Mylo Xyloto is the fifth studio album released by University of London old-boys Coldplay. It’s the band’s fifth album to debut at number one in the United Kingdom. As a whole, it shows a new musical direction for the band. Front man Chris Martin stated it was a ‘stripped down’ sound this is certainly reflected in the song ‘Us Against the World’. The band recorded it in a vacant church in north London with legendary producer Brian Eno. It is a concept album based on a ‘love story with a happy ending’. Behind this concept Martin’s lyrics are influenced by old school American graffiti and the ‘White Rose Movement’ as well as the TV show The Wire!
The music is backed by Eno’s synths and as ever Chris Martin’s piano playing is melodic and catchy throughout (particularly ‘Paradise’ and ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’). One of the only ways to describe the sound of the album is ‘large’ when listening to it one can hear there is a lot going on behind the basic sounds of the instruments an example of this being the inclusion of a choir in their new single ‘Paradise’. The guitar sound is heavier in this album in comparison to their previous albums specifically ‘Don’t Let It Break Your Heart’. The album contains three ambient instrumental fillers at less than a minute a piece. There is also an unusual collaboration with Rhianna on the track ‘Princess of China’ (rumoured to be the third single). The album is certainly different to their previous work but doesn’t compare favourably to the grand ‘fanfare’ sound of Viva La Vida.