in Review

Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

When they were on The Colbert Report a little while ago, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was asked about comparing his band to Radiohead. His reply? “They’re more talented musically, but we’re more handsome.” And that’s it, really. Radiohead has gone on to put out albums that challenge the music industry, genres and even their fans. Coldplay made one Radiohead-esque album and then blew up to be one of the biggest bands in the world. And, in a year with new releases from bands like Radiohead and My Morning Jacket that require a little effort to get into, it’s nice to have something as easy as a new Coldplay album.

I know a lot of people really don’t like Chris Martin, but I appreciate the guy’s earnestness. When I read stuff like the album is inspired by old school American graffiti, the White Rose movement and The Wire, I pay it much mind. Similarly, I don’t spend much time paying attention to his lyrics about love and happiness and whatever. Let the man have his fun. He’s the headman of one of the biggest bands in the world. You should know the vibe Coldplay is going for already, don’t worry about the specifics.

The thing that stands out on Mylo Xyloto is the beats. I feel like the band really kicked up the bass and drums this time around, I mean, just listen to a song like “Paradise.” That shit is deep. Coldplay has definitely taken some inspiration from popular R&B music, I mean they even got Rihanna to sing on a song. Which is perhaps not the direction I expected them to go in, after all I thought Jay-Z’s appearance on the last album more weird than cool, but I’ll allow it. This is a band that sells out stadiums, and that’s the kind of music that does the same.

In the end, the musicianship is as tight as ever, the songs as catchy. No, there’s absolutely no obvious breakouts this time, no “Fix You.” This is more a consistently solid, but never amazing, album. And yes, Coldplay does continue to get farther away from the Parachutes/Rush of Blood sound that made them great in the first place. But it’s easy to get most of this album stuck in your head. I like easy.

Favorite Tracks: “Hurts Like Heaven,” “Charlie Brown,” “Major Minus”