Coldplay ‘Mylo Xyloto’ Review

I have never been much of a fan of Coldplay, there has been the odd song, but I felt they were pale imitations of bands like U2, Starsailor and in particular Death Cab for Cutie. I also felt they created songs for commercial release not because they actually meant something. But what of this album? Well it is Coldplay’s strongest, yet nothing much has really changed.

The band adopts heavy synthesisers for most of the songs, which are broken up by acoustic and electric guitars, creating a very rich and colourful instrumentation, but these do become very tiring after a while, as all the songs use the same tricks of acoustic guitar mixed with heavy bass and synthesisers, whilst the electric guitar occasionally makes an appearance;  whilst these are not used in a diverse enough way and so the album becomes repetitive.  It is, however, very pleasant to hear Coldplay embracing a more upbeat sound which is juxtaposed with some really lovely and tender slow songs. This creates a very well balanced album.

Coldplay usually have very clichéd lyrics; this album provides not only clichés but very poor ones: “I turn the music up, got my records on, I shut the world outside until the lights come on”, in fact these aren’t just poor, they are lazy; however this song (Every Tear is a Waterfall) does provide the strongest and most interesting instrumentation; using and blending synthesises with the sparingly used electric guitar. Rihanna’s vocals are very good on ‘Princess of China’ but Chris Martins voice pales in comparison, whilst it is the weakest (and most annoying) track off the album. Furthermore, the short interlude of songs doesn’t add any new depth to the album.

This albums seems like Coldplay are still trying to hold onto their commercial fame, firstly the collaboration with one of the biggest pop stars at present then they adopt the very current trend of synthesisers. So, whilst Coldplay have moved on from the shadows of U2 and Death Cab they still haven’t found their own identity. This isn’t a bad album and is the best I have heard by the band, but this year has provided some truly excellent albums which should be heard over this.

Key Songs: U.F.O, Paradise, Major Minus

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North vs South

In England there is a divide between the North (northern monkeys) and the South (southern fairies), so I thought I would evaluate this in terms of who has provided the biggest game changers in English music. Despite being a northerner I promise I will do my best not be prejudice.

I will start with the 1960’s, this one shall be easy. The South may have given us successful bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who but let’s face it the North brought The Beatles. I think that is a point to the North.

Now the 1970’s the South produced bands such as David Bowie, The Clash and Led Zeppelin whilst the North gave rise to bands such as Joy Division and… Well I suppose that is a point to the South then.

But all that is about change as from the 1980’s the North upped its game with bands such as: The Smiths, New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Fall. While the south gave us: The Cure, Kate Bush and The Police. However, the point has to go to the North, but it was a tight match; who said the 1980’s was poor for music; well it was a little moany and depressing but Thatcher was PM.

In the 1990’s the North produced some excellent standard of music including: James, Happy Mondays, Oasis, The Stone Roses and Pulp. While the south produced some very impressive music from the likes of The Prodigy, Radiohead, Suede, Supergrass and Blur. This is too tight to call and so I am going to have to give a point to each side. In all seriousness I do think the 1990’s was the best decade for music (yes better than the 1960’s) there is much more experimenting and variation within the music that crossed boundaries; and the lyrics really spoke to the youth.

So this is the final decade I will be looking at and the North provided some fresh blood in deed, including: Arctic Monkeys, The Long Blondes, Elbow, Doves and The Cribs. However, The Libertines, Bloc Party and Muse were from the South; but the point is going to go to the North, as it was the South who have clogged our ears with artists such as Coldplay, Lady Sovereign, La Roux, James Blunt and Mumford & Sons.  Well it hasn’t been a great decade has it?

So, the North absolutely thrashed the South with a 4-2 victory, well it was a well deserved victory; we did provide the likes of Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and a little known band named The Beatles.