Despite what you may think the latest Coldplay album, Mylo Xyloto (amazon) (itunes), is a decidedly Coldplay effort. Sure it is an evolution and continuation of their sound. Granted it might not be their greatest work, but it’s not their worst album either. Maybe we should call it what it is; an experiment. And to be quite fair, they should be allowed to experiment.
Unless, of course, that experiment leads to collaborating with Rihanna. If you strike that one song (Princess of China) from the record it’s mostly a solid Coldplay set list. Their previous work, Viva la Vida, grouped song pieces together to make short audio plays such as the extended tracks Yes and Death and All of His Friends. On Mylo Xyloto the boys instead opted to separate all tracks into more radio friendly segments and as such we’re treated to short 45 second lead in songs such as Mylo Xyloto, M.M.I.X., and A Hopeful Transmission. So while at first blush these song segments may appear “new” to Coldplay, they’re really just repackaging their own system.
Where the band really experiments is with their sound. Although a large part of the album is pure and simple Coldplay they do find some room for a new vibe. On the fourth track, Us Against the World, the opening thrity seconds could have come directly from Explosions in the Sky. The track Paradise feels like a rnb deconstruction of classic symphonic Coldplay. Major Minus comes across as a tribute to U2. The album’s closing track Up With The Birds has a brief flirtation with sparse atmospheric rock before galloping back into a standard Coldplay close.
mp3 : Coldplay – Charlie Brown
At the end of the album you’re left with the feeling that this is undoubtedly another Coldplay effort. There is enough new material to stay interesting (and sell tickets on their next tour), but it’s also familiar enough that they won’t be alienating any of their fan base. Well, except for the one track Rihanna. That track is an aberration and should probably be erased from your memory.