What it does sound like: another Coldplay record, which is to say another group of songs where the intractable war between the slow, piano-driven ballad and the mid-tempo, guitar-garlanded “rocker” resolves itself in a few radio-ready moments of renewable beauty, and you find yourself singing along, yet again, to songs of failure and disappointment as if they were your own.
…Which is why a consideration of the “ambitions” of Mylo Xyloto should be set aside just as quickly as a consideration of the “ambitions” of Viva La Vida. Coldplay is a band engineered to aim to please, and so it does.
…even “Princess” has its moments — two of them, in fact, for it starts out with a big Coldplay Whoa-oh-oh stadium shoutout, and then drives towards its inevitable you really hurt me stretch of gorgeousness. But that’s Coldplay, a value-based two-hooks-for-the-price-of-one band whose greatest indulgence on its most determinedly indulgent record turns out to be its incorrigible preference for beauty.
Esquire’s review of Mylo Xyloto. (Don’t worry, I don’t make a point of reading Esquire – a friend linked to the review)