Mylo Xyloto will be a concept album. According to Chris Martin, the album is “based on a love story with a happy ending”, in which two protagonists: Mylo and Xyloto, who are living in an oppressive, dystopian urban environment, meet one another through a gang called “The Lost Boys”, and fall in love. Lyrically, the album is inspired by “old school American graffiti” and “the White Rose Movement.” [SOURCE]
I read this AFTER I completed my album review, but the album probably would’ve made more since overall had I known this in the beginning. After the release of Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends in 2008, Coldplay fans wondered how they could ever top the album that was grand in it’s lyrical and musical content. Mylo Xyloto follows in it’s footsteps well, with more guitar riffs and super optimistic lyrics. They do, however, manage to squeeze in a few acoustic tracks for the old fans. Overall, I was pretty excited with the final product. In a world where everyone is looking on the bad side, it’s great to have a solid piece of work doing the opposite.
See my overall rating and track by track review below!
Vocal Delivery: 4/5
Lyrical Content: 4/5
The title track, is the first of three instrumentals/interludes. As the title track, it was a decent 42 seconds. 3/5
Hurts Like Heaven
Hurts like Heaven continues Coldplay’s habit of completely infectious melodies and melancholy lyrics. The song, overall, is AMAZING. Chris sings about never giving up and then there’s the most amazing guitar riff smack dab in the middle of the song. When I saw Coldplay in Music Midtown a few weeks ago they opened with this song and I was completely confused because it doesn’t sound like anything they’d ever do…it kind of makes me want to do the Carlton and dress like a hippie. 4/5
Upon first hearing Paradise I wasn’t sure that I liked it. Once again Coldplay experimented beat wise a lot on this album, and I had to warm myself up to the thought of that first (not that this beat isn’t AMAZING, because it is…it just wasn’t what I was expecting). Lyrically this song reminds me of Paramore’s Brick By Boring Brick. Chris sings of a girl who dreams of getting away from the harsh realities of real life. Lyrically it’s been done a bajillion times before, but they found a way to make it feel new again. 4/5
Life goes on it gets so heavy. The wheel breaks the butterfly. Every tear a waterfall. In the night, the stormy night, she closed her eyes. In the night, the stormy night, away she flies. And dreamed of Paradise.
Charlie Brown was one of the first songs we heard from Mylo Xyloto and I was extremely anxious to hear it, because Gwyneth Paltrow has said that it’s one of her favorite songs by them (along with Death & All His Friends). The beat sounds like classic Coldplay, but I must admit, I’m not to crazy about this one just yet. Maybe it’s because I haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about (that hasn’t stopped me from liking Clocks or any of their other songs, but ya know.) This beat, however, has been stuck in my head for quite some time now so I’m sure after a few more listens I’ll wonder why I ever questioned it. 3/5
Us Against The World
I must admit. I love Coldplay best when they’re acoustic. Chris’ voice is so amazing to me, so anytime the instrumentals are at a minimum I think it gives him (and the lyrics a chance to shine.) Us Against The World is cute, subtly powerful, romantic, optimistic, pessimistic…everything. Chris sings of wishing he could slow down all the daily riff-raff and just be with the person he loves. I’m a complete sap for songs like this. It’s definitely one of my favorites from this album. 4.5/5
“Through chaos as it swirls, it’s us against the world”
I love this instrumental even more than Mylo Xyloto because i literally spent the entire song thinking “gosh I love this, but it sounds so familiar.” turns out it was actually the background music for Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (which it leads into). Love the concept. 3/5
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Every Teardrop is A Waterfall has been out for quite some time now, so I’m sure every Coldplay fan already has a set opinion on it. Upon first hearing this song I wasn’t crazy about it….now I’m OBSESSED with it. Everything from the way Chris says records, (“rec-chords”) to the guitar riffs and the completely optimistic lyrics. This song has a way of making me feel like everything is going to be A-okay in this crazy world of ours. By the end of the song (right after the “waaaaaa-wattterfallll” part) I’m jumping up and down, screaming “Every teardrop is a waterfall” and playing air drums….*sigh* Euphoria. 4/5
So you can hurt me bad, but still I raise the flag.
Major Minus is soooo addictive. It’s one of the songs on the album that has a really eerie feel to it. I feel like it should be the official interrogation songs for all police stations around the world. That’s how bad a** it is. The lyrics honestly don’t have much substance to them, but they blend so perfectly with the music that it honestly doesn’t matter. (BTW this song live….Jesus.) 4/5
It’s not often we hear Chris song about the Lord (maybe in Till Kingdom Come but he never blatantly says his name.) this song is short and sweet. It’s not my favorite, but it’s another one of those uplifiting, everything will be alright in the end type songs so it fits the album. 3.5/5
Princess of China
Coldplay doesn’t do duets, so when they announced that there would be a song on the album featuring Rihanna I was sooo nervous. I knew from the moment I pressed play, however, that I would be obsessed with this song. Chris and Rihanna take turns singing about a love lost and their voices blend perfectly! I’m sure Rih and Chris Brown stans will find a way to link Rih’s lyrics of what could’ve been to their failed relationship, but regardless of who she’s singing about it’s a great song. The long instrumental breaks between verses, and the bridge really heighten the intensity of the song as well. Overall I was extremely pleased with Coldplay’s decision to take a risk and collaborate. It paid off! 4/5
“I could’ve been a princess, you’d be a king. I could’ve had a castle and wore a ring, but nooo-ohhhh. You let me gooo-oohhh. You stole my star. Lala lala la lala.”
Up In Flames
Chris sings about a love that’s gone “up in flames” over a simplistic beat. There aren’t any complex lyrics or melodies, just a heartbroken man. This song is so haunting and chilling and Chris’ vocals are perfect for this song! 3/5
“We have slowly gone up in flames.”
A Change In Transmission
The third and final interlude/instrumental. Nothing too special. Same concept of leading into the following track. 2/5
Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
Don’t let It Break Your Heart is similar to the other songs in that it has the upbeat music and optimistic lyrics, but in my opinion, it’s not a stand out track on the album. 2/5
Up With The Birds
Up With The Birds was a great way to end Mylo Xyloto sonically. I’m not sure if it’s possible for something to sound like an “ending,” but it just does. The beginning gives off an eerie lullaby vibe, and then it builds. Still, I have NO CLUE what they’re talking about. Tis decent. Maybe it will grow on me. 3/5