Coldplay finally surrender to their essential good nature on Mylo Xyloto, their fifth album and first to ditch all pretense of brooding melancholia. Which isn’t to say the band doesn’t drift along on some pleasingly spacy atmospheres conjured by longtime producer Brian Eno: there’s still a veneer of classy disaffection that inevitably dissipates due to the relentless sunniness of Chris Martin and company. Eno's echoes and ambience -- the only things that still mark Coldplay as anything resembling progressive -- positively sparkle when they meet the band’s bright, chipper melodies, yet Coldplay's innate good manners restrain the album, keeping it just this side of a rush of candied pop. Such politeness can verge on the dull -- criminally so when they bring Rihanna in for “Princess of China,” a duet so toothless she may as well have stayed home -- but Mylo Xyloto has a leg up on other Coldplay records for this simple reason: they’re no longer attempting to mimic U2's portentous piety. They’ve embraced their schoolboy selves and are simply singing songs of love and good cheer, albeit on a grand scale that somehow seems smaller due to the group’s insuppressible niceness.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine