With their recent mind-blowing tour of South Africa still fresh in our minds, Coldplay was again a hot topic of conversation following the release of their new album Mylo Xyloto. Released on Monday 24th October, Mylo Xyloto has already sold over 122 000 copies in the UK alone. The follow-up to 2008?s Viva la Vida incorporates urban and dance influences into Coldplay’s usual alternative rock.Will Champion, the band’s drummer, told The Sun newspaper that this is a concept album which represents two characters, Mylo and Xyloto, and their epic struggle to find love. Coldplay is famous for being able to produce and sustain a unique atmosphere with each album and certainly does not disappoint with Mylo Xyloto. Having reached their second decade together, the band feels confident enough to experiment with the sound created in early albums like Parachutes. Producer Brian Eno, famous for his audacious “enoxification” of Viva la Vida, helps the band mix acoustic rock seamlessly with pop and dance elements. The feel of Mylo Xyloto changes constantly: from the shamelessly optimistic “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (where lead singer Chris Martin serenades the power of music to an irresistibly catchy guitar) to the wistful “Us Against the World”. Lead single “Paradise” (with its video shot in South Africa) has a heartrendingly beautiful instrumental intro and falsetto refrain. Instruments like the cello and piano reverberate through the album. Every two tracks or so, the band has thrown in an upbeat dance-type track to contrast with the mellowness of their acoustic numbers. The bold single “Princess of China”, a collaboration with Rihanna, mixes house synths with Jonny Buckland’s solid guitar riffs. The tracks “Major Minus” and “Hurts Like Heaven” add some country flavour to the album, making it a truly eclectic (and, unusually for Coldplay, danceable) addition to any record collection. “Up in Flames” is a sing-along with the potential to produce some shockingly bad karaoke renditions in the band’s beloved Japan. This album- which has been criticised for its clear departure from the band’s simpler early work- strikes a perfect balance between gravity and fun. Mylo Xyloto is a great album for almost any occasion, with its fusion of styles and genres lending the band some much-needed originality. Coldplay has a well-deserved reputation for producing brilliant albums, and Mylo Xyloto is a fabulous addition to their work.
The video for “Paradise” was shot in South Africa.