Coldplay loses emotional depth on fifth studio album.
Coldplay’s fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto (pronounced my–lo zy–letoe), is the band’s first release since 2008’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, which enjoyed tremendous commercial success. Their third album, X&Y, claimed the same honor in 2005, moving 8.3 million copies globally. With multiple Grammys and album sales of around $50 million to their name, Coldplay has become one of the biggest bands of the past decade.
That being said, recent interviews indicate some uncertainty from the group. “We got to a very low place on the last record where we felt not very popular,” lead singer Chris Martin told the Sun tabloid. “But it was refreshing as it made us start from scratch — a clean slate.”
When questioned about competition in the industry, Martin expressed trepidation over Coldplay’s continuing ability to maintain an edge. If they mean to compete with younger top acts, they need to re–inject more raw emotion into their music.
In response to press inquiries about the title, Martin has insisted that “it doesn’t have any meaning.” This statement says a lot about the character of the album as a whole. Lacking the strong chorus and profound songwriting of earlier albums, the lion’s share of this album’s lyrics is annoyingly repetitive and overly simplistic.
However, the two slow, acoustic songs, “U.F.O.” and “Us Against the World,” allow for a heartfelt vulnerability to shine through, which is the signature of Coldplay’s emotional music in previous albums.
These make me want to love the album, but again, I fear that longtime Coldplay fans will simply find it to be too comparatively shallow on the whole. The songs seem to channel Bob Dylan, while forgetting the beauty of depth in lyrics and sound. Much of the album seems like a forced detour from the familiar, especially with the duet of Rihanna and Chris Martin on “Princess of China.”
Perhaps it can be said that the only flaw of this album is trying too hard, which will certainly be felt by carefully attuned and loyal Coldplay fans. Yet, overall, these efforts will be appreciated, and with the catchy collection of album tracks, it is sure to go multi–platinum.
Sounds Like: A great band on the decline
99–Cent Download: “Paradise”
Good For: Coldplay loyalists