By AARON HOLMES – Guest Writer
Coldplay, the British alternative-rock band, first became famous with the 2000 release of their smash hit Yellow. Ever since, they have voyaged to uncharted areas of the alternative music genre and redefined it again and again.
Coldplay’s latest album, Mylo Xyloto, is no exception. Its throbbing harmonies and emotional lyrics speak to the listener’s ear in a way that only a few groups do, and in a musical language in which few of today’s musicians are fluent.
Mylo Xyloto is not only new territory for rock music, but also for Coldplay. Over time, the band has ventured from their signature acoustic guitar and piano combination to experiment with new mediums and new types of sound. From the full-orchestra glory of Paradise to the electronic drum beat of Up in Flames, Mylo Xyloto offers many new perspectives of the already-innovative Coldplay style.
The underground feel of Mylo Xyloto makes it easy to forget about the band’s fame, but there was a fair amount of hype leading up to the new album. In addition to the anticipatory 10-day countdown on iTunes and the band’s featured performance on Saturday Night Live, the band began touring in North America months prior to the album’s release. Mylo Xyloto was a top-ten selling album on iTunes before it was even published. On the day of its release, Coldplay’s performance in Madrid, Spain was streamed on YouTube to millions of excited fans worldwide.
However, Mylo Xyloto is not all perfection. Though the album is different from the band’s prior works, it is difficult to distinguish the songs on the album from one another. There are a few songs that could be called great, but most songs are easily exchangeable.
One of these is Coldplay’s collaboration song with pop-artist Rihanna, Princess of China. For some reason, the one song on the album featuring a different musician is to be the weakest. The repetitive anthem-beat, instead of being energetic or even catchy, quickly becomes tiresome. Perhaps Coldplay is best protected from dreary mainstream pop by confining itself to its own intricate style.
After listening to Mylo Xyloto in its entirety, one has a new idea of the definition of rock music, and a new outlook on music itself. The album is said to be inspired by New York graffiti and the energy of revolutions worldwide. When asked about the album’s themes, lead singer Chris Martin said, “It’s about love, addiction, OCD, escape and working for someone you don’t like.”
Despite its faults, the album is definitely one of Coldplay’s finest. Mylo Xyloto’s triumphant ballads inspire emotions ranging from melancholy to exuberant and speak a new musical language to the audience’s soul.