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Ghost Stories previews + Magic reviews

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Tash

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Coldplay Announces New Album Ghost Stories

A few days after Coldplay released the trippy single “Midnight” (and after Paste exchanged a few emails about it), the British rock band has announced its sixth album: Ghost Stories, which is set for a May 19 release.

To announce the record, Coldplay is streaming a new track titled “Magic.” Those who pre-order Ghost Stories will receive an instant download of the new single, which you can listen to below.

Don’t fret— “Magic” doesn’t have the same experimental feel of “Midnight” that disturbed so many. It’s a return to the same pop romance you’d expect with Coldplay.

Ghost Stories is the group’s first album since 2011’s Mylo Xyloto. They also released the song “Atlas” from the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last August.

Coldplay hasn’t announced any tour dates yet, but will be performing at South by Southwest on March 11. Fans can watch the performance as it streams on iTunes.

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Coldplay reveal 'Ghost Stories' album details, share new song 'Magic'

Less than a week after they surprised fans with a new song and video, Coldplay has released another new track and revealed details about the forthcoming album from which they’re culled.

Last night, Coldplay released audio for “Magic,” the second song from their long-awaited follow-up to 2011’s “Mylo Xyloto.” Coldplay’s sixth album is entitled Ghost Stories and it will be released on May 19. The nine-song album is now available for pre-order on iTunes, where fans can download the new song “Magic,” as well as through Target, which is releasing a “deluxe” version of the album with three exclusive bonus tracks.

Based on the haunting sound of the first two songs they’ve shared, Ghost Stories seems like a fitting title for the album. As their career has progressed, Coldplay has shown interest in the artsier side of pop and both songs find the British group moving increasingly in that direction. The Jon Hopkins-produced “Midnight” is basically a straight-up ambient song that sounds a lot like Bon Iver in moody electronic mode. Chris Martin’s multi-tracked, processed vocals form the song’s eerie center, as electronic ticks rush past like dashed lines on a highway. For a group that’s never shied away from bombast and grandeur, it’s a surprisingly restrained song that is, ironically, probably the most daring thing the group has ever done.

With it’s muted bass line and programmed drums, the new song “Magic” also strongly recalls another indie touchstone: Radiohead. Although the lyrics may touch on the sentimentalism and romantic whimsy that’s characterized much of Coldplay’s music in the past (“Call it magic/ call it true/ I call it magic/ when I’m with you,” Martin sings), the arrangement is wonderfully understated. Like many of their best songs, the lilting beauty of “Magic” packs a powerful emotional punch and although the Radiohead influence is an unambiguous point of reference, it’s nevertheless encouraging to see the group continue to evolve at a point in their careers when it would be easy to retreat.

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Tash

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COLDPLAY ANNOUNCES ALBUM RELEASE DATE & DEBUTS NEW SONG THAT'S JUST SO THEM

Three years after, Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay has announced that the release date for their newest album, Ghost Stories, will be May 19. This news comes after Coldplay debuted the song “Midnight” on Feb. 25 in a “surprise release,” but really, does that phrase even have meaning in a post Beyoncé ’s Beyoncé world? “Midnight” was released along with a music video and has been described a being “moody” and having a Bon Iver-like sound. Along with the album announcement, Coldplay released a second song from the album called “Magic.”

Unlike “Midnight,” “Magic” sounds very typically Coldplay. There is a pretty heavy and constant beat, but as soon as the piano comes in and joins Chris Martin’s singing, there’s no doubt that this is Coldplay. The song compares love to magic (“And if you were to ask me/ After all that we’ve been through/ If I still believe in magic/ Well, yes I do.”) which is a pretty simple idea and the song isn’t the most spectacular thing you’ve ever heard, but I will say, it’s calming and it’s easy to listen to. And if those two things aren’t what you look for from Coldplay, then what do you look for?

The band also released the album’s track list and judging by the song titles it seems like it will have a mystical theme. It is called Ghost Stories after all.

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Tash

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Hear This: Coldplay - Magic

With last week's 'Midnight' Coldplay indicated a new minimalist electronic pop approach to their new material. This morning's release of 'Magic' further confirms the direction for next album Ghost Stories.

Coldplay - 'Magic'On 'Midnight' High octaves and Martin’s eerie vocoded vocals heavily echo the style of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, implying an ambivalence to Coldplay’s future genre.

Today’s release, however, allows the older fans to remember exactly why, from Parachutes to the present, they keep returning.

The band’s catchy melodies and Martin’s lyrical ease still prevail alongside their fresher dimension, altogether allowing the song to blossom into a welcoming prospect.

With both releases, Ghost Stories seems thematically in good stead.

Whilst 2011’s Mylo Xyloto was encompassed with an upbeat, playful euphoria, the two new releases forecast a more ambient and provoking album from the future Coldplay.

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COLDPLAY DROP NEW TRACK 'MAGIC' AHEAD OF SIXTH ALBUM RELEASE

British rock icons Coldplay have unveiled a brand new track, with their sixth studio album set for release in the next few months.

Magic is the first official single to be lifted off the record, titled Ghost Stories. The LP, their first since 2011's Mylo Xyloto, will be released through Parlophone Records on Monday 19 May.

The single is a slight change of pace from a lot of the band's most recent work - it's atmospheric, yet chilled and Chris Martin's usually swirling vocals are a little more subdued.

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Coldplay "Magic"

Coldplay announced a new album this week. It's called Ghost Stories and it's due out in May. To go along with that announcement the band released a new single called Magic. Mylo Xyloto was a bright and energetic record. From what we've heard of Ghost Stories with Magic, the new album will be the opposite. Coldplay has been at their best with layers and layers: Magic is simple and implements a lot of space. The single is brand new so it's too soon to pass permanent judgement, but an early prediction is that a second single will find it's way out at the end of April.

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Coldplay Announces New Album Ghost Stories Coming In May
The band also dropped a new track called "Magic" and hit No. 2 on the charts in the UK

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Coldplay dominating the world, but it looks like Coldplay-less music charts will soon to be a thing of the past. The British rock group announced that its sixth album, a follow-up to 2011′s Mylo Xyloto, will be a nine-track record called Ghost Stories and will hit stores on May 19. The band promptly shot to No. 2 on the U.K.’s iTunes list.

Along with the album announcement, Coldplay also released the audio for a new track, called “Magic,” on YouTube. Fans who pre-order Ghost Stories on iTunes are able to download the track now, which helps to explain the jump in the charts almost three months before the album’s release.

Just last week, Coldplay released a new track from the album, called “Midnight,” which is a haunting, Bon Iver-esque pivot from their usual sound. “Magic,” however, is more classic Coldplay with Chris Martin’s signature vocals, which should thrill fans.

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Coldplay Has a Few New Tricks on “Magic”: Listen
Something old and something new

Coldplay aroused a lot of curiosity last week by dropping a new single out of the blue, the frosty, minimal “Midnight,” detached from the announcement of a new album. Thankfully, the British quartet weren’t content to leave their fans hanging for long: they announced their upcoming sixth full-length Ghost Stories (due for release May 19) last night, along with another new single. “Magic” isn’t quite the hard left turn that seemed to be brewing in the wake of “Midnight,” but it does hint at a few new tricks up the band’s sleeve, with a simple, brooding beat-and-guitar intro that’s more familiar in the hands of younger compatriots like the xx.

It blooms from there into a climax built from familiar components — stadium-sized guitar leads, Chris Martin’s indelible falsetto — that have anchored Coldplay’s work for a decade, making “Magic” a successful marriage of old and new. It remains to be seen whether Ghost Stories will hold more of the same.

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Coldplay fails to impress with early release of two tracks

Fans who may have gotten excited by Coldplay’s release of “Atlas” from the “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack may be disappointed with the two songs the band released from their upcoming album “Ghost Stories” that drops May 19.

Though “Atlas” is reminiscent of classic Coldplay, long gone are the days of incomparable ballads such as “The Scientist,” “Shiver” and “In My Place.”

The band is changing the sound yet again, and seems to be pulling their inspiration from Imogen Heap and Bon Iver with the band’s new songs “Midnight” and “Magic.”

In fact, “Midnight” sounds eerily similar to Bon Iver’s “Holocene,” as lead singer Chris Martin sings into music’s death trap: auto-tune.

This is not the first time Coldplay has changed their sound and experimented with their music. With every album release there was always a growth and change in their sound. However, this time the change is too dramatic and not for the better.

With consistently flawless live performances, if there is one modern singer that could have spared using auto-tune, it’s Martin. Yet, even he has succumbed to the trend that puts tone-deaf pop stars on top of the charts.

Though “Magic” is not a Bon Iver rip-off, there is a lot of Heap with just a dash of Martin thrown in. Again fans may have a “Have I heard this before?” moment and then listen to Heap’s older work, such as “Headlock,” and may discover “Magic” is exactly what it would sound like if Heap were a man.

Martin said “Magic” is the official first single of the album. This may be a poor move as the release of Heap’s next album, “Sparks,” in April may spark a reminder in fans of the obvious influence of sound.

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Coldplay 'Magic' single review: "A long-form spectacle"

When it came to launching the campaign for their sixth studio album, Coldplay opted for the no fuss strategy. There were no teasers, no grand announcement, not even a leak before they stealthily pulled a new song and then their official new single 'Magic' out of a hat.

It's a mindset that complements the direction of their refreshed sound. Gone are the shimmering day-glo synths of Mylo Xyloto, and in comes a more restrained and understated effort.

"And I just got broken/ Broken into two/ Still I call it magic/ When I'm next to you," Chris Martin coos over muffled snare and dusky guitar plucks, before the track glides into a middle eight of airy riffs.

The final result isn't a quick card trick to draw you in like some of the band's previous hits, but rather a long-form spectacle that slowly allures you with its intricacies and delicate craftsmanship. If you're someone who has been left disillusioned by Coldplay in recent years, now's the time to believe again.

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Coldplay "Magic"

Coldplay's new single skates close to the wintry post-dubstep soulfulness coursing through much of U.K. pop these days: A skeletal beat carries the weight before the guitars kick in and Chris Martin goes from mushmouth croon to cathartic woowoo. They've released another song, "Midnight," where they go all-in with the Eeyore EDM, and their new album (due out in May) is called Ghost Stories. Sadplay, anyone?

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Billboard Album review

Coldplay's Haunted 'Ghost Stories' Album: Track-By-Track Review



Coldplay's sixth studio album will forever be tied to frontman Chris Martin's out-of-the-blue announcement that he and wife Gwyneth Paltrow were separating, nearly two months before the full-length's release. The timing of the breakup hovers over "Ghost Stories," a short album full of straightforward meditations on heartbreak and helplessness. Instead of hinting at the split and letting listeners spit out theories about the real-life drama that inspired the album, Martin has presented his gaping wound for the world to see, in rather spectacular fashion.


Coldplay's last album, 2011's "Mylo Xyloto," was a shout-along opus that found the four-piece finally embracing the ridiculousness that comes with being the World's Biggest Rock Band; there were canyon-sized synths, rock-opera plot lines and a duet with Rihanna. By contrast, "Ghost Stories" is devoid of big moments, save for the Avicii collaboration "A Sky Full Of Stars," which showcases the producer's pulsating keyboard riffs and pummeling beat drops. But even that flare-up is punctuated by Martin's raspy howl in the chorus, "I don't care, go on and tear me apart/I don't care if you do."

Since arriving 14 years ago with Coldplay's breakout single "Yellow," Martin has had an extravagant voice in pop music, aiming at grandeur more often than mining his songs' intimate moments. On "Ghost Stories," the inverse is true, and it's wholly refreshing to hear Martin try to confide a sentiment instead of bellow it. "Always In My Head" uses quick, cutting lines to convey sleepless defeat, while the central metaphor of "Ink" -- love is a tattoo, and it hurts more to remove a name than to inscribe it -- proves to be affecting. As Martin's voice cracks and careens forward, Guy Berryman's bass chords tether the album to the ground, and Will Champion's drums often crackle before dropping away completely.

Broken pleas like "Just tell me you love me/If you don't, then lie, lie to me," from the song "True Love," can make "Ghost Stories" a difficult listen at times, thanks to the prior knowledge of Martin's failed marriage. But in many ways, Coldplay's sharp left turn is also its most listenable album in years, an evocative concoction of sullen phrases, sparse arrangements and powerful themes. "Ghost Stories" is the sound of Coldplay rejecting its inner Coldplay-ness, at least for one album. Martin and the rest of the band will no doubt spring back to life on future releases, but for once, reveling in the darkness sounds like a great idea.

What songs on Coldplay's latest full-length are the highlights? Check out our track-by-track review of "Ghost Stories."


1. Always In My Head
- "Ghost Stories" begins with what sounds like literal ghost stories, as Martin admits to sleepless nights while a faceless voice floats behind him. As guitar curly-q's float upward, the singer sounds more broken than ever, as if every insecurity hurts to say aloud in fear that it will become true.


2. Magic


"Always In My Head" hinted at the downbeat vibe of "Ghost Stories," but "Magic," Coldplay's most unassuming lead single to date also definitively establishes that contemplative mood. The gloomy refrain and pleas over restrained piano flourishes finally give way to the chiming riffs of the bridge, which soon dial back down to the chilliness of the intro.


<strong>[video=youtube;Qtb11P1FWnc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=Qtb11P1FWnc[/video]

3. Ink
- The pops of percussion are married with pensive guitar strokes as Martin delivers the first line, "Got a tattoo that said 'Together Through Life'/Carved in your name with my pocket knife." When the music swells up, it does so politely, and Martin finally lets his cry escape on the second verse.


4. True Love
- There's another mention of "the fire below" as Martin settles in over heavy rhythms, dancing synths and wallowing strings to deliver perhaps the saddest song on the album. Repetition is key on "Ghost Stories," as Martin echoes his phrases -- "Tell me you love me, if you don't then lie" -- to create a sense of begging.


5. Midnight


The first song released from "Ghost Stories," "Midnight" finds Martin actually sounding like a ghost, his distorted vocals croaking requests like "leave a light, a light on." It's not "Kid A" and it's a little too long, but stylistically, "Midnight" makes sense in the middle of the album, and harkens back to shuddering early singles like "Trouble."




6. Another's Arms
- Before Martin's normal voice rejoins the album, a female specter croons in and out of focus; it's painful to hear Martin sing about late night TV watching, grasping at memories of shared company. "Another's Arms" is a songwriting gem, although the arrangement is a bit flat, with not much body to the guitar and whooshing keys added to match the stuttering drums.


7. Oceans
- A blinking signal reminiscent of a sonar is one of the neat production details on "Oceans," which also smartly echoes the word "trying" when Martin sings, "Behind the walls, love/I'm trying to change." The singer sounds like Nick Drake on the track, his eyes fixed on the ground before the music needlessly noodles around for nearly two minutes after the proper song concludes.


8. A Sky Full Of Stars


The one instance of "Mylo Xyloto"-era Coldplay seeping in, "A Sky Full of Stars" is a joyous dance cut crafted by Avicii, and a honeycomb of energy that the album needs. Martin still sounds forlorn, of course; he sings, "Cause in a sky full of stars/I think I saw you," with "think" being the crucial word.


9. O
- Before the hidden track of guitar and ghostly voices (think Bjork's "Vespertine"), this beautifully produced piano ballad poignantly offers a sense of hope and forgiveness. Similar to "X&Y" closer "Til Kingdom Come," "O" is stripped of pretense, and Martin sounds utterly exhausted by the final line.
 
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