A Musical Para- Para- Paradise: Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto
By Charissa Lock @charissalock
If I could force Chris Martin and the rest of the band to make an album specifically designed for me, their fifth release comes quite close to any expectations I could fathom. Coldplay has always been one of those bands that I enjoyed, but always overplayed, a little too mainstream and I never caught on. “Yellow” was pretty good… Recently I heard “Paradise” and was impressed that Coldplay had jumped on board the industrial rock ship. I was mildly curious what else Coldplay had to offer on Mylo Xyloto (released October 2011) and knowing “Paradise” was a bit different than their usual, I decided to make listening to this album a priority.
The first track is a 42 second intro (“Mylo Xyloto”) that blends into “Hurts Like Heaven.” I don’t think I have ever had such a reaction to a song before. Knowing Coldplay (or at least their singles), I was expecting one thing and what I got in return was mind blowing. “Hurts Like Heaven” is such a great song, it’s upbeat and fun, with great verses and chorus, the bridge is perfect and there’s even an instrumental portion. There isn’t a part in the song where I wish something was different about it. It may even fall into my top 30 favorite songs. As the songs kept going, my newly formed expectations were met and I couldn’t believe I was enjoying this as much as I was. As the album nears the end, the songs seem to gain a sense of euphoria and you really cannot decide which is your favorite, especially with songs like “Princess of China” (featuring Rihanna who compliments Martin’s vocals nicely) and “Don’t Let it Break Your Heart.”
Because it’s Coldplay, you know things are going to sound crisp, the instrumentation fabulous, and the production is going to be impressive. It’s where Coldplay is going musically that is so exciting. They are able to keep their distinct sound, but are making slight altercations based on where music is headed. And don’t get me wrong, they still have that powerful, massive concert pavilion feel, but it’s tweaked from “Viva La Vida.” This is what fans mean when they say they like the band, but it needs to change things up a bit, without going too far. Thank you Coldplay for knowing exactly what that means. I’m sure practice also helps, five albums later.
If you’re wondering what “Mylo Xyloto” means, you should just come up with a really thoughtful and funky definition for yourself and take that curiosity no further. I, sadly, researched what Martin’s thoughts were behind this and was very disappointed. I’m not even going to tell you because I would rather not ruin the epic-ness of this album for you, you can do that for yourself if you choose.
I could very easily extend my thoughts on this album for paragraphs upon paragraphs, but I know you have better things to do like watch The Office (even without Michael Scott, still hilarious). Mylo Xyloto goes a little indie folk on some songs (“U.F.O”) and dips it’s toes in shoegazing (“A Hopeful Transmission” and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” to name a few), which is such a perfect transition for them. And the other songs are Coldplay, but a 2012 version of Coldplay which I am very impressed and psyched about. If you have never been into Coldplay (for whichever reason), I strongly recommend you give this album a listen, and if you love Coldplay, well it’s obvious you’re listening and you love Mylo Xyloto.