'Mylo Xyloto' redefines Coldplay's sound, style
Band takes peppy, contemplative tone with fifth studio album
With Coldplay's fifth studio album, the band brings in new sounds and themes that resemble some of their earlier work. The 14-track album is available on iTunes, on Amazon.com and at most local music stores.
I love the anticipation you get right before you download the new music album you just bought. Listening to the same songs over and over by your favorite band is enjoyable, but listening to new songs is even more exhilarating.
When approaching the alternative genre, Coldplay is my go-to band. This is why my excitement for their new album, Mylo Xyloto, released Oct. 25, did not fall short, as my favorite band delivered the right amount of musicality in all their latest numbers and arrangements.
Over the past decade, Coldplay has risen from a small British band to a major mainstream sound. Like most people, my first impressions came from listening to their hit single "Viva la Vida." That song had great lyrics and a full band to match, but Chris Martin's vocals captured my attention.
Members Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland formed the band in 1996 as a precursor to the Coldplay to come. A little later, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer and backup vocalist Will Champion joined in 1998, creating the arrangement they currently play with. The small alternative rock band released their first EPs, Safety in 1998 and Brothers & Sisters and The Blue Room in 1999. However, the band never hit it big until early 2000 with the release of their CD Parachutes.
As for the eccentric name of their new album, Martin stated in a USA Today interview that: "We wanted to have something that didn't mean anything else. We made up 'Xyloto.' When we Googled it, nothing came up. Mylo Xyloto doesn't bring any meaning with it, so in that sense we're beginning with a clean slate. Together, the words will mean what we make them mean with this music."
This album is colorful and full of carefree lyrics, and, as a whole, the band reverts back to some of their calmer, earlier sounds while simultaneously livening things up with a rock qualities mixed with acoustic sets and relaxed lyrics. In addition, Martin never fails to impress with his range of notes and musicality, demonstrated in every song.
"I like this album and wholeheartedly support the direction of Coldplay's sound. I will admit that their music has a pop feeling to it, but the content of music still contains the fundamentals Coldplay started with." --Julianne King, '12
Examples of this come from Mylo Xyloto's themes of love, lightheartedness and the passing of time. Previous albums have focused on heavier issues of heartbreak, bravery and the real world. Guitar and piano are incorporated in most songs and quiet the noise down, before increasing the melody again.
The two singles from Mylo Xyloto, "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" and "Paradise," were released prior to Oct. 25 and, from just this I was able to foresee the excitement this album would be welcomed with. Mylo Xyloto as a whole is quite good, but for the Coldplay lovers who prefer their earlier albums such as Parachutes and X&Y, they might not prefer this as much. As shown with previous albums like Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, the band's sound is changing.
Since I prefer music with a happier tone and meaning, this album fits. This is the type of music you would listen to while driving down the road with the windows down. The variation from song to song proceeds nicely and, in a whole, you experience a variety of emotions.
Unlike other albums, Mylo Xyloto features a guest -- Rihanna -- in the song, "Princess of China." The mix of her voice with Martin's contrasts greatly while they together sing of the complications of love. The two musicians sing "Once upon a time on the same side / Once upon a time on the same side in the same game / Why'd you have to go / Have to go and throw it all in my face." This theme of muddled love is easy to relate to no matter what the relationship.
Between the songs are progressions that flow nicely and setup the arrangements following it. "Mylo Xyloto" before "Hurts Like Heaven" and "A Hopeful Transmission" before "Don't Let It Break Your Heart" allow a building intro and then jump right into the following number.
My personal favorite off the new album is "Us Against the World." This song starts off slower, but still flows with the new sound, and then drops down with acoustic guitar for the verses and the chorus, stating: "And if we could float away / fly up to the surface and just start again / And lift off before trouble / Just erodes us in the rain."
Even though the intent of the album is just a nice, untroubled message, it can still pose a few questions. Listeners can ponder their own relationships and ask how they choose to live their lives among a world that can hinder their growth in friendships.
I like this album and wholeheartedly support the direction of Coldplay's sound. I will admit that their music has a pop feeling to it, but the content of music still contains the fundamentals Coldplay started with. The mix of quote-worthy lyrics and Martin's soothing voice is an agreeable match and a refreshing sound to a legendary band.
The album is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and at a local music store.
For more music reviews, read the Oct. 13 article, Switchfoot projects intense conflict, themes with 'Vice Verses' (VIDEO).