Three years after the release of Coldplay's smash, Grammy-winning album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, the divisive rock group is back with the similarly enigmatically titled Mylo Xyloto. Though it doesn't officially hit stores until Oct. 24, the entire album has leaked online, and critics are flooding the web with early reviews. Much has been written, not all of it positive, about Coldplay's ambitions to make Mylo Xyloto a concept album about "romance in an oppressive environment," but it's definitely winning raves as a collection of new music. Is it Coldplay's "best album yet?"
Yes. It's that good: Coldplay makes "music that is massive and, of course, for the masses," says James Montgomery at MTV. The band is popular because of its willingness "to push the boundaries of what a (very) major-label rock band can and should do." It continues that tradition with Mylo Xyloto, producing tracks like "Paradise" and "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" that are "gloriously giddy and appropriately anthemic." Quieter songs like "Up With the Birds" also pack an emotional wallop. Xyloto pulls off the "rather impossible feat of expanding [Coldplay's] repertoire while, at the same time, honing their focus."
"Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto: Their best album yet?"
Only if you like "supersized rock": Confronting a new Coldplay album means bracing for songs amplified by wordless "whoa-ee-oh" hooks and "insert-handclap-section-here bridges" meant specifically for "big stadium moments," says Bernard Perusse at The National Post. It's not everybody's cup of tea, but Coldplay undeniably does "this big-moment thing" better than anyone. Xyloto boasts stirring melodies and arena-rock anthems that are "effortlessly appealing" — most notably "Major Minus," a song that "sounds like a superior Rolling Stones track from the 1980s.
"Album review: Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto"
Well, I really hate this "supersized rock": Coldplay is "beginning to lose grasp of who they are and which of their numerous strengths they should be playing to," says Brett Warner at Ology. The result is an album "soaked in noisy synthesizers and soulless beats." The group is trying to recreate its signature swelling sound, but instead offers up "a pastiche of soaring melodies" that are bogged down by "unnecessary white noise." In its effort to rouse, the album skimps on the "emotionally engaging moments" that are the usual saving graces of a Coldplay release.
"Album review: Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay"