The album opens with “Mylo Xyloto” and “Hurts Like Heaven.” They feel like an extension of “Life in Technicolor,” with the tinkling instruments and lighter-than-air vocals, and as a result, are a joyous celebration of existence. These lead into “Paradise,” the song everyone has been talking about. With its catchy tune and sing-along lyrics, it’s easy to see why this song has been taking the radio by storm.
While the next few songs do nothing but blend into the background, the album picks up again with “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” and “Major Minus.” The former feels like it could be the soundtrack for a person playing in puddles, while the latter is the first–and only–appearance of a slightly darker tune.
Of the final songs, “Princess of China,” “Up in Flames,” and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” are the three that stand out. With a surprisingly pleasing appearance from Rihanna, “Princess of China” is the most pop-ish thing Coldplay has ever done. “Up in Flames,” a ballad, is a gorgeous display of Chris Martin’s vocal ability. And “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” is possibly the only throwback to the days of “Rush of Blood to the Head” on the album.
But Mylo Xyloto is missing something. In its search for size and deliberate effort to break the Coldplay mold, it has, in fact, lost part of what makes Coldplay so entrancing. There is none of the mystery of X & Y, hidden beneath mathematical lyrics and sweeping instrumentation; none of the eerie feel of Viva la Vida.
Lacking Coldplay’s usual depth, Mylo Xyloto has fallen flat. It is a welcome change for those who prefer bright, bouncy pop, but for those who find solace in the countless questions Coldplay has raised in the past, it is a disappointingly shallow effort.
Carys is from New Zealand. Yeah, that country down the bottom of the world with Pineapple Lumps and sheep. It’s not attached to Australia, in case you were wondering. She loves reading and writing, like any typical Figgy, and spends most of her time attending lectures, listening to music, hanging out with her friends, and singing in the shower. Oh, and her favorite food is Nutella.