In writing this review, I’m trying to imagine what must go through the mind of a band that already knows it cannot win. What’s their game plan? Listening to “Mylo Xyloto,” which is likely to be Coldplay’s midway mile marker album, I found myself inspired, entertained and perplexed. Perplexed because I felt alarmingly un-cool. And that is why this band cannot win – Coldplay has become more of a brand than a band, selling out stadiums full of people who want to feel like they’re back in junior high, people who just want to admire their multi-colored jackets and people who feel like “Fix You” just might still have enough power in its gut to make them cry. So again, what goes through the collective mind of a band that cannot win? As I listened to “Mylo Xyloto, I figured the thought process may have gone something like this:

“Turns out, the critics already hate our album, and we haven’t even made it yet. So let’s just have fun with this one. I’m thinking a concept album – something glitzy, lovelorn, hopeful and confused. It’ll be about us. We’ll paint these songs as much as we play them. The Coldplay canvas is prepped for another ‘Viva La Vida’ or ‘In My Place,’ but we’re gonna layer and splotch and smear whatever the hell we want onto this album. Let’s chisel off the softer corners of electronica. I wanna hear violins and synthesizers and ‘Strawberry Swing’ guitars and rustic acoustic strumming. We’re kindergartners armed with finger paint. Who says we can’t still make some feel-good ballads? I don’t care if we’re a decade into the twenty-first century, that’s just who we are. But we won’t do what everyone else is doing. We won’t try to appeal to the rising crowd of sophisticates and we won’t feature Rihanna. Wait, I kind of like that idea. Let’s get Rihanna. I like where this is going…

Whew. So that’s how you concoct a successful failure. Coldplay has arguably been the biggest band in the world over the past few years, but despite that accomplishment, they still push themselves to become the best band in the world. And while that goal may be near impossible at this point, it sure is fun listening to them try.


About the Author

Aimee Mandle
Aimee Mandle
Aimee enjoys catching up on new music and movies and she loves writing about them! Reviewing just about everything for iSPY, Aimee has become one of our go to sources for the best up and coming "stuff". Reach out to Aimee for any suggestions or comments.