Track by Track CD Review: Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto [2011, Parlophone]

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full eleven years since Chris Martin walked through the rain on the beach and delighted everyone with his simple ode to a women not named Gwyneth. That track of course, was Yellow and started the English band Coldplay on a steady rise to the top of the charts. Arguably one of the biggest bands in the world, Coldplay are now back with their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto. Having not really paid attention to the band since A Rush of Blood to the Head, I decided to have a good listen to see what the 2011 version of Coldplay has to offer.

Mylo Xyloto
Must be the oddest title ever, but I’m not going to bother looking what this song title means. Probably something Gwyneth Paltrow discovered on the way to finding herself. How did some actress go from such a sweetheart to such an annoying figure in a span of ten years?

Hurts Like Heaven
I’m enjoying the quick pacing, soaring guitar and synthesizers on this song. If this song was released by a bunch of kids from Brooklyn (or someone in Toronto/Montreal), I’m pretty sure all the bloggers would be all over it. It’s one of the weird states of blogging today, once a band has been dismissed as a mainstream act, I feel like they have almost a disadvantage on the internet. Rolling in the millions of dollars they have helps I guess.

The strings section that starts off this track seems to be directly ripped off from some medieval adventure movie where a bunch of rag tag characters discover either a really attractive princess or a temple. Also, sounds a lot like “pair of dice” instead of “paradise”

Charlie Brown
The opening parts of this track (some high pitch rewind effect first used in Bigmouth Strikes Again) reminds me of a Passion Pit song. Where are they now? The guitars are soaring in this one though, seems tailor made for an epic arena concert moment where Walmart moms are wetting their Lululemon pants as Chris Martin pretends like he’s going to go into a crowd but then runs back on stage just to play the piano for it song’s “tender” closing moments.

Us Against the World
Tender acoustic number that evokes memories of starry nights. The whole ‘us against the world’ theme sounds like something Bono would have written in the 80s.

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
I can’t help but feel like I’ve heard this track before, but it’s pretty catchy in the beginning but descends into your normal Coldplay yearning and long pronounciation of each word choruses.

Major Minus
I listened to this track twice because I wasn’t really paying attention the first time. Not the most memorable track although the line “us against the world” is once again used.

Nothing to really say here

Princess of China
Not sure what Rihanna has to do with China but I guess when Coldplay comes a’callin, you don’t say no. She doesn’t really add much to it though. The dual vocal part of “you really hurt me” adds a nice bit of drama to an otherwise unmemorable song, I guess. If Coldplay really wanted to go with an edgier track, they probably should have enlisted Nicky Minaj.

Up in Flames
Slow piano falsetto number that is probably quite swoonable to a certain demographic. It’s easy to dismiss this as another Coldplay slow track but fact is most bands would give an arm and a leg to write a song like this, but since it’s Coldplay, let’s dismiss this as another slow Coldplay track for you to hold your smartphone in the air.

Don’t Let it Break Your Heart
The title reminds me of the Backstreet Boys song “I’ll never break your heart” which isn’t the best way to start off a song. In this track, pounding pianos are accomanpied by a rousing guitar riff that given other lyrics could probably pass as a song played by born again Christians in a church or something. It’s quite soaring, the church people would close their eyes, put both their hands in the air and then get down on their knees or something. Some might even faint from all the glory.

Up With the Birds

Overall, it seems pleasant enough. Despite the band claiming this is a concept album with a more industrial rock direction, Coldplay will always just sound like Coldplay. I don’t really think that’s a big problem for them since their sound has made them millions of fans worldwide. Would I listen to this regularly? Probably not. Would I be annoyed if someone I was in a car with decided to play this on a road trip somewhere? Probably not.

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Posted on by Ricky in Albums

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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