Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto 

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Breaking news: Coldplay can rock! Believe it or not "Hurts Like Heaven" has the ferocity and urgency many have been begging of the band. While "Princess of China," with a guest appearance by Rhianna, has the exact chorus melody of "Ra Ngo Tung Kinh," a Vietnamese song released in the U.S. by Ha Tran, for which they were promptly sued, Martin and co. return a dance gem so good they shouldn't even get a slap on the wrist in court. The album is full of arena choruses here ("Paradise"), minimalist melodies there ("Us Against The World"), with the hand of Brian Eno at the helm helping them achieve the perfect blend of substance and pop sing-along. Forget about Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends — this is Coldplay's most political album (in Smith's usually sweet, harmless delivery), and the timing could not have been better: If this doesn't become the soundtrack for the Occupy movement it would be a shame. Coldplay's revolution is one of love and beauty, not guns or dry intellectual muscle. And I'm all for that, especially when the songs are this good.

★★★1/2 (out of 5 stars)

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