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album review: coldplay, mylo xyloto

There has been a long wait and great anticipation for Coldplay’s latest studio album, Mylo Xyloto. It has been in production for several years, and with its recent worldwide release, it was finally time to listen to what Chris Martin and his band of merry men have cooked up this time.

Starting with a musical interlude, you are slowly prepared for the opening track ‘Hurts like Heaven’, which itself strays away from what you might be expecting from a Coldplay song. It is a colourful burst of music, incorporating various instruments not normally used in Coldplay’s music. Whilst incorporating different instruments to create a more experimental sound, it does not stray entirely from the traditional Brit-pop sound that one would expect from a Coldplay album. The song is a very strong opening for the album, although it is a pity that the rest does not follow suit. The album itself has several tracks which seem to be much more experimental than any of the band’s previous releases, even incorporating a flute on some tracks.

The album takes a slower turn for several tracks which seems to work well, but doesn’t add anything unexpected to their repertoire. It becomes quite clear that the group have, on this album, attempted to perfect their sound, straying from their traditional musical formula and adding a much stronger musical backing then previous albums. Martin’s often gloomy vocals seem to collide with the almost orchestral music collaborations. The track ‘Charlie Brown’ showcases just how good the band can be, but in saying this, it is not all positive for Mylo Xyloto.

Aside from a few stand out songs, the album doesn’t seem to present anything which will entice a new listener or perhaps even a long time fan. A number of songs drag, and seemingly resemble other tracks on the record, sounding quite similar. This can be quite off putting, especially when you find yourself skipping through songs.

On the other hand tracks like ‘Charlie Brown’, ‘Hurts like Heaven’, ‘Everyday is a Waterfall’ and ‘Paradise’, really do make the album something of a stand out and worthy of a listen.

Mylo Xyloto will no doubt satisfy long time fans of Coldplay, as well as give new listeners a taste of what the band is about. It has a strong and well-produced sound, and whilst at times it might drag and not be as strong as their previous albums, it is still a very strong record that largely deserves the attention that it has received thus far.

Mylo Xyloto is out now through EMI/Parlophone.

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