If you haven’t had time yet to check out Coldplay’s new smash “Ghost Stories” release, here’s a brief synopsis to bring you up to speed on the tracks and the band’s current world tour.
With the recent breakup of Chris Martin and wife Gwyneth Paltrow, some melancholia is to be expected. The album opens with the brooding pop arrangement “Always In My Head,” but “Another’s Arms” is downcast too. The younger set may label these musical offerings as too “emo,” but they deliver in much the same way former hits “Fix You” or “The Hardest Part” did. In other words, while songs like “All Your Friends” are quiet, reflective fare, most don’t lose any traction. Interestingly, Chris Martin stated in an interview recently that working with a Sufi helped him come to terms with his dissolving marriage.
Funny how sometimes we can hear a song on the air and mildly appreciate it…then hear it again via stereo or iPod, and really truly adore it. Such is the case with Coldplay’s new hit-single “Magic.” With its alluring guitar reverb and seductive tempo, the chorus slowly and steadily takes up residence within the brain’s auditory pleasure centers. A stellar electronic pop song with a great arrangement, it’s charming and chill — as are the irresistible “Ink” and “True Love,” both lush compositions that hit the mark.
“Midnight” breaks interesting new ground for the band, a mystical 5-minute electronica Imogen Heap-style masterpiece with a haunting chorus you’re sure to love: “In the darkness before the dawn / Leave a light, a light on / Leave a light, a light on.”
Rather than “hard rock,” Martin has described the group’s sound as “limestone rock,” and somehow Coldplay always finds creative ways to make that phrase jibe with their alternative rock style sound. The band also does an exceptional job of remaining true to their standards, avoiding product endorsements but supporting causes like Amnesty International and Oxfam. As one of the world’s best-selling music artists, Coldplay donates 10 percent of the band’s profits to charity. They have sold more than 60 million records worldwide.
Probably the most “Viva-la-Vida”-ish song here is the bold and exuberant “Sky Full of Stars.” A great rock anthem, it’s got it all: a big, sweeping sound, compelling keyboards and a bold, inviting chorus ready-made for audience participation. The band should be proud of this one.
A Sky Full of Stars
Finally, you’ll want to pick up the “deluxe” edition of “Ghost Stories” with the three bonus tracks available from iTunes, Target or Coldplay’s website. Not for the song “O” – which is far too much akin to Mylo Xyloto’s “Up With the Birds” – but for the terrific “Ghost Story” track which boasts a solid, old-fashioned arrangement, beguiling percussion and acoustic guitar that harkens us back to their wonderful “Parachutes” days.
In short, if musical magic for the lovelorn sounds appealing, “Ghost Stories” is sure to gratify. Coldplay performed in Paris this week and upcoming concert tour dates include Tokyo, Sidney and London, but U.S. dates have yet to be announced. Let’s keep fingers crossed while we wait expectantly for a Rose Garden appearance later this year.