The next of our featured Mylo Xyloto album review comes from the Globe and Mail from Canada who have published their review of the new album today. They have given the album a very good 3.5/5 and call Coldplay "the rising hope of album music," at a time when Coldplay themselves regularly throw doubt on the future of the LP format in interviews. Read on for their review...
We never saw this coming. Coldplay, the onetime Radiohead-lite with melancholic melodies that reached to heavens, cheap seats and singles charts, is now the rising hope of album music, if not other (more substantial) things. "Slow it down," Chris Martin croons, wiping our brow on the affecting acoustic ballad Us Against the World. "Through chaos as it swirls, it’s just us against the world."
Chaos swirling – yeah, everybody’s feeling it, from Middle East dictators and record companies on down. And now this hopeful transmission from one of the world’s biggest bands, whose means of uplift have never sounded more sincere than on Mylo Xyloto, an elegant conceptual album of soaring soft rock and pop leanings that plays down (but does not completely abandon) the self-conscious sonic revolution of Viva la Vida.
Mylo is one of the album’s protagonists, Xyloto being the other, with their love story set in an oppressive future. (This is standard rock-opera stuff; see the Queen-inspired We Will Rock You, The Who’s never-realized Lifehouse project and Styx’s Kilroy Was Here – domo arigato, Mr. Xyloto.)
Matching Mylo and Xyloto dolls may one day be sold in the lobby of a Broadway theatre, is what I mean to say. Produced by people including Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons) and with “Enoxification” by Brian Eno (Bono’s ears, and the man behind the glass for Viva la Vida), Coldplay’s fifth album begins with a tinkling prelude before jumping into Hurts Like Heaven, a grandiose rush of Police upbeat, with a grimy solo from guitarist Jonny Buckland.
The shape-shifting Paradise swoops and soars with euphoric chants over modern beats, ending with a piano outro to release the tension. Guest singer Rihanna brings her catchy umbrella to Princess of China, a shimmering slice of big pop. Major Minus is funky like Perry Farrell.
There are instrumental interludes.
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall begins with the world’s biggest harpsichord, followed shortly by a hardy acoustic strum. “I turn the music up, I got my records on / from underneath the rubble, sing a rebel song,” halloos Martin. “Don’t want to see another generation drop / I’d rather be a comma than a full stop.”
The song never does leave the verge, though, even with the Sunday Bloody Sunday drum riff at the end – speaking of that rebel song. Coldplay, having studied U2, are keen to carry torches forward.
Up With the Birds, a classic ballad/lullaby, closes the affair lushly and optimistically. Martin softens us with lines about simple plots and good things coming our way – the stuff of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Oh, what a beautiful day? More so, now. 3.5/5.
October 2011: Your One-Stop-Shop for Coldplay Info! (Updated: 20th October) [thanks ApproximatelyInfinite]