After almost three years of waiting, Coldplay fans finally have a reason to celebrate as of Oct. 21, when the band released its newest album, “Mylo Xyloto.”
The album satisfies every expectation fans may have anticipated, giving listeners a taste of Coldplay’s classic sound, as well as introducing them to a new, more synthesized version of the band. In a clear statement of the band’s musical evolution, Coldplay shows it is not afraid to grow and try something new in “Mylo Xyloto.”
Since the release of its first album, “Parachutes,” and its heavyweight breakthrough single, “Yellow,” in 2000, Coldplay has been on the map of mainstream music as one of the most iconic bands of the new millennium. Coldplay has lived up to its reputation ever since and has continued to produce hit after chart-smashing hit. The band followed its debut into the spotlight with three more albums and a slew of monster-sized hits such as “The Scientist” and “Clocks,” off its 2002 sophomore effort, “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” and its first number one single, “Viva La Vida,” from the eponymous album. After a marathon of success through the 2000s, the band took a long hiatus from music, as they decided on their next musical endeavor. However, right as fans began to wonder, Coldplay returned, and after a summer of country and pop-dominated charts, music lovers everywhere finally had something new and fresh to listen to, and who better to provide them that than Coldplay.
Coldplay’s distinguishable sound is clear and precise in “Mylo Xyloto.” Chris Martin once again captivates listeners with his soaring vocals and incredible range, as his band mates follow up with the smooth sounding acoustics for which Coldplay is so well known. The early release of lead single “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” gave fans a taste of what can be expected on “Mylo Xyloto,” which could be considered Coldplay’s most musically evolved effort to date. “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” is a buoyant blend of acoustic instrumentation and electronic synthesizers, and true to form, Coldplay makes the two sounds flow into one effortlessly. The acoustic guitar strums are mild but fast and create a delightfully light yet powerfully moving rhythm. Accompanied by Martin’s ever impressive and unique vocals as he sings about triumphs and overcoming hardships, the song blends spectacularly into a medley of sounds, literally creating a musical waterfall.
“Paradise,” following the same genre as the first single, opens with a mix of synthesized electronic effects and string instrumentals. After a soft introduction, the song explodes into a powerful melody of synthesizers joined with Martin’s high-pitched vocals, only adding to the brilliance. Also easily identified in “Paradise” is the classic piano accompaniment known and adored by any fan of Coldplay.
“Mylo Xyloto” is a “love story with a happy ending” according to Martin, taking listeners on a musical journey. Said to be inspired by 1970s New York graffiti and the “War of the White Roses,” an anti-Nazi movement started and lead by two students from the University of Munich, the album has an edgy and rebellious, but still hopeful and resilient sound to it. “Mylo Xyloto” contains a range of different sounds, painting with a broad palette of moods and emotions. Some songs, such as “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” and “Hurts Like Heaven” are uplifting, clearly relating to the more joyful moments in life, as does “Paradise.” Others are edgier and have a more synthesized, defiant sound, like “Princess of China,” which deals with the more hurtful aspects of life and love.
Amidst the excitement of its new album, Coldplay managed to throw a few curveballs, like the song “Princess of China,” where the band creates an unlikely duet by teaming up with pop sensation Rihanna. A bold move and bound to garner mixed reviews, Martin fearlessly blends his renowned vocal approach with Rihanna’s eclectic pop-alto stylings. However, no matter how unexpected the duo may be, they are nothing short of successful in the melding of their unique sounds and filling the gap between electronic pop and acoustic rock, seamlessly weaving the two styles together.
Following “Princess of China,” Coldplay caters to life’s more sensitive and emotional situations, as Martin sings “Up in Flames” at a slow tempo with a simple piano accompaniment alongside. Very simple and raw, Coldplay shows a more intimate side to its music with “Up In Flames.” Then, there’s a sudden lift in spirits as Coldplay preaches a hopeful message with “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart,” another song driven by upbeat tempos, encouraging lyrics and soaring vocal melodies.
Leaving audiences in awe of its incredible whirlwind of musical brilliance, Coldplay ends its fantastic new album with the lyrics, “Send me up to that wonderful world/And then I’m up with the birds,” in the album’s closing track, “Up With the Birds.”
Jessica Troland can be reached at [email protected]