Coldplay: A Colourful Rebellion begins

By Sam Ndwandwe

Coldplay’s new album the rather intriguingly named ‘Mylo Xyloto’ has taken the world by storm, leaving everyone at a loss to describe it. Personally, one word comes to mind: Colourful. Mylo Xyloto is the fifth studio album to be released by the group and is undisputedly different from their previous album Viva La Vida.

One cannot help but notice the sudden ‘pop’ phenomenon that is plaguing the worldwide music industry as of late. Its latest prey the likes of Usher and Chris Brown whose famous R&B crooning have been replaced with upbeat drum and bass neatly wrapped in bubble gum, highly repetitive and often party related lyrics. The Bad news , this highly reputable indie rock band has not been immune, the good, or rather fantastic news is that the band has taken this global trend and tailored it to suit them.

Although the album shines with the standard Coldplay makeup of dramatic falsetto vocals, echoing guitars and ‘oh-whoa’ sing-a-long-in-the-shower choruses; the new rave synthesizers and bursts of pop and R&B in collaboration with the acoustic guitars make for a earth moving sound that goes beyond their normal esoteric niche into a whole other dimension. Songs like Paradise and Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall are anthems that make one feel part of something bigger, something profound. The band has created an all-inclusive album with acoustic tracks like UFO and electric-pop track Princess of China featuring Rihanna just because they can, and boy do they do it well.

Lead singer Chris Martin says that Mylo Xyloto was inspired by a 1970’s Nazi resistance movement named White Rose and New York graffiti. Both movements aimed to inspire the youth to look to art in troubled times. The anthem Every Teardrop is a Waterfall speaks of a youth rebellion of dancing kids. A special mention must be made for Chris Martin whose song-writing remains as epic and soul-fulfilling as ever. This album has undisputedly encapsulated the beautiful chaos that is the youth. The songs are not only inspiring, other-worldly but also intimately pure with the kind of young innocence in the lyrics that tug at the heartstrings of young people everywhere, creating a fabric of kindred spirits all over the world.

What is so special and baffling at the same time is the bands extraordinary ability to seem ‘real’ in this album. The songs are laced with dramatic hyperbole and protests for rebellion but the underlying empowerment “stole a key, took a car downtown where the lost boys meet ‘ we’ll run riot,” as said in Charlie Brown makes lines like that seem larger than life and epic in quality.

Mylo Xyloto is a gamble of the best kind and one that we would bet on every time. The risk of drastically changing the sound of this world class band has paid off and respect must be given to them for taking the commercial and molding it in a way that not only hip and cool but that stays true to the integrity and very heart of the Coldplay sound that we all fell inlove with as we listened to their debut album Parachutes. The music industry has a lot to learn from a band that has been around for barely over two decades and they are still pioneering that beautiful noise we call music.

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