Review Summary: Watch Coldplay abandon their sham revolution and take up a real one.
And so you have the second side to the euphoria; Coldplay's comedown from Viva La Vida
's restless charm and globetrotting influences is nothing but a take-off, an album filled to the rafters with pop ideas and pop execution. Brian Eno may be brilliant but Mylo Xyloto
proves the value of embracing the populist, waterfalls and all. All the ecstasy from "Lovers in Japan" and "Viva"'s wordless chant spreads its arms and invites you to fucking celebrate
, man, and damn if we don't need a bit of that at the moment. It's about neon graffiti lighting up the concrete and the most naive and beautiful of concepts.
If 2008 was the first time Coldplay ever felt truly like a band, 2011 is where they morph into an entity devoid of songwriters and producers entirely. Rihanna bursts out of "Princess of China", and what Mylo Xyloto
has going for it is the unshakeable feeling that it's a record that belongs to pretty much everybody, all at once. It's so smooth, church organs and soaring guitar hooks and all, and so undeniable; all of a sudden, that jolt of synths on "Teardrop" doesn't even sound like a Coldplay we didn't know. It's a masterful re-invention, to come to life in as bold and dynamic fashion as this.
And it is that overdrive that gives Mylo Xyloto
more heart and soul than Viva La Vida
, than Parachutes
, than anything I can put my finger on
. You know, I saw Coldplay live post-VLV, and as I walked out the doors of the arena I was punched in the face by the sound of how many thousands of people still
, an hour after the fact, joining voices for that wordless chant, those "whoa"s that can't have enough "o"s or "a"s however hard you try. Mylo Xyloto
is that feeling turned up, and it doesn't even need a focal point to do so. It's in both the conception and the delivery, in the raw materials and the final product.
And Coldplay know it, too. They know closer "Up With The Birds" can't possibly end on the mellow note it begins with, and so it zooms skywards once again. If I seem excitable, I'd beg forgiveness, but this is the effect of an album as hopeful and otherworldly as Mylo Xyloto
: to remove all from your field of vision except the colours of its unequivocal artwork, the themes of its anthems, and the melodies. Oh, damn, the melodies. I struggled to call Viva La Vida
the band's magnum opus; I'm having no such trouble here: Mylo Xyloto
proves that Coldplay are quite simply the best pop band in the world, bar none.