Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” lacks unity

Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” earns a 3 out of 5 stars for its lack of cohesiveness.

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Tyler Davis, Writer

Coldplay hits the music scene once again with “Mylo Xyloto.” Coldplay has been a band for over 15 years and has continuously surprised fans and critics alike with album after album of songs that are dangerously honest, but also have a prevalent sense of hopefulness. Coldplay seemed to be a band that could do no harm. “Mylo Xyloto” is here to challenge that notion.

Tracks seem disjointed

“Mylo Xyloto” opens very similarly to the way 2008’s “Viva La Vida” opened. The title track is an electronic instrumental that serves as an intro for the first true song on the album. Unfortunately, this is the last of the similarities “Mylo Xyloto” has to that near-flawless record.

The first non-instrumental track “Hurts Like Heaven” kicks the album off on an upbeat note, as Chris Martin croons, “Written in graffiti on a bridge in a park 
/ Do you ever get the feeling that you’re missing the mark? / It’s so cold.”

Right away it is evident that something is very different about this song from previous releases. Instead of relying mainly on the talents of Martin on piano and Jonny Buckland on guitar for their musical foundations, synth-laden beats and electronica take center stage. This opening track sets the stage for what is to come for the rest of this record.

Next is the second single called “Paradise.” Much like the first song, this song has great potential drenched in synths and overproduction. And while the verses sound like something straight out of “Viva La Vida,” the stuttered chorus sounds like something that would fit nicely between Rihanna and Lady Gaga on pop radio.

Thankfully, the classic Coldplay sound returns with the next track “Charlie Brown,” a song that sounds like it could have been a track on “A Rush of Blood to the Head.” Martin’s vocals are spot on in this track and finally heard without the unnecessary addition of electronic pitch correction.

Throughout the rest of the album, tracks are randomly staggered from electronica to acoustic ballads, causing the album to lose its fluidity and seem like just a jumbled collection of songs rather than a cohesive album. The song “Princess of China,” featuring Rihanna once again caters to the fan base of the guest star than to devoted Coldplay fans.

Album seems stiff

There are some standout tracks such as “U.F.O,” “Up with the Birds” and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart.” This album unfortunately lacks many of the elements that caused millions of people to fall in love with them. There is no heartfelt piano ballad reminiscent of “The Scientist” or “Lost!” and because of this, the raw emotion usually associated with the band is forgotten in this album.

Although this album is a concept album, it lacks any kind of detectable storyline and any cohesion. This is not a terrible album by any means, but it does fall short of the incredible records Coldplay has released in the past.

While Coldplay’s past success had a feel of effortlessness, this album feels much more forced. Next time, instead of striving so hard to be different, Coldplay should simply remain Coldplay.

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