This is the sound of Coldplay collaborating with Billboard Hot 100 champion Rihanna. Perhaps more significantly, it's the sound of Chris Martin singing about ending a relationship with Rihanna.
"You really hurt me," Martin and RiRi repeat in harmony at the swelling apex of the track. With brash synth squiggles and a lofty, wordless hook, it's catchy and represents another appealing shift in direction for a group that already refuses to keep repeating the same musical formula — though it's still more inoffensive than inspiring. Ask us again after a few months of constant Top 40 radio exposure, though, once pop-rock Stockholm syndrome sets in. Maybe then we'll understand what Martin's "favorite bit" from the next week's Mylo Xyloto — the bit that reduced Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow to a "Hugh Grant-like" stammer — has to do with China. The better to market to our future economic overlords, perhaps?. Mylo Xyloto is due October 25.