Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto

/ 15 September 2011 /
Forget the hate on the 'new Coldplay'. If their recent singles and live performances -- especially at Glastonbury 2011 -- are any indication, the band's fifth album is going to be sweeter.

Set to come out on October 24th, the fifth album is interesting firstly because of its name. Mylo Xyloto. What on earth does that mean? For now, nobody knows and the band isn't talking. But they did say in this cute graffiti-inspired official announcement that "it is pronounced "my-lo zy-letoe" -- as if that's supposed to give us answers. I for one am even more intrigued because of that specific pronunciation.

Complementing the weirdly cool name is the quirky album art, also graffiti-themed and a tad more colorful than you would expect from a band who gave us album titles like "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends".

That's not to say, though, that Coldplay is all cold. This album, for one, will supposedly include personal photos and journals from the band members themselves. And in every other way, the band seems to be taking on a warmer outlook, starting with their music.

The music of "Mylo Xyloto" seems to have trickled from Coldplay's previous albums and into a sunnier place. It's still Coldplay -- the songs sound like they've drawn inspiration from their predecessors -- but the band's direction definitely looks different now, with this album sounding a lot more upbeat than the previous ones.

For example, the peppy first single, "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall", sounds like it picked up where the last album left (the last single released from "Viva La Vida" was the happy "Strawberry Swing"). The second single, "Paradise", which was just released this week and is one of my personal picks off the set, is like a pop-radio interpretation of their trademark emotive lyrics.

It's like the band is singing for the bigger world now, not just for those of us who were having emotional times and found refuge in their early songs like "Shiver" and "The Scientist". They've come a long way; they're singing for everyone now, for people who are happy or in love or just trying to pull it all together.

That's like saying "They've gone so mainstream and sold out", isn't it? It's not necessarily a bad thing, though. With "Mylo Xyloto", it feels like a more optimistic Coldplay.

The song called "Us Against the World" is so far my favorite in this latest set. In this video of the band's live performance, they messed up a little, but they just seemed too happy to care. Chris Martin just exuded that optimism and happiness when they performed, telling the audience this little story:
"It's about two young people who go camping together, and it rains all day and it rains all night, and they've got their feet covered in mud and covered in crap, and they still love each other..."

I must admit, I'm looking forward to enjoying this album in its entirety. What about you?

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