Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto”
- Article by: Daryl Sanders
- Posted: 10/21/2011
On Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay continues their work with producer and musical visionary Brian Eno begun on Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, and the result is a majestic and mature record, possibly the band’s finest.
Officially, Markus Dravs, Daniel Green and Rik Simpson are credited as producers on this, Coldplay’s fifth studio album, “with enoxification and additional composition” by Eno, but it is the latter whose sonic fingerprints are all over the record’s 14 tracks. The band has said Eno was more like a fifth band member than a producer on this effort, and his soundscapes provide a grand and rich stage for this concept album about two lovers living in an oppressive, post-modern environment.
It’s clear Coldplay intended to make a major artistic statement on Mylo Xyloto, and the band’s performances are inspired throughout. The album has a larger-than-life, anthemic feel to it, awash with orchestral and operatic flourishes courtesy of Eno, which echo classic British rock recordings and create a magnificent, wall-of-sound backdrop for the band’s pop-rock stylings. The group’s sound has evolved under Eno’s wing, becoming more integrated, with lead vocalist Chris Martin’s piano work less prominent than on the past recordings.
But the impressive performances, arrangements, sound sculpting and production are secondary to the record’s strong song cycle, which artfully relates Mylo and Xyloto’s love story set within an Orwellian nightmare. The band directly addresses the totalitarianism which frames the story on “Major Minus,” warning “you got one eye watching you.”
Due to drop next week, the album has already yielded two Top 40 hits in the U.S., “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” and “Paradise.” Martin duets with R&B star Rihanna on “Princess Of China,” another song that seems destined for the Top 40, and their voices blend sweetly on this track which musically combines chant-like backing vocals with fuzzy, funky, staccato synth over a danceable, mid-tempo beat.
While the album is largely characterized by songs filled with dense layers of production, it also has its quieter moments, including three short instrumental pieces. The simplicity of the ballads “Us Against The World,” “U.F.O.,” “Up In Flames” and the finale, “Up With The Birds,” provides a powerful and dynamic counterpoint to the record’s overall musical grandeur.
Only time will tell for sure, of course, but it seems with Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay has delivered an album for the ages, a sonic statement that will stand the test of time, moving listeners now and in the years to come.
Coldplay- Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall