Would it be good to have a place where we can all post our individual reviews? Here's mine. (ps. I was so desperate to listen to it I found to it online, but WILL be buying the proper version on Monday).
Mylo Xyloto – After the huge success of the instrumental Life In Technicolor to kick-start Viva La Vida, the band go for a much shorter intro this time round, the title track builds up to a crescendo.. 6/10
Hurts Like Heaven – …before unleashing itself into one of the most disappointing recorded tracks in recent memory. All the vigour and energy of the live version is lost and Chris Martin’s vocals hide behind synthetic effects. 4/10
Paradise – Long time collaborator David Rossi showcases his ability on strings with a dynamic intro backed up by Will Champion’s (only word for it) sick beat.
Recurring ‘Oooh’s draw similarities to the Viva chant, (only time will tell if it has the samesuccess), while you can’t help wondering if the repetitive chorus (Para-para-paradise) could have been more inventive. But then again maybe I’m being too harsh. 7/10
Charlie Brown – After receiving a pro-longed airing on Coldplay’s summer ventures, many fans touted it as the new Viva La Vida., Jonny Bucklands guitar is something to behold, and it’s sure to become a live favouriote. 6/10
Us Against the World – More stripped back, Martin’s vocals come to the fore with harmonies added superbly by Champion. Soft, melodic yet powerful, a lyrical highlight (“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”). 8/10
MMIX – Not sure this one-tone piece is deserving of its own title. 4/10
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall – How much can you do with two synthesised chords and a thumping bass drum? A reverberating Glastonbury pyramid provides the answer. Buckland’s Strawberry Swing-esque guitar riff is melodious and impulsive.7/10
Major Minus – More distorted vocals (recurring theme) but a compelling chorus. The bridge seems to be above Martin’s vocal range but the echoing instrumental that follows will light up any stadium. 6/10
UFO – A beautifully crafted guitar serenade seems to end prematurely. Maybe because of the band’s unwillingness to produce an album over 45 minutes long? 6/10
Princess of China – Selling themselves out by including RnB heavyweight Rihanna or a brilliant pop duet, destined for global recognition? The latter. 8/10
Up in Flames – An electro drumbeat met with mellow piano chords, much like Paradise, repeating the title 4 times during the chorus makes you wonder if the song doesn't live up to its true potential. 5/10
A Hopeful Transmission – As the title suggests, it has the makings of something better but fades out almost before it’s even begun, and like the other two interludes on this album is just a glorified intro for the following song. 6/10
Don’t Let it Break Your Heart – An all-round vintage Coldplay record, Brian Eno works in a multitude of musical layers that give the song a completed finish. 6/10
Up With The Birds – Only 3 and a half minutes long but split into two, the first a floating ambient piece that does give the metaphorical feeling of floating away, reminiscent of Prospekt’s March/Poppyfields, the second part buoyant and soothing, ending the album perfectly. 7/10
Overall a fairly ambiguous effort, some would say Coldplay's new direction has taken them to new heights while the critics will bemoan the over production and chart conformity.
It seems that Chris Martin just wants to feel appreciated, and despite the fact that this record will go platinum in over 20 countries and result in a sold-out world tour, he's well aware of the accusations of blandness and often compares himself to other more youthful artists in a jealous but also overly self critical way, and maybe this can explain the shortcomings of the album, but it still harnesses Coldplay's unrivalled ability to produce stadium fillers. 6/10
Thanks for reading!