Coldplay: Ghost Stories

Posted June 18, 2014 by in Alternative



4/ 5


Genre: ,
Producer: , , , , ,
Genre: Alternative, rock
Producer: Tim Bergling, Coldplay, Paul Epworth, Daniel Green, Jon Hopkins, Rik Simpson
Label: Parlophone
Format: Digital download, compact disc, vinyl
Time: 42:37
Release Date: 16 May 2014
Spin This: "Magic," "A Sky Full of Stars," "True Love"


A few new experiments, including a dip into electronica, gives Ghost Stories that special zing


A bit dreary and marginally slow-paced than their previous albums

Love and heartbreak encompasses dreamy ballads inside Coldplay’s sixth disc

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Love and heartbreak encompasses dreamy ballads inside Coldplay’s sixth disc

Coldplay is one of those bands that revel in consistency. And as they reach a brand new stride, they find some brilliant way to stay relevant again. After hitting the mainstream with X&Y and exploding into Grammy gold with Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, the alt-rock foursome led by Chris Martin dabbled with pop on 2011’s Mylo Xyloto using smart experiments including bigger arena-rock madness (“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” “Paradise”) and a genius duet with Rihanna (“Princess of China”).

On Ghost Stories, the UK band’s sixth solo record, the band covers more of the same, but dabbles with a quaint template celebrating artsy romance and digging up tales of heartbreak. Some of the inspiration comes from Martin’s on-and-off relationship with actress Gwyneth Paltrow. He doesn’t go as bitter as Taylor Swift on Ghost Stories, but Martin does come away from the experience with a few melancholic footnotes. “And I’m ready for it all, love; ready for the pain/Meet under sun and meet again in the rain,” he sings on the sleepy ballad “Oceans.” Without turning the disc into a depressing pity party, Martin and the boys explore Top 40 radio electricity with “Magic” and speak of his lost love as being magical “when I’m next to you.” As if Drake had dropped some emo-R&B beats on a Coldplay record, the song thrives on its delicious hooks and Coldplay’s signature “ooh-ooh” chants. That positivity continues on “True Love” where Martin’s ethereal falsetto floats across a canvas of otherworldly balladry. The uncanny guitar solos towards the end and the extra drum beats by Timbaland are neat add-ons to the fantasy-driven selection. Whether exploring the beginnings or endings of love, Ghost Stories offers many new things to the Coldplay narrative: “Midnight” experiments with Daft Punk wizardry; “Ink” dances like a remix of an ‘80’s AC wonder or a “Gone Gone Gone” follow-up; “Always In My Head, a lush three-minute AC-rendered prelude, is embellished with Peter Gabriel soundscapes; “A Sky Full of Stars” feels like a lost David Guetta dance-pop track.

With the use of Chris Martin’s falsetto swoops and the continued export of Coldplay’s signature sing-a-long chant, there’s nothing they do deliberately wrong here. “Sky Full of Stars” could have been a bit more bad-ass for the strobe lit discos, but that’s not like Coldplay. With Paul Epworth (Adele) on board and Mylo Xyloto producers (Daniel Green, Rik Simpson) on board, they are focused on preserving their coveted sound and their devout followers. Although experiments are to be expected, they remain faithful to their legend. Ghost Stories is a bit somber and slow-paced than Mylo Xyloto – think of it as a distant cousin of X&Y.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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