Mylo Xyloto – First Impressions

Yep. I’m a big Coldplay fan. I was one of those who “eagerly awaited” their latest release Mylo Xyloto on Monday. Not so eagerly that I stood in line for days in the freezing sleet–rather, I swung by the local target on Wednesday to pick it up while shopping for “active wear”. Trying to stay active this winter–therefore, I need something to keep me warm in the freezing sleet. But I digress…

I have heard Mylo Xyloto through about three times. Before I add qualifying remarks, I must say I just LOVE it! Coldplay is one of those bands that can indulge in overproduction–and it works! Being a keyboardist, I love the shimmering digital synths up close and personal in the mixes. (Digital sounding synths, mind you, not those digital make ’em sound like analog synths.) And the groove on “Paradise”: spectacular! These boys know how to deliver a hook, loud and proud!

Standout tracks for me are “Every Teardrop a Waterfall”, “Paradise”, “Hurts Like Heaven”, and I’m captivated by the haunting “Up Against the World”:

Oh morning come bursting, the clouds, Amen.
Lift off this blindfold, let me see again.

I must say, the inclusion of the duet with Rihanna, “Princess of China” feels like pandering to the BIG RECORD COMPANY. Still a great song, it seems out of place to me.

At third blush, Mylo Xyloto still feels like a wall of sound–an excellent wall of sound, mind you–but I don’t find it breathes quite as nicely as Viva La Vida, which I consider to be their finest record. But Viva La Vida is a hard act to follow–Life in Technicolor is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music, so much so that I simply had to put some hammered dulcimer somewhere on my album, Passage.

So, if you love Coldplay, you should definitely…. oh what am I saying? I if you love Coldplay, you probably already bought a copy.

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