Back in from the cold

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music -

IMAG­INE go­ing around to Jay- Z’s house for a few Fri­day night drinks.

Bey­once, Kanye West, Le­bron James, Ri­hanna and an as­sort­ment of uber cool New York celebrity types are there. And sit­ting in a cor­ner is Cold­play’s front­man Chris Martin.

Some­how the idea of a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween him and Ri­hanna is floated.

Not on a hip- hop al­bum where each sings on the cho­rus, no, this time it’s a song for the new Cold­play al­bum . . . what?!

Princess of China sounds un­like any song from the Bri­tish best­sellers’ back cat­a­logue. It’s got ice cold synths, a steady 4/ 4 beat and a duet from two of the world’s bet­ter pur­vey­ors of up­lift­ing pop hooks.

Alone it would have made no sense. En­ter stage left Ev­ery Teardrop is a Wa­ter­fall, an­other foray into worlds Cold­play haven’t set foot in be­fore: elec­tro- pop and R& B.

These ad­mit­tedly fresh left turns are re­ally the ex­cep­tions that prove the Cold­play rules.

The rest of al­bum num­ber five is chock- a- block full of their stock- in- trade sounds – Martin’s high drama falsetto, mus­cu­lar, echo­ing gui­tars and stir­ring, sta­dium- sized cas­cad­ing melodies.

Mylo Xy­loto is an ex­per­i­men­tal con­cept al­bum with a cin­e­matic qual­ity.

It’s com­plete with an elec­tronic cur­rent rush­ing be­neath the sur­face and short in­stru­men­tal in­ter­ludes with grandiose ti­tles and a film score feel. Thanks, Brian Eno.

Why con­cept al­bums are al­ways set in a fu­tur­is­tic dystopia is be­yond me.

Although a bit flimsy and goofy, at least it gives Martin a chance to get out­side his usual box.

He’s writ­ten some words about ri­ots, fight­ing the man and not let­ting ‘‘ them’’ take con­trol.

But sung in his patented, life- af­firm­ing de­liv­ery, these al­most- gritty words end up feel­ing warm and cud­dly.

Cold­play’s mu­sic sounds like the sun break­ing through some rain clouds.

It’s helped them sell 50 mil­lion records but also af­forded the act a rep­u­ta­tion as earnest choir­boys.

And that’s not very rock n’ roll. Not bad, just un­ex­cit­ing.

Yet, you could never say they lose sight of their pop or soft- rock goals.

Mylo Xy­loto is a strong al­bum, full

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