Year 2, Day 6: Coldplay’s Concept Album

Year 2, Day 6: Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

Tracklisting

  1. Mylo Xyloto
  2. Hurts Like Heaven
  3. Paradise
  4. Charlie Brown
  5. Us Against the World
  6. M.M.I.X
  7. Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
  8. Major Minus
  9. U.F.O
  10. Princess of China
  11. Up in Flames
  12. A Hopeful Transmission
  13. Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
  14. Up With the Birds

About the Album

Mylo Xyloto is the fifth studio album release from British alternative rockers, Coldplay. Released in October of 2011, the album charted at number one in over 34 countries, and in the United Kingdom, debuted at number one, becoming their fifth album to do so. In the United States, Mylo Xyloto became the third Coldplay album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200.

Thoughts on the Album

Coldplay. Ahh, yes, Coldplay. There is no on the fence with this band, you either like their music or you don’t. In my own opinion, they are alright, they make decent music. Last year I reviewed the phenomenal X&Y. That said, today’s album is the 2011 release, Mylo Xyloto. Outside of trying to pronounce it, nothing really bad about this album. Don’t get me wrong, there are some swings and misses, but overall it’s a good album. Also, +1 for concept albums, because that’s what this is.

The first three tracks are undeniably cut from Coldplay cloth. They are three epic anthems and sound like they were produced in a research lab using magic and science, then electrically engineered to be giant stadium filling anthems, that trigger mass sing-alongs.

I can definitely tell you that my two favorite songs are Paradise and Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall. With Paradise, you receive a hook-heavy monster of a song. The catchy (and repetitive) chorus will take residence in your brain, ultimately with zero interest in moving on. The introduction to Paradise, is simply fantastic. Paradise, when heard in context with the rest of the album fits impeccably well. Strangely enough Paradise reminded me of Lovers in Japan, off Vida la Vida or Death and All His Friends.

While the lyrics of the album aren’t exactly “cutting edge” or rather new for that matter, the songs just draw you in. For example, Don’t Let It Break Your Heart, is a bombastic rocker, bathed in an irresistible optimism. While Every Teardrop is a Waterfall is a glorious celebration that builds up into this huge and genuinely uplifting harmonic crescendo.

Of course, I don’t think anyone could miss the track Princess of China. Why you ask? One word: Rhianna. That’s why. Princess of China, makes Yellow, seem like a long past distant memory. It’s an epic electro breakup song.

The issues that I have with this album center mostly around it’s mastering. It’s the 21st Century and it sounds like it mastered on an Apple II. Parts of the album are just a wash, because of the mastering. I will also mention that there are parts of the album that seem overproduced that are packed with layer upon layer of noise-suffocating songs that struggle to breathe. And super producer, the one who produced this album, Brian Eno, is credited with “enoxification”. Whatever that may be.

Other than those grievances, the only issue I have with this album (and band), is that it doesn’t try to push any boundaries. It doesn’t try to go “over-the-top” or shock you or do anything that is out of the norm. But that’s Coldplay‘s style.

Conclusions

Despite the mixed-to-positive reviews, I thought Mylo Xyloto was good. Not great, not awesome, not piss poor nor terrible. Not better than X&Y or A Rush of Blood to the Head. But just, good. If you take away the overproduction and the mastery issues, the songs are good.

I understand why people this album is pure polished garbage, and they are entitled to their opinion, but I’ve heard worse albums from better bands. Of course, I’m also a believer in: music is subjective, and subject to one’s own taste. So what you like, and what I like are too different things.

But I digress, I’m getting too far off topic.

This album isn’t as bad as people think it is… or can’t be judging from how many people bought records the first day/week of it’s release. As with most albums and more importantly concept albums, it takes time to grow on you. Mylo Xyloto is no different. It’s definitely worth a listen to.

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