Review: Coldplay — 'Mylo Xyloto'
Either Coldplay’s fifth release, Mylo Xyloto, is an evolution -- or at least an attempt to make it sound as if it were.
It really just depends on which side the fence you stand. If you like your bands to try new things so the routine doesn’t get old, you’ll consider it an evolution. If you think Coldplay's best moment was "Yellow,” then you're going to be lost in the many variations of a band stuck in the middle of its past and what might be its future.
Mylo Xyloto has two types of songs: those that sound like they could fit in the distant past and those that were remixed to make Coldplay sound like a contemporary R&B/rock band.
The contemporary tracks include “Hurts like heaven,” in which Coldplay can’t decide whether to get out of U2’s shadow or just be satisfied following their lead. It’s perfect for a new iPhone commercial. And then there is “Paradise,” which sounds like Coldplay asked The Neptunes to do a remix. This song isn't bad; it's just confusing. Did Coldplay hear Radiohead’s The King of Limbs and wonder what they could do to sound different? Did they want to reinvent themselves too?
The problem is they just weren’t ambitious enough -- if that is, in fact, what they were trying to do. You can’t reinvent yourself when it sounds so familiar — even if it is exceedingly beautiful.
Upon hearing that Rihanna was appearing on a Coldplay song, the album was easy to dismiss. And then, upon hearing “Princes of China,” I though it was obvious the song could work without Chris Martin. Perhaps Rihanna should think about enlisting Coldplay (sans Martin -- or as a backing vocalist) for her next album.
In the middle of the new and the old are “Us Against The World” and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” in which Coldplay build beautiful soundscapes upon meaningless lyrics and big choruses. Although nothing seems to be said, it’s still entertaining.
And then there is the Coldplay reminiscent of days of old. “Up In Flames” and “U.F.O.” finds Coldplay sad and soulful ala Parachutes.
Coldplay tried on Viva La Vida to make a concept album and did a good job pulling everything together. I’m not 100 percent sure what they were shooting for on Mylo Xyloto. Is Coldplay trying to write songs that can become Top 40 hits, or are they trying to reinvent the band? It’s obvious they were trying to do something; it's just not clear what, exactly. It’s not that Mylo Xyloto is bad. It’s not. It's just not as great as previous Coldplay albums.
It’s hard to know if this will take up space on my iPhone.
Rihanna, “Up In Flames” and “U.F.O.”
A few songs that sound like retreads.
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