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Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto an 'innovative' album

BY JORDAN MONTGOMERY | OCTOBER 25, 2011 7:20 AM

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When Chris Martin of Coldplay announced the coming of Mylo Xyloto, I thought it was the name of his next child. As it turns out, it was the name of the band's fifth album, which was released Monday to eager Coldplay fans.

Mylo Xyloto (pronounced MY-loe ZY-letoe) came three years after the band's last album. And if the past is any indicator of the future, Mylo Xyloto will be a massive commercial success — Coldplay has sold more than 15 million albums since 2000 in the Unites States alone.

This latest effort is both Coldplay's first concept album and its first album to be billed under the pop genre. But fans fear not. Coldplay has produced an album that is innovative enough to please old fans but approachable enough to not scare off new listeners.

In a time of economic uncertainty, a disregard for peace, and countless television shows documenting the lives of rich housewives, hearing Mylo Xyloto is like listening to a hug.

But some hugs suck. And while I wouldn't say this album does, there are a few aspects about it that do.

The concept album's story line is flimsy. The troubled tale of two young lovers is forgotten and found again more than once over the course of the album. Also, like the story line is itself, Martin's lyrics are often packed with clichés about the peaks and valleys of relationships.

But as previously mentioned, Mylo Xyloto is a pop album, so the tired story line will go unnoticed, and no one will even listen to the words. All that matters is that Martin's whoa's and ah's sound pretty.

And the album does sound quite nice.

Coldplay has mastered the art of creating catchy tunes. Hip-hop artists will be racing to sample many tracks from Mylo Xyloto.

"Paradise," a track released as a single, is a stadium-shaking megatune. It's huge syth-driven sound is paired with a quickly paced drum beat that will have thousands dancing together as they help Martin sing his catchiest chorus on the album. I suspect you will hear "para, para, paradise" more than you want to in the coming weeks.

Another track on the album that we will not be able to escape is "Princess of China," on which Coldplay collaborated with Rhianna. Thatalone guarantees no fewer than 7 billion hits on YouTube. But big names aside, it's not a bad song.

"Princess of China" is the clearest example of Coldplay's move from alternative rock to pop. The song opens with a fuzzy electro beat that meets Rhianna early on, and once Martin joins in, the duo is off to the races.

Overall, Mylo Xyloto is a good album. It is what Coldplay wanted Viva la Vida to be in 2006; perhaps the guys just needed a little more time. The album's bright sound and outlook will likely raise the spirits of those who listen to it — something I think we can all use once in a while.


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