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Karly Cox
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Coldplay get a lot of stick from fans of "real" rock. With frontman Chris Martin's placid demeanour and Earth-loving ways, the band's hardly going to throw a TV out of a window. And their usually upbeat lyrics and melodies are a far cry from the rebellious stance rock is supposed to embody.

That hasn't stopped the band becoming the biggest of the century; and Mylo Xyloto is unlikely to lose them any fans.

The album was apparently inspired by graffiti and an anti-Nazi movement, but it feels mostly optimistic, not angry.

Tracks are split pretty evenly into irresistibly bouncy numbers like Hurts Like Heaven, Charlie Brown and lead single Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, and more pensive, dreamy offerings.

The first of these, Paradise, combines soaring strings, Morse-code-like beeps and the clearest lyrics on the album. But it also highlights the album's - and maybe the band's - biggest weakness: a tendency to fill bars with broken-up words and "ooooh aaahhh whoooaaahh"s.

Highlights include Major Minus and its gritty bass, like something the Beatles might have written in the Come Together days; and UFO which, despite the sci-fi title, is a heartfelt acoustic ballad.

If you just don't like pop-rock, there's nothing here to convert you. But if you're open to the idea of rockers being softies, go with Coldplay to their happy place.

YP Rating: 3/5



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