The one thing that Coldplay fans had anticipated almost as much as the Oct. 24 release of the band’s fifth album was an explanation to what “Mylo Xyloto” could mean.
There have been several theories circulating the musical blogosphere, although the band has yet to provide an official answer. The reason there is such fascination with this man-made word is that it is the name of Coldplay’s new album.
During a recent phone interview with The New York Times music critic Ben Sisario, Coldplay’s guitarist Johnny Buckland reportedly justified the album’s unusual title by saying, “When you’re on your fifth album, you are going to be judged against all your previous work and expectations. In a small way, this is us trying to break free of those expectations.”
Despite the mystery that still surrounds the album’s unusual name, the hype behind the album itself far outweighs that of its title.
Fans and critics alike have been waiting patiently for the album’s release, tantalized by the bright and unexpected cover art and only partially satiated by singles such as “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” and “Paradise.”
In the days leading up to the album’s US release, iTunes leaked one song a day to those who had pre-purchased the album in order to stoke the burning anticipation that was kindling in most fans.
“Mylo Xyloto” is reportedly a “concept album,” meaning that it is unified by one underlying theme. I do not have a definitive answer as to what this all-encompassing theme is; however, I would describe the overall tone of the album as whimsical and charming — the playful tale of a romantic love story.
The album’s sound is characterized by fast rhythms, syncopated beats and catchy melodies, all of which compliment light-hearted lyrics like those found in “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall;” ‘I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song.’
Even though this new style may immediately seem uncannily upbeat and very “un-Coldplay,” fans should be comforted to know that the band still has the same style.
They take their old sense of musicality and even some of their old style, and create a totally new hybrid by way of synthesizers and a more prominent bass.
If you are a Coldplay fan, give the album a few listens before crafting your opinion. There is no getting around it — “Mylo Xyloto” is a new and different sound for Coldplay. This being said, it is by no means a bad one.
“Mylo Xyloto” is a new take on an old favorite — an original masterpiece constructed from new, synthetic material and fragments of their past works.
But don’t just take my word for it; I encourage you to form your own opinion on the album. Maybe in the process you’ll be the first to discover exactly what “Mylo Xyloto” is supposed to mean.