Arguably one of the most successful and popular bands of the past decade, Coldplay has continually churned out chart-topping records and have sold out venue after venue. Although they have been criticized for being welterweights to heavyweights like Radiohead and U2, the English quartet has proven their significance in the mainstream music industry. Their latest album, Mylo Xyloto, though not as riveting and provoking as previous albums, shows that Coldplay continues to do what they do best: attract mass markets of listeners.
Mylo Xyloto is based on the concept of two protagonists, Mylo and Xyloto, falling in love in a dystopian environment. Compared to their last album, Viva La Vida or Death and all of his Friends, which had a robust concept of an internal clash between succumbing to cynicism and fighting against it, Mylo’s lover story comes off as flimsy and generic. However, this concept is rather relatable and offers easy to listen tracks.
Although Mylo does not provide as strong a lineup of songs as albums like A Rush of Blood to the Head and X&Y, there are a handful of notable ones. “Paradise” gleams with dramatic strings and Martin’s harmonious falsetto chorus crooning “Para-para-paradise.” It’s melancholic and orchestrated nature are reminiscent of early Coldplay sound.
“Charlie Brown” is a rollicking, anthem-laden tune with a chorus that can liven up any stadium or arena. Even “Princess of China” provides refreshing character with long time U2 producer Brian Eno’s icy synths and guest vocals from Rihanna. The album, like Viva la Vida, continues with its electronic ambience contrary to Coldplay’s earlier acoustically-driven albums.
While front man Chris Martin never was an astute songwriter, the lyrics of Mylo are generally trivial and mediocre at best. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” the first single released from the album, makes stilted references to grammar (“I’d rather be a comma than a full-stop”) and lacks, like most of the other tracks, captivating hooks. Regardless of Martin’s songwriting ability, Coldplay is one of the forefront commercialized groups that has continually produced work that appeals to the masses. Mylo Xyloto continues to offer listeners relatable and communal tracks that Coldplay is famous for.
Matt Vaghi may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org