Mylo Xyloto is Coldplay’s fifth studio album. “Mylo” and “Xyloto” are meant to be characters in a love story, as this record presents a love story. To this day I still don’t get any of it when I listen to the album; although some comics are going to be released soon that detail the story. I wish I could analyse the album as a concept record, but until those comics are released I have no idea. Mylo Xyloto is not Coldplay’s best, and it’s definitely not as good as Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends. Most likely you won’t be impressed on your first listen, and still won’t be after a few. Give it a few more listens and you will start to finally get it (the music, not the story).
“Paradise” is hands down the best song on the album and possibly the greatest song that Coldplay has ever recorded. “Viva La Vida” was such an amazing song that I couldn’t fathom it being outdone, but the band did it with “Paradise”, a spiritual successor. In my opinion, every Coldplay album has had a masterpiece that stands clear above the other songs on the album and must be performed at every concert. Parachutes had “Yellow”, A Rush of Blood to the Head had “Clocks”, X & Y had “Fix You”, Viva La Vida had the title track and now Mylo Xyloto has “Paradise”. It’s such an amazing song, and during my first few listens, the only song I believed was worth listening to. I can’t wait to hear it live.
“Hurts Like Heaven” is a strong album opener (40 second intro song doesn’t count) that sounds like the Coldplay we know and love. Charming vocal performance from Chris Martin and the rest of the band back him up perfectly. “Charlie Brown” and “Every Tear is a Waterfall” were good choices for singles, as they are all very catchy and well made tracks, even though I have no idea what they are about.
“Princess of China” features Rihanna. It’s surprisingly good, like Slash’s song with Fergie. It would be unfair to write the song off just because Rihanna sings on it, just like it was unfair to write off the song Steel Panther wrote with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger just because of who they were working with. Coldplay wrote this song with Rihanna in mind, but they were nervous in asking her to sing it. You guys are in one of the biggest bands in the world! Of course she would say yes! The other thing is that Rihanna can’t perform live very well and she doesn’t write the majority of her music, so I’m sure Princess of China was a very comfortable environment for her. Her studio recordings sound great and her voice goes great with Martin’s so this collaboration works fine. The live version of this song has Rihanna’s studio recording being played when she isn’t there, so there’s another problem solved. Anyway, the track is quite good, so check it out!
“Up in Flames” is surprisingly good. It has a drum machine, which would seem to ruin the authenticity of the song, but it doesn’t. It’s a very simple and repetitive song that keeps adding layers as it goes along. Most of the other songs aren’t anything to write about, just filler really.
Coldplay could’ve done much worse than Mylo Xyloto, but I think everyone expected better. There are some great moments here that will add to the band’s legacy. Originally, the band had two albums in mind, they were Mylo Xyloto and a stripped down acoustic album. They eventually decided to combine the ideas of the albums into one. I can tell, because the acoustic and stripped down moments awkwardly clash with the more electronic moments. If you do listen to Mylo Xyloto, make sure you listen more than once. In fact, make sure you listen many times, because while this album was slightly disappointing, the songs do grow on you, and Coldplay fans will still love it.
1. Mylo Xyloto
2. Hurts Like Heaven
4. Charlie Brown
5. Us Against The World
7. Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
8. Major Minus
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