Wow. I am really shocked how much I like Mylo Xyloto. I am a long-time Coldplay fan and just love their music, but I wasn't sure about this record due to the slight change in style. The first half of the record I was mostly familiar with due to the singles, live versions and the side A sampler. The only song on side B that I had heard was Major Minus. Obviously, the second part of the record was what I was looking forward to the most as it was mostly new, unheard Coldplay!
I can definitely see why this record has fans divided. It is a new sound for Coldplay in terms of production and direction. However, there are many tracks where 'early' Coldplay is still there, just under new layers. Utimately, I gave the record a 4/5, with a point deducted for some unnecessary over-production. I do truly feel it deserves it though. It is a good mix of all the previous records, while still moving forward.
Mylo Xyloto: Just beautiful. I love this as the opening track and the transition into Hurts Like Heaven. Although, I am with others who have said it's hard to listen to just MX or HLH by themselves...
Hurts Like Heaven: Probably the track I was most fearing as I love the live version and people were saying it was so different on the record. I was pleasantly surprised that it did not crush my enjoyment of the track! I LOVE this song! Yes, it is a bit over-produced, but I also think that makes it interesting. There are so many sounds and layers to the track that a good set of headphones brings out.
Paradise: No surprises here. The second single. It's definitely a grower. I liked it when I first heard it, but the introduction is just fantastic the more I listen to it. It fits so well on the record now I have heard it in context.
Charlie Brown: This is my favourite track on the record. It is such a great track and should definitely be released as the next single! The piano part at the end is just fantastic. This will be a big hit and crowd-pleaser!
Us Against The World: LOVE! This is such an amazing song! I adore the introduction. I loved this track live and this version just makes it all the better. Only quip is I wish Will's duet portion was more pronounced. The first song on the record that sounds like 'early' Coldplay material.
M.M.I.X.: This instrumental makes Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall flow within the context of the record. If this was not here, it would be such an abrupt change from UATW.
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall: Again, no surprises. The first single and a really upbeat and optimistic song. It is pretty dancey for Coldplay, but it's a great song nonetheless.
Major Minus: I had already heard this from the Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall EP. It's a fantastic track and really like it. I would have preferred less distortion on the verse vocals, but Jonny's guitar solo is awesome!
U.F.O.: This is such a lovely acoustic track and reminds me so much of 'early' Coldplay. The melody is great, but I just wish it was a tad bit longer.
Princess of China: I was really surprised by this one! First, Rihanna being on the track is strange. I think this might be one of her better vocal performances though. The song itself is very RnB to me, but I don't mind it. I am surprised to be honest as I was going in thinking I was going to really dislike it, but I think if this is released as a single, it will probably be a big hit. However, it's definitely one of my least favourite tracks on the record.
Up In Flames: I really didn't think I was going to like this song. I had heard a clip of the Austin City Limits live version and it just didn't do anything for me. However, within the context of the record and with the added production (think Massive Attack style beat), I think this is a good track. Again, it reminds me of 'early' Coldplay but it's not up to par with the rest of the album. I consider this track and Princess of China to be the low point of the record really.
A Hopeful Transmission: Probably the best instrumental on the record. It's basically a more upbeat 'Mylo Xyloto' with a sort of Latin vibe. It flows so well into Don't Let It Break Your Heart.
Don't Let It Break Your Heart: Wow. One of my favourite tracks! As with Hurts Like Heaven and Major Minus, I wish there wasn't as much distortion on Chris' voice, but really that's the only negative I see on this stellar track!
Up With The Birds: A fantastic closer! Again, like 'early' Coldplay but with a modern twist. It starts so atmospheric, I had no clue what direction it was going to go! It's a beautiful track and such a great way to close the record!