Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto

A concept album of sorts that proves unexpectedly dynamic

Where previous Coldplay records have grown ever more insipid, like a cup of tea repeatedly made with the same teabag, Mylo Xyloto proves unexpectedly dynamic. A concept album of sorts, it tells the story of a romance between the titular Mylo and Xyloto, two young lovers who meet in a dystopian city. The plot is thin, but it appears to have stopped Chris Martin and co from lapsing into their usual wooliness. “Hurts Like Heaven” sparkles with vibrant guitar-playing, “Paradise” is a stomping stadium anthem about thwarted hopes, and “Princess of China” teams Martin with Rihanna in an illogically catchy R&B-pop/arena rock crossover.

Brian Eno’s production is crisp, and while the lyrics contain the odd clunker – “Life goes on, it gets so heavy,” groans Martin, auditioning badly for Radio 4’s Thought of the Day – they also capture a topical sense of a lost generation struggling to get by in an unforgiving world.

Coldplay

Mylo Xyloto

(EMI)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.