Coldplay has certainly become the master of trying their hand at every style to see what works and have been successful with basically every attempt. Due to the band’s immense popularity and the fact that they are entering their second decade, their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, was a major project. The band had not released an album in three years and, after the incredible success of their previous Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends album that gained countless recognitions such as debuting at number one and selling over two million copies, they had fans eager to get a hold of their newest work.
Mylo Xyloto, the 14-track album released October 25, is a concept about what Billboard describes as an “us against the world love story.” Throughout the album Coldplay’s show off their incredible talent of mixing genres like pop, rhythm and blues, and electronic. The use of club beats and synth proves they can successful channel their unique style into everything they touch, including this album. The inclusion of graffiti, splattered throughout the album work, music videos, and performances, only adds to the colorful and fun effect of their latest work.
The album is somewhat divided in two due to the release of singles and live concert performances prior to the album’s release. The first half of Mylo Xyloto begins with a brief, light introduction that easily flows into the second song, “Hurts Like Heaven,” a catchy opening track with a fun dance beat. The third track, “Paradise,” follows, which is by far the greatest song on the album. Complete with practically every effect imaginable, the song is absolutely incredible. The song then transitions into “Charlie Brown,” another great work due to its anthem sound, dance beat, and hint of “Viva la Vida.” The fifth track is a relaxed song with acoustic guitar, great lyrics, and a ballad feeling that easily fits into the overall flow of the album. The album takes an electronic break with “MMIX” and suddenly changes to the already popular and upbeat “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.”
The second half of Mylo Xyloto starts off with a grounded track that contains a haunted feeling, especially with its edgy music and repetition of the phrase “watching you.” “U.F.O.”, a ballad of introspection, follows and then a rhythm and blues infused track begins. The song features Rihanna and contains a mix of Coldplay’s trademark features that makes Martin’s part pretty fantastic and Rihanna’s sound, or lack thereof, not even close to as powerful. The song is great thanks to its catchy beat, music, and Martin’s voice, but Rihanna fails to add to the song whatsoever. The weakest song follows Rihanna’s guest appearance on the album. After another musical intermission, the big and positive “Don’t Let it Break Your Heart” suggests the prospect of a happy ending. The band wraps up the album with “Up With the Birds,” a song that begins with an airy sound until it slightly picks up halfway through, making it a simple, piano-filled ending to an incredible album.
It is pretty apparent why Coldplay’s newest album has fans divided: the sound is quite different in relation to production and direction. The music is full and incorporates numerous effects like synthesizers, strings, and more. There are of course the beautifully simplistic songs as well that assist the overall flow of the album and demonstrate Coldplay’s astounding talent of mastering any style they desire. The band also manages to include hints of their trademark style while moving forward, which is quite a tremendous feat. Ultimately, the production is a little much, but the album is still genius and a great mix of old and new.
Coldplay has become not only one of the most commercially successful rock bands, but one of the most popular bands to love due their great music and hyper concert attitude that is successfully reflected in their newest release. The songwriting, production, and overall effect of their previous works may have seemed impossible to surpass, but Coldplay has successfully thrown more incredible, positive, and powerful music at the world, surpassing any and every expectation.