Coldplay’s ‘Mylo Xyloto’: Review Revue

Robbie Daw | October 24, 2011 1:50 pm

On the heels of the singles “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” and “Paradise”, Coldplay’s fifth album Mylo Xyloto finally arrived today (see the full album lyrics over at DirectLyrics). (Enter to win a copy, along with the band’s entire catalog, on vinyl.) As with their previous LP Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, the UK quartet have teamed up with producing legend Brian Eno for their new material. The results, according to critics, appear to be a mixed bag. We rounded up highlights from what the Internet at large had to say about the album. Head below to see it all matches your thoughts on Coldplay’s latest. :: USA Today gives the album three out of four stars and notes the following: “Thematically and musically, Mylo Xyloto does come across as a medium-weight and up-to-date blend of middle-period U2, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Coldplay’s last three albums.”

:: The Atlantic compares Coldplay’s music to feel-good Hallmark cards while noting, “The band’s fifth studio album is their most unabashed pop performance, and it contains some legitimate surprises.”

:: The State Press is of two minds about the LP: “With every album, including Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay brings a new aspect of life and color into their songs,” the site notes. They do also say, “For fans of Coldplay’s acoustic and piano sound, Mylo Xyloto may leave a bitter noise in their ears preferring their past records.”

:: Irish site State points out Chris Martin’s shortcomings while also praising the band as a whole: “While his persistently disappointing lyrics clamber into songs like a determined toddler teetering in his mother’s too-big high heels, not even the most vociferous Coldplay detractor can deny that the London quartet knows how to kick out gorgeous, stadium-shuddering anthems, from ‘Clocks’ to ‘Viva La Vida’ to the new and robustly handsome ‘Charlie Brown’ off their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto.”

:: HitFix also has a problem with the words: “I’m not saying that abstraction is the enemy of all lyrics, but when the band is trying so hard to maintain a concept and narrative on Mylo, it could use better writing to do these enormous songs justice. Recurring themes of rivers and water, flames and light, the escape of dreaming are exchanged handily between each, but at the same time are unable to avoid cliché out of habit…”

:: The Washington Times notes the band’s employment of dance beats — and Rihanna: “If there’s one thing that separates Mylo Xyloto from Coldplay’s previous records, it’s the degree to which Mr. Martin and company firmly embrace Top 40 pop music…”

:: Salon admits that they “can’t hate” Coldplay anymore: “Mylo Xyloto…is the most sonically expansive record yet by Martin, Champion, guitarist Jonny Buckland and bass player Guy Berryman. But it’s also their most focused, without the overblown ‘anthems for anthems’ sake’ of 2005′s X&Y, or the inarticulate self-importance of 2008′s Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, their first collaboration with Brian Eno…”

:: The Boston Herald hears something “beautiful”, though that isn’t necessarily a compliment: “On album five, Martin and mates finish the transition from wannabe Radiohead to today’s U2, using ‘Beautiful Day’ as their new template. Not every song on Mylo Xyloto sounds like U2’s sappy single, but every few minutes something ‘Beautiful Day’-ish bleeds through…”

:: Likewise, the Scotsman would rather just be listening to Coldplay’s 2008 hit single “Viva La Vida”: “There is nothing of its calibre on their fifth album, not even a feeble imitation from a band who are reasonably adept at recycling their best ideas. Instead, Coldplay continue to amuse themselves with would-be enigmatic window dressing.”