British alternative rock band Coldplay does not spell brilliance,yet they top the bestselling charts with the launch of every new album. They have stuck to formulaic experimentation with the conventional since Yellow,Fix you and Speed of Sound became international anthems. After some of their more breakthrough albums,Parachutes (2000) and X&Y (2005),lead vocalist Chris Martin and co. have been stumbling upon the path of trite lyrics and mechanical,Coldplay-ish music: pounding piano,echoing riffs and swelling organs. Their latest,opaquely titled studio album,Mylo Xyloto,piques some curiosity initially. But stops there.
Mylo Xyloto is a concept album (an album unified by a theme through instruments,narrative and compositions),with a soundscape that bleeds from one track to the another. It starts with two lovers,Mylo and Xyloto,living in a dystopian,urban world. They meet,fall in love,declare being against the world,and live happily ever after. Theres nothing incisive,or remotely deep about it. One is introduced to Mylo and Xyloto through a 42-second instrumental overture,a hopeful,tinkering composition.
The first few numbers are a pleasant,though forgettable,lot. Thumping pieces like Hurts like heaven and Paradise are upbeat numbers,complete with the usual Coldplay-ish music and Martins raucous vocals. There are bright moments in Us against the world,a hummable and a rather fresh piece,with soft guitar strumming keeping pace with the pitch. U.F.O. is slow magic. The next few tracks are forgettable tales spun in electro,futuristic tunes. Princess of China a collaboration with Rihanna,spells disaster for a Coldplay composition,as she inadvertently dominates it. The number,nevertheless,is neat with its techno-pop rendition.
The impressive part of Mylo Xyloto is the transition from the self-coined limestone rock (as opposed to hard rock) in the beginning,to a futuristic,electro-pop in the end. The bad part is the sinkable storyline and mundane rhyming lyrics. Dedicated Coldplay listeners are bound to be disappointed. Novices can list Princess of China on their playlist,alongside Rihannas S&M,and forget Chris Martin ever had a hand in it.