continues the Coldplay tradition of gifting their fans easy and hummable melodies. Eno does color in some of the greyer parts of the record, but despite being credited for additional composition I don't really get the sense this is Coldplay breaking out of their comfort zone.
What do I know however, I'm just a stuffy record critic - Coldplay still sell millions of records and have yet to make a bad album. It may be beyond them though to release their own OK Computer
or Achtung Baby
, but not every band is capable of such a transition and/or achievement. Back to Mylo Xyloto
I'm not a fan of the rather overcooked mix. It seems compression is the order of the day, as if the album has been designed for digital consumption only, via an MP3 player or phone, rather than be appreciated at home on a decent stereo system. If you're going to make the needles go into the red on the mixing desk at least do so for solid artistic reasons. Compare the clarity and natural sound of their earlier albums to this, and you'll hear what I'm referring to.
Coldplay albums have different flavours. This is their 'pop flavoured' album - there's no denying the commercial quality of "Hurts Like Heaven", "Paradise", "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall", or the Rihanna-assisted "Princess Of China". All have memorable and catchy choruses and do the job.
Better and perhaps more 'purist' Coldplay is "Us Against The World", with its tender Chris Martin vocal laid bare across delicate acoustic guitar, and an electric U2-styled emotional tweak towards the end. That, and "Up in Flames" are the highlights of the set, simply for not trying too hard, both benefiting from a less-is-more approach. Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews