of timeless.



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Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto and Why Sometimes Pop is Just Pop (PJ Media)




Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto and Why Sometimes Pop is Just Pop (PJ Media)


Expectations can be a beast in the world of music criticism. Bands can blow up overnight thanks to blog reviews, even when they don’t have an album to promote – the live shows are that good. Then, when the album drops and it isn’t as magnificent as people expected, the band is dropped like a hot potato, while sites like Pitchfork leap to the next flavor of the week they can’t help hyping to death.


The dreaded sophomore slump isn’t so much named for a significant drop in quality or artistic vision, but rather for the frequent sales drop-off when fans don’t like a band’s second album as much as the one they worshiped maybe a year prior. Worse is the fate doled out to bands who initially sound like another popular act; they initially get a benefit from that comparison, only to have fans turn on them when their music either doesn’t follow closely enough in the footsteps of the iconic act, or conversely fails by following too closely with the original.


Such has been the fate of Coldplay, a band which clearly can’t win for losing.


If you were to spend too much time reading what the majority of the criticsphere has to say about Mylo Xyloto, the latest Coldplay album, you’d have to wonder if this one collection of songs happened to be the worst thing to happen to music since Kevin Federline’s rap abortion. “It’s a bit uplifting, but ultimately insipid,” was the write-up they received in the UK’s Observer, while the Guardian referred to the album as “standard issue Coldplay” in the perjorative, as though a band’s fifth album sounding like anything recorded prior to its release is somehow a brutal disservice to all appropriately cultured music fans.


It’s almost been a competition to see who can damn the album with the faintest praise. You see, what’s worse than a sophomore slump is the brutal crash to earth which comes when a band previously christened as a “hipster alternative to pop” decides to continue recording pop music long after the hipsters have decided to throw said band to the dogs.


I, for one, was never a particularly huge fan of Coldplay. “Yellow,” off their debut Parachutes, bored me to tears with its repetition and was doomed by radio overplay. And A Rush of Blood to the Head, the band’s sophomore effort, featured solid songs but frequently seemed to this critic as though the band was trying too hard to come up with songs to match what radio wanted from a follow-up to Parachutes. That, and the band was fighting to avoid becoming overly pretentious. While many have always lumped them in with the 90s brit-pop of Oasis and the rousing stadium rock of U2, with others clamoring for Chris Martin to follow in Thom Yorke’s avant-garde footsteps, the band was merely at the time trying to find its own voice and follow its own path.


Over the last eight or nine years, however, the band has grown on me. They’ve proven to be willing to push the envelope and try experiments with style, while sticking primarily to the world of pop music. While Radiohead saw a chance to go mainstream with the uber-success of OK Computer and then turned 180 degrees in the opposite direction, choosing to avoid pop at all costs, Coldplay wants to be the pop band everyone likes, with hooks that stick in your head and won’t leave, like tiny musical viruses. They finally found songs that led in that direction on Viva La Vida, which had a title signaling pretension even as the music was more mainstream than ever: I dare you to keep the tribal hook that is “Lost!” out of your head once it sneaks in.


After reading all the negative reviews for Mylo Xyloto, an album which I will admit is saddled by one of the most ridiculous titles ever, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that really what the band chooses to present here is a rational follow-up to Viva La Vida. Mylo Xyloto doesn’t stand up to a great deal of lyrical scrutiny, which is why so many critics have slashed at Martin’s throat by going after his lyrical failings.


But where the album shines is from a pure pop standpoint. “Hurts Like Heaven” is mindlessly catchy in a way few songs have been so far in 2011 – even when you hear yourself singing along to a line as inane as “You use your heart as a weapon but it hurts like heaven,” you’ve got to marvel at the tunefulness of the underlying melody, a melody which segues seamlessly into “Paradise,” the band’s seeming follow-up to “Lost!” which opens with strings and synths piling slowly upon each other until half a minute when the dark crunchy bass end comes into play. “She expected the world but it flew away from her reach,” Martin sings. “She ran away in her sleep into paradise!” The stuttering falsetto chorus – “Para-para-para-paradise!” — coupled with Martin’s “Oooh oooh oooh” harmonizing – turns the song into a barnstormer. If you can’t find something fun in this listening experience, you’re so jaded I don’t know that I want to know you.


The rest of the album is a joy to hear because it builds as a logical percussion. The frantic desperation of “Charlie Brown” pumps up the energy just in time to drop off completely into the somber simplicity of “Us Against The World” (as apt a title as any on the album), which allows Martin to play with his more acoustic side, a la X&Y’s “Til Kingdom Come.”


“I just want to be there when the lightning strikes and the saints go marching in,” Martin sings, and it’s his mantra. Coldplay is here to be the world’s pop band even if the world isn’t ready to stand up to the hipsters and admit it wants a pop band.


We all say we want experimentation, raw creativity, explosions of avant-garde pretentiousness. But when push comes to shove, Coldplay will be there when we’re ready for something which strips all that away, leaving nothing but the pure, comforting essence of pop. It’s telling that “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” the band’s choice for lead single, is far from the most exceptional track on the album.


It comes down to expectations. If you see Coldplay as Radiohead-lite, you’ve already decided their music is something less than that of a band you already revere. As for the “it’s so sickly sweet” mantra, Coldplay’s music has always been something of an aural diabetic’s enemy … if you can’t tolerate sugary pop music, you’ve been coming to the wrong band and simply aren’t going to be able to judge the album for what it’s really offering. Mylo Xyloto doesn’t so much take Coldplay in new directions as it works to cement the band in the eyes of its fans as one firmly planted in the world of pop. Any experimentation which is to be done will be performed with the aim of pushing their music more fully into the world of pop.


In the end there’s the “relevance” debate. I, for one, don’t feel a band’s relevance depends on a willingness to completely reinvent its sound album to album. Coldplay succeeds in the same vein as journeymen pop acts like Train – when “Hey Soul Sister” became a smash hit this year, it wasn’t because Train sold its soul for a pop hit. They simply kept making albums the way they’d done since Train hit shelves in 1999, and eventually the pop radio world came back around and found them playable again. Coldplay is never going to be something for everyone. They’ll remain a punching bag album in, album out for critics who refuse to admit that there’s more than one way to experience music.


Sometimes all we want is pop music for pop music’s sake. To quote the band’s latest single: “I turn the music up, I’ve got my records on. I’ll shut the world outside until the lights come on.” Indeed. Coldplay’s latest may not be the brilliance everyone seems to have expected, but it’s a perfectly acceptable fifth album from a band clearly set on continuing to craft addictive pop confections long after their critics have put down their pens. If it’s not your cup of tea, there’s always another remix album of Radiohead’s King of Limbs you can dig into while venting about how bands like Coldplay don’t live up to expectations.



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Album Review: Mylo Xyloto (The Harbinger)


Ever since the release of Parachutes in 2000, Coldplay and its front man, Chris Martin, have never failed to impress and captivate. Known mostly by their characteristic piano and acoustic guitar - as well as powerful and emotional lyrics - Coldplay truly made a name for themselves with the 2003 release of the single “Clocks.” This single, and its proceeding album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, marked Coldplay as the alternative powerhouse to beat.


Since then, Coldplay has released a steady stream of highly successful and breathtaking albums, each one notably unique from the last. In this way, the UK band has made a gradual shift from their original sound to create a whole new name for themselves, diversifying and strengthening their music along the way.


Mylo Xyloto is the culmination of this diversification. When the album was first released this past October, it was greeted by a mixture of reactions. Excitement for a new Coldplay album was met by a collective eye-brow raising at its first single, “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.” “Is this really Coldplay?” people wondered. “What happened to them?”


Those who were previously comforted by Coldplay’s melodic acoustic vibes were shocked and even somewhat appalled at hearing a new techno-pop sound accompanied by the sudden – but not overdone – use of synthesizers. But be still, little Coldplay-loving hearts. The old Coldplay is still there; songs like “Charlie Brown” and “U.F.O” can attest to that.


Even “Princess of China,” which features Rihanna and was snapped up by all the popular radio stations, hearkens to Coldplay’s long-standing love of all things Oriental. This was also seen in 2008 with the release of Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, which included “Strawberry Swing” and “Lovers in Japan,” both of which were inspired by Asian culture and themes.


Nonetheless, Mylo Xyloto is a far cry from Coldplay’s originally more melancholic sound, what with songs like “Hurts Like Heaven,” which fits more into a Passion Pit album than among Coldplay’s ranks. Of course, this isn’t to say that this change is a bad thing; the smartest move for a band like Coldplay – which is rounding on 12 years in the spotlight and still massively popular – to remain as big as it is in the music world is to play the field and experiment with new sounds. And boy is it working.


Coldplay, no less than a veteran band in the alternative music industry, can now be stepped back from and analyzed at a distance. Any Coldplay buff will now be able see the totality of Coldplay’s efforts.


In a matter of 5 studio-released albums, they have created a broad spectrum of music, colors, and emotions. True masters of their art, Coldplay have managed to drastically alter their sound – risky, no doubt – and not only maintain a cult following, but also create consistently fantastic music, album after album.



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Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay - Immediately familiar




It’s a stupid name for an album, but part of Coldplay’s appeal is the mythology they cultivate, and making up a nonsense term is in line with that strategy.


Mylo Xyloto is a collaborative effort, with three producers, four mixers and a squadron of assistants in addition to Brian Eno and the band themselves. But this “brains trust” approach is pointless without songs able to survive such a plethora of opinions, and it is that area where Coldplay deliver most impressively.


Perhaps their most valuable ability as songwriters is to put together something that feels familiar the first time you hear it. This goes counter to the feeling that great artistry knocks those who experience it flat, but it’s an undeniably important part of the Coldplay set-up.


Paradise and, to a lesser degree, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall already feel like classics, and Us Against The World and U.F.O are this album’s Green Eyes and Til Kingdom Come – songs fans crave but which are unlikely to be radio hits.


They even pull off Rihanna – featuring R&B on Princess Of China – not among their best songs, but a marker of the band’s influence and willingness to push boundaries. – BD



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Coldplay remains consistent, brings the goods


After almost three years of waiting, Coldplay fans finally have a reason to celebrate as of Oct. 21, when the band released its newest album, “Mylo Xyloto.”


The album satisfies every expectation fans may have anticipated, giving listeners a taste of Coldplay’s classic sound, as well as introducing them to a new, more synthesized version of the band. In a clear statement of the band’s musical evolution, Coldplay shows it is not afraid to grow and try something new in “Mylo Xyloto.”


Since the release of its first album, “Parachutes,” and its heavyweight breakthrough single, “Yellow,” in 2000, Coldplay has been on the map of mainstream music as one of the most iconic bands of the new millennium. Coldplay has lived up to its reputation ever since and has continued to produce hit after chart-smashing hit. The band followed its debut into the spotlight with three more albums and a slew of monster-sized hits such as “The Scientist” and “Clocks,” off its 2002 sophomore effort, “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” and its first number one single, “Viva La Vida,” from the eponymous album. After a marathon of success through the 2000s, the band took a long hiatus from music, as they decided on their next musical endeavor. However, right as fans began to wonder, Coldplay returned, and after a summer of country and pop-dominated charts, music lovers everywhere finally had something new and fresh to listen to, and who better to provide them that than Coldplay.


Coldplay’s distinguishable sound is clear and precise in “Mylo Xyloto.” Chris Martin once again captivates listeners with his soaring vocals and incredible range, as his band mates follow up with the smooth sounding acoustics for which Coldplay is so well known. The early release of lead single “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” gave fans a taste of what can be expected on “Mylo Xyloto,” which could be considered Coldplay’s most musically evolved effort to date. “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” is a buoyant blend of acoustic instrumentation and electronic synthesizers, and true to form, Coldplay makes the two sounds flow into one effortlessly. The acoustic guitar strums are mild but fast and create a delightfully light yet powerfully moving rhythm. Accompanied by Martin’s ever impressive and unique vocals as he sings about triumphs and overcoming hardships, the song blends spectacularly into a medley of sounds, literally creating a musical waterfall.


“Paradise,” following the same genre as the first single, opens with a mix of synthesized electronic effects and string instrumentals. After a soft introduction, the song explodes into a powerful melody of synthesizers joined with Martin’s high-pitched vocals, only adding to the brilliance. Also easily identified in “Paradise” is the classic piano accompaniment known and adored by any fan of Coldplay.


“Mylo Xyloto” is a “love story with a happy ending” according to Martin, taking listeners on a musical journey. Said to be inspired by 1970s New York graffiti and the “War of the White Roses,” an anti-Nazi movement started and lead by two students from the University of Munich, the album has an edgy and rebellious, but still hopeful and resilient sound to it. “Mylo Xyloto” contains a range of different sounds, painting with a broad palette of moods and emotions. Some songs, such as “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” and “Hurts Like Heaven” are uplifting, clearly relating to the more joyful moments in life, as does “Paradise.” Others are edgier and have a more synthesized, defiant sound, like “Princess of China,” which deals with the more hurtful aspects of life and love.


Amidst the excitement of its new album, Coldplay managed to throw a few curveballs, like the song “Princess of China,” where the band creates an unlikely duet by teaming up with pop sensation Rihanna. A bold move and bound to garner mixed reviews, Martin fearlessly blends his renowned vocal approach with Rihanna’s eclectic pop-alto stylings. However, no matter how unexpected the duo may be, they are nothing short of successful in the melding of their unique sounds and filling the gap between electronic pop and acoustic rock, seamlessly weaving the two styles together.


Following “Princess of China,” Coldplay caters to life’s more sensitive and emotional situations, as Martin sings “Up in Flames” at a slow tempo with a simple piano accompaniment alongside. Very simple and raw, Coldplay shows a more intimate side to its music with “Up In Flames.” Then, there’s a sudden lift in spirits as Coldplay preaches a hopeful message with “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart,” another song driven by upbeat tempos, encouraging lyrics and soaring vocal melodies.


Leaving audiences in awe of its incredible whirlwind of musical brilliance, Coldplay ends its fantastic new album with the lyrics, “Send me up to that wonderful world/And then I’m up with the birds,” in the album’s closing track, “Up With the Birds.”



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CD Review: Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto


Coldplay are one of the most successful alternative rock groups. This British band has won quiet a lot of music awards, such as, MTV Music Video Awards, and Grammy Awards and has also used their fame to help channel awareness and raise funds for organizations, such as, Hope for Haiti and Teenage Cancer Trust. They often perform at charity events. Coldplay is a very unique and edgy band and very inspirational.


Their album, Mylo Xyloto, is no different then their other fantastic albums. They use a lot of electronically generated sounds which perfectly unify with Chris Martin’s strong vocals. “Us Against the World” has a much more acoustic tone that incorporates Jonny Buckland’s raw and brilliant guitar playing. The drums on this album hold very simple and consistent beats that flow nicely with the piano and echoing guitar. The music is uplifting and exciting.


The lyrics in most of the songs relate to the ideas and themes of escape, love and optimism. The choruses are very memorable and unique. The chorus in the song “Paradise” is very well written, and delivers the same intensity as each verse.


The most outstanding song in this album has to be “Princess of China.” This is a duet with Chris Martin and Rihanna. The added hand clapping sections work very well with this song. During concerts, audiences enjoy clapping along to these sections. Although, the lyrics are more predictable than other songs on this album, this song still stands out tremendously.


This album has wonderful tracks from beginning to end. Coldplay have a true artistic style that’s unlike any other band. They have kept their signature sound since their debut album. This is not always successful for music groups but, they manage to make it work. People who were fans of Coldplay in 2005 when their X&Y album was released, may enjoy rediscovering them through Mylo Xtloto. This album is worth listening to.



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Do not know if it was posted here, but...




Mediocre Coldplay Album Pays Dividends for Student Reviewer

By Richard Horgan on March 27, 2012 7:00 PM


A bunch of awards were handed out in Burbank over the weekend at the 2012 state convention of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC). One publication that did very well was Diablo Valley College’s student newspaper The Inquirer.


In addition to winning a “General Excellence” prize for print, the Pleasant Hill gang received more than a half-dozen other awards, including a “Critical Review” nod for writer John Kesler. From The Inquirer:


“I’m extremely happy,” said Kesler, a winner for his review of Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto.” “I found out about it talking to my teacher on facebook. As soon as she told me, I made sure to post it on mine as a status. It’s good that something great came out of a mediocre album.”


This is the third consecutive semester (Fall 2011) that The Inquirer has been cited for print excellence. Kesler’s October 30 article, “Coldplay Confuses with Ambiguous Lyrics,” can be read here.

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