Friday, October 28, 2011

Mylo Xyloto no big deal

I want to write a joke here about MX Magazine.
Mylo Xyloto (say "my-lo zy-le-toe" out loud, then marvel at how superfluous it is) marks Coldplay's further attempt to conquer every single instrument known to man. The album has been hyped up pretty much since the release of Viva La Vida back in 2008, and since Coldplay is seen as one of the world's biggest bands the album has a lot to live up to. Overall the album is fairly ordinary of Coldplay with a few great songs, a few lame ones, and a bunch of stupid transitional tracks that last about 30 seconds that should have just been stuck onto their respective tracks.

The album has a few great moments. "Hurts Like Heaven" is a really good album opener, it's high energy and catchy and distinctly feel good, but the best tracks are spread between the album. "Paradise" is hypnotic, boasting these otherworldly strings which pulsate throughout the song in parallel with multi-layered vocals, synths and piano. The song is entrancing and somewhat seductive, make it the quintessential, good, original sound that Coldplay is world famous for. The middle of the album has "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall", which is somewhat obnoxious with its instrumentation domination scheme and the indie-hip lyrics about being original and partying down to music while emotionally crying (or something like that) is really feel-good with the embellishments and guitar rifts at the same time as a bitching drumbeat. The best moment on the album is "U.F.O" - it's sensibly and appropriately short, with Martin's vocals being suitable and tolerable. The single acoustic guitar is glorified by a gorgeous chorus of strings which evokes a sense of nostalgia while continually evolving.

The rest of the tracks are okay but really nothing special. “Princess of China”, “Charlie Brown” and “Up With the Birds” are effectively elevator music to me. "Us Against the World" is pedestrian - it sounds like a B side from A Rush of Blood to the Head, sounding okay but not particularly memorable or special. "Up in Flames" is dreadful, I just deleted it off my computer. It's such a soapy self-indulgent mope which sounds like a combination of a soft-core porn soundtrack and a dirge, created by the usual Coldplay piano, clichéd 80s synths and loops sprinkled with Martin's woeful falsetto. It may only run at 3:13 but it feels like an eternity, I completely tuned out after 30 seconds. The other disaster is "Don't Let It Break Your Heart" which is just a bombardment of high energy drums, fucking stupid synths and yodelling with seriously bizarre mixing. I just can't handle it, and I don't think I can face listening to it again.

The album is extremely mediocre, and although it's not totally unpleasant and has a few decent songs, I've got no desire to listen to it again when I've got a ton of other great music to experience. I'm fairly sure if this didn't have the word 'Coldplay' tied to it, it wouldn't be doing anywhere near as well as it is on the charts. I'm going to wrap this up right now since I'm going to listen to Une Sorcière Comme Les Autres again because it's over 9000 times more interesting. 

Mylo Xyloto is available worldwide for something like $15.

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