Mylo Xyloto's strong start and finish provide enough of what casual listens expect from a Coldplay album.
I should say from the outset that I'm a casual listen to Coldplay. I locked into them with the single "Yellow" but I havent' acquired any of the the other albums until this one. I have listened to several other singles and generally like most of what Coldplay does. I have expectations with Coldplay: heavy piano/keyboard riffs, Chris Martin's vulnerable yet earnest vocals, soaring guitar melodies that fall somewhere between George Harrison and U2's The Edge, and lots of cymbals in the percussion. Well, Mylo Xyloto delivers all of that over the 11 songs and 3 instrumental tracks.
The best way to describe this album comes from two lines in the sixth track "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall."
"I'd rather be a comma, than a full stop."
For my ears, that's exactly what this album feels like, sounds like, and seems geared towards. A break. A break from the issues that plauge us all whether it be financial woes, job frustrations, relationship problems, political concerns, you name it. The bouncy melodies, the thumping upbeat rhythms, and even the lyrics lead this stop and smell the roses parade.
For me, the album can be divided into three movements. The first seven tracks are the first movement, tracks 8-10 are the second, and tracks 11-14 are the third movement. The bookends are by far the strongest parts of the record. The opening of "Mylo Xyloto"/"Hurts Like Heaven", "Paradise", and "Charlie Brown" are a near 10 minutes of sonic perfection spanning the entire variety of styles Coldplay dabbles in on a regular basis. There's a soaring pop song, a somber almost dubstep opus, and an upbeat U2-esque foot-stomper respectively. "Us Against the World" give the album a breath