Review: Coldplay, ‘Mylo Xyloto’

Review: Coldplay, ‘Mylo Xyloto’: Aidin Vaziri | After touring the monumental “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” album into the ground some two years ago, Coldplay singer Chris Martin indicated that maybe the band was ready to scale things down for its follow-up. But once you become one of the biggest arena – no, stadium – draws in the world, there’s no going back. Things by necessity have to get bigger, shinier and louder. So it goes with the British group’s fifth studio recording, which not only shares the same producers as its predecessor (Markus Dravs and Rik Simpson, with Brian Eno) but also its unrepentant chest-beating ambition. Coldplay spent much of the summer airing out tracks like the dancey “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” and “Paradise” at huge festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella. With its abundance of swelling strings, shouted verses and tear-jerking ballads, the rest of the album feels as if it was built for a similar purpose. These are essentially all the things Coldplay learned from U2 and gets better at doing on its own with each new release. There’s a whiff of experimentation on “Charlie Brown”; on “Up in Flames,” which sounds like a James Blake track; and on the heavily processed “Princess of China.” But it’s mostly in the form of electronic frills that ultimately give way to the kind of choruses that fall on your head like an anvil. That’s nothing to shy away from.

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