In Review: Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

Coldplay’s last offering back in 2008, titled ‘Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends’ took the bands fan base to new levels and saw the band reach new heights in their musical atmosphere.

Their latest offering, Mylo Xyloto leads on from this and takes the listener to further levels that Viva la Vida could never offer.

From the start, you are introduced to Coldplay’s new atmospheric sound leading into Hurts Like Heaven, a fast paced blend of piano, distorted guitars and electronic soundscapes with clear and compelling vocals from Chris Martin.

Paradise, Coldplay’s latest single from the album, continues the pace with an exciting introduction and euphoric explosion of synthesizers, cinematic strings and soaring vocal lines.  The standard chord progression throughout is completely masked by Coldplay’s ability to add layers upon layers of texture to finally end up with an impressive and beautiful sounding composition.

 What is also impressive about the latest offering from Coldplay is the clear ability of their musicianship and how they gel as a band: Charlie Brown features an ever-so catchy uplifting guitar line with a thumping drumbeat. Major Minus is Coldplay at their most original with stripped-down strummed guitars and distorted vocals. Us Against The World is the band at their most personal, with Chris Martin’s voice reverberating with church-like textures with plucked guitars and a rising string section, lyrically brilliant, it invites you into a more intimate atmosphere. ‘’Oh morning come bursting, the clouds, they move, lift of this blindfold, let me see again, and bring back the water, that your ships rode in, in my heart you left a hole.’’

 The distinctive, new direction of Coldplay’s music is continued with their first release of the album, Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, which is a fast paced and emphatic dance track featuring strong vocal melody from Chris Martin with a soaring chorus that explodes like a firework in the sky.  Princess Of China is Coldplay pushing the commercial boundaries with apache-like melody backed with a dub step beat. The guest appearance of Rihanna is clear indication of how popular the band have grown; yet the track does not sound like a future single, and more like one of the albums well-kept secrets – this adds appeal to the song; Rihanna’s and Martin’s combined harmonisation works perfectly.

Within Mylo Xyloto’s cacophony of soaring soundscapes and atmospheric textures, lies a few minimalistic treats that shows Coldplay’s talent for writing simplistic, yet beautiful melodies. U.F.O is an intimate heart-warmer that is short but very sweet. Up In Flames is a soft-sounding, yet empowering statement, featuring a slow-tempo electronic beat alongside vanishing piano chords and an uplifting high-pitched vocal line in the chorus.

Mylo Xyloto is not just an album, it is an impressive piece of work that sends your mind to soaring heights; the cinematic feel to the album is the perfect soundtrack for the end of 2011, and is a great competitor for album of the year.

Tom Harding

Writer for King Loaf & Alt Sounds