Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto (Parlophone)

Three years after their last studio album, 2008’s Viva la Vida, it’s time for Coldplay to save the music business once again. Well, if the entire industry depends on these guys, it’s screwed.

When Chris Martin & co. released Viva la Vida and it became the biggest selling album of 2008, the fat cats at EMI breathed a sigh of relief…their jobs safe for a time being. To be fair, the album did have it’s charms. It had a few catchy tunes and Eno’s contribution helped give it some much-needed credibility.

This time around, Eno is still around, though somewhere on the periphery, contributing “Enoxification and additional composition”. But Coldplay it’s has reverted back to playing it safe, turning out a bland, generic version of what they’ve been doing for the past decade.

Apparently Mylo Xyloto is a concept album and the title referrs to two of the characters in the “story”. No lyrics are included in the CD and you’d be hard-pressed to find a coherent thread tying the songs together.

That wouldn’t really matter if the band delivered some decent songs. But they don’t. Instead we get to hear Chris Martin do his best Bono impersonation, leading the band through big-sounding, but ultimately empty stadium ballads. Whenever Martin runs out of lyrical ideas, which is often, he reverts to singing “woo-oo-oo” anticipating that everyone will sing along and not notice that he has nothing to say.

Rhianna shows up on the tune Princess Of China. It’s a synth-driven track with Martin and Rhianna trading verses. Unfortunately, there’s not a melodic hook to be found, so it, like the rest of the album falls flat. The only innovation here is that Chris changes “woo-oo-oo” to “la la la”.

I have never expected much from Coldplay. They are a pop band, nothing more and nothing less. But they at least owe their millions of fans a couple of memorable tunes on each album. Here, they fail in grand style.

Marty Duda

Click here to listen to Us Against The World from Mylo Xyloto