Album Review: Coldplay ‘Mylo Xyloto’

 Label: Parlophone
Released: October 24, 2011

Music Trajectory Rating: 3/5


They have a ton of potential but can they ever put it together for one great album?

Coldplay is a band that I have liked off and on ever since they burst onto the scene with their very first single “Yellow”. I either own or have heard all of their material. All in all, I would say that I like about half of their material. They are just one of those bands that I can never fully get into, but I will get attached to certain songs. With that being said, I think Coldplay is a very talented band and have written some amazing songs. I have always thought they have the potential to write a killer album from start to finish; an album that wins Grammy’s and garners worldwide praise. Although they have a worldwide following, I don’t think they have made that album yet. I thought Mylo Xyloto might be that album. I think everyone, including Coldplay, wanted Mylo Xyloto to be that album.

When I first heard lead single “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” I thought that Coldplay had another hit on their hands but it wasn’t until I heard second single “Paradise” that I thought of maybe buying the album. I was obsessed with “Paradise” all throughout October, thinking it was the best song Coldplay had ever written and surly my favorite song from the band. I pre-ordered the album on iTunes for $7.99 and listened to it a couple times the day it came out. My initial response was that I liked a few songs but the rest of the album was “blah”. Then I caught this video of Chris and Jonny from the band talking about the album. It was then I understood what they wanted to do with the album. Yet after listening to the album several times through, I get the sense that they were trying to make an acoustic album but changed their minds because they thought it might be too boring and went in the opposite direction and started making a really happy and upbeat album. If they had initially went in the latter direction, I think Mylo Xyloto might have been a better album. It is obvious when listening to the album that there is a tug of war between two different sounds, perhaps two different albums. Or maybe it is just me. After hearing the album several times over, I still only like a few songs and think the rest is “blah”. With a few I actually mean 6. Does 6 good songs mean a good album?

What works 

The happy and upbeat songs on Mylo Xyloto work. Not to say that all slower Coldplay songs are bad, but the ones on Mylo Xyloto are boring are lifeless, maybe with the exception of “Up In Flames” which has a chilling chorus (in a good way). The marketing of the album has been quite good as well, particularly the album cover, linear notes, music videos and the theme of color throughout.

What is lacking 

A flow and cohesiveness. From the aforementioned video, it sounds like Coldplay was making a slower, acoustic album but perhaps moved on to or stumbled upon some better, upbeat songs and then built the idea of Mylo Xyloto around those but decided to keep the better of the slower songs. Again, I could be wrong. I am definitely curious what other people think of this album and this theory. By the way, I think “Princess of China (featuring Rihanna)” is pretty terrible. It might be the worst song on the album.

Best 3 tracks on the album:

“Hurts Like Heaven” (track 1)
“Paradise” (track 2)
“Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” (track 7)

Other standout tracks:

“Charlie Brown” (track 3)
“Up In Flames” (track 11)
“Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” (track 13)

Links of Interest:


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