Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
Alternative - StudioRecording - 2, 1 CD(s) - Label: Parlophone - Distributor: EMI Operations/CEVA Logistics - Released: 19/12/2011, 24/10/2011 - 50999...
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Review of "Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay"
So after 12 and a half years I've finally made it to Gold, thanks to everyone for the reads, rates and comments since I became a member
Ever since their debut album back in 2000, Coldplay have gone from strength to strength increasing their profile all the time. Once dubbed the new Radiohead they have really developed their own musical style and sound. They are now one of the biggest bands in the Country and 2011 saw the release of their 5th studio album. With each album the band have developed and adapted their sound to try new things and so far this has been an approach that has really worked for them. In the beginning it took me a while to get into Coldplay but now I actually really like them and so was quite keen to get my hands on a copy of Mylo Xyloto.
Come A Long WayThey have come a long way since their inception at University College London where Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland met and formed the band originally called Pectoralz. In 1998 they changed the name to Coldplay and were soon signed by Fierce Panda and then by Parlophone. Those days however are now a thing of the past as Martin and Co can currently consider themselves to be one of the biggest bands in the world.
The 5th Album
The band announced that this new album, Mylo Xyloto, is a concept album based on a love story with a happy ending. They have stated that Mylo and Xyloto are two different people who meet through a gang and fall in love. This is a world away from the previous suggestions that Coldplay would be returning to a more familiar, acoustic setting. As a result of these comments and the tracks I’d heard from the album I wasn’t really sure how the two would go together and from my original high expectations I began to wonder if I’d really enjoy it that much.
Mylo XylotoThe album begins with the title track “Mylo Xyloto”, which along with “M.M.I.X” and “A Hopeful Transmission” are all instrumental tracks that move the story on from one part of the album to another. I have to admit that as an album starter it didn’t really work for me and likewise the other 2 instrumental tracks, although serving a purpose seem more like album fillers than something to really enhance the sound of the record.
From the slow start of the title instrumental it is a bit of a shock as “Hurts Like Heaven” leaps straight into the vocals. From the early bars of the track you can tell this is a different direction yet again from Coldplay but that was to be expected. The vocals are strong and fitting, whilst the guitar drums and keyboards really provide a nice base to accompany Martin’s vocals. As the first proper track on the album it is a decent start. The album moves quickly onto the next track and second single “Paradise”.it has a much slower start and builds through an instrumental till Martin’s vocals come in after a minute. The piano really takes the lead on this track with a solid drum backing. Once again Martin’s vocals work really well with quite meaningful lyrics. Having heard this track on the radio a lot recently it is easily my favourite on the album. From there we move onto the more experimental but equally enjoyable start to “Charlie Brown”. It builds slightly slowly at first into a very epic track that grows on me more with every listen.
There is a very catchy hook in the rhythm of the track that draws the listener in. it’s a hook that really works for this track and helps it to sound better with every listen. Everything slows down as we move onto track 5, “Us Against The World”. It has a very slow opening as the guitar builds and although I really want to like it, I find Martin’s vocals a little too stretched in the early parts of this song. It’s a little too slow in comparison to the rest of the album so far and just doesn’t really work for me.It’s strange because after the break for “M.M.I.X” the next track and first single “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” is another real highlight. The slow interlude makes the anticipation build and as soon as the guitar and keyboard kick in the pace lifts and so does the feel of the album once again. The lyrics really work well and Martin’s vocals are suddenly back to the quality you know they can be. It’s a close call for this being my favourite track, particularly because of the guitar riff and its tracks like this that really make me like Coldplay.
The more up-tempo feel continues with “Major Minus”. This is one of the more experimental tracks on the album and that is mainly down to the style of the vocals. The guitar and drums are pretty standard Coldplay, but the vocals sound very different, although don’t get me wrong, it’s a good type of different. They then slow the tempo down considerably with “UFO”, which sees a quiet guitar accompanying Martin’s vocals. This is a very relaxing track but doesn’t really seem to fit at this point in the album and I think this is perhaps my biggest disappointment as I felt the track order could have been better, even though it is meant to be telling a story.Perhaps the strangest track on the album is the collaboration with Rihanna, “Princess Of China”. It has a more experimental start and the vocals are slightly different to the rest of the album up to this point. It’s not a track I particularly enjoyed much and although it’s something slightly different it’s a style that doesn’t really work for a Coldplay album. I did find myself impressed by Rihanna’s voice but this sort of track just doesn’t work for me personally.as if by magic the old Coldplay return with the piano driven “Up In Flames”. It’s a nod back to the older albums and actually works really well.
It is quite a low key and relaxed track that really slows the pace of the album. The drums and piano work well together and this is the type of track that really shows off Martin’s vocals and lyrical ability. It’s a decent track that works well within the context of the album. After a third instrumental interlude for “A Hopeful Transmission”, the faster pace returns in “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart”. It is lead from the start by the guitars and a strong drum beat to accompany the much stronger vocal performance. At times on this album I had been disappointed with Chris Martin’s vocals but once again he returns to his best on this track.The final track is the slightly slower “Up With The Birds”, which samples Brian May’s “Driven By You”. After a very mixed album I find it quite fitting that I’m disappointed by the end to the album. I do quite like the way Coldplay are always pushing themselves to try new styles and concepts but as an end to the album this just doesn’t work. The instruments are weak and Martin’s vocals are quite flat and uninviting during the first two minutes. It does start to pick up but for me it all comes too late and after what is really quite a good album it ends on a disappointing note.
Not Quite What I Had Hoped
Firstly I think it’s important to make it clear that I do really like this album. It isn’t their best work but I’d happily give it 4 stars. That said it does have its weak points and on a couple of occasions it felt like Chris Martin was really over stretching his vocal chords. As always it is musically a very strong production from the band with the help of Brian Eno and whilst the order of the tracks and the vocals could have been better it is still a strong album. If you are looking for classic Coldplay you won’t find it here and whilst it wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped I do enjoy listening to it and am sure this album will continue to grow with each passing listen.
Product Information : Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
Manufacturer's product descriptionAlternative - StudioRecording - 2, 1 CD(s) - Label: Parlophone - Distributor: EMI Operations/CEVA Logistics - Released: 19/12/2011, 24/10/2011 - 5099972972625, 5099908755322
EAN: 5099972972625, 5099908755322
Listed on Ciao since: 08/12/2011