Coldplay: Ghost Stories

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Coldplay is a band that you either love or hate, with very little in between. I’ve always fallen into the love camp, a crusader in getting people to see beyond their “depressing” label and appreciate them simply for the brilliant music they make.

The band’s last and arguably best album, Mylo Xyloto, certainly helped in gaining them new fans through a new, loud and jovial sound, accompanied by a stand out Glastonbury performance.

Ghost Stories, however, is Xyloto’s polar opposite; a more restrained affair but equally as impressive as its predecessor.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most people, with the recent “conscious uncoupling” between front man Chris Martin and wife Gwyneth Paltrow becoming the main talking point of this album.

Ghost Stories is a bittersweet listen that’s both romantic and heartbreaking at the same time. However Coldplay have made a career around songs like this, so to judge the album based on the recent split is to do a dis-service to its brave and different sound.

As a band, Coldplay have always been trying to shake off the shackles of their school teacher-type image, forever concerned about what the public seem to think of them, despite all their success.

With this however, it’s as if they’ve finally taken a leap of faith and made an album that they want to, as opposed to one they feel they should, and that’s kind of great to hear.

Whereas it doesn’t pack in the stadium-primed anthems, it’s an interesting and moving listen. Album highlights include the haunting “Midnight”, the lovely “Magic” and summer anthem “A Sky Full of Stars”, which despite being great does feel shoehorned into an otherwise easy-listening album.

Ghost Stories on a whole may not be my favourite Coldplay album, but it is an excellent listen none the less. It’s a raw and simple album, more in keeping with Parachutes than their more recent work. It may not gain them any new followers but it will certainly turn some heads, and at the very least it cements the band’s long term viability.

Ghost Stories is out May 19th.




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