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Coldplaying.com Ghost Stories review

Ghost Stories review – Official Coldplaying review by the community

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It has been a whole week since the new Coldplay album, Ghost Stories has been available worldwide. While we have all been absorbed into the band’s latest effort, we will take a detailed analysis with many thanks to the Coldplaying community who have been asked over the past week to submit their reviews! So without further ado, we will start off with the beautiful opening track, Always In My Head.

Always in My Head

By aschall : This is the first time where I feel like the simplistic nature of Chris’s lyrics has done a Coldplay song some good. Always In My Head is a truly heartbreaking song, and one of Chris’s strongest vocal performances yet. The way he croons as he delivers the line “And so my mouth waters to be fed,” evoked such a strong emotional reaction from me the first time I listened to the song. And apart from Chris, everyone else’s touch on this song just makes it even better. Jonny’s guitar is beautiful (as always) and it’s really what I associate to most when I see the title. In other words, it is definitely the highlight of the song, and without it, Always In My Head would basically just be an RnB track. Will is sleek, swift, and modern on the drums and slyly gives the song a bit of pace, even though it feels slow in nature. The rapid, trap-esque ticks give this song a modern and nuanced feel. And finally, Guy’s bass just really bolsters the emotional weight of the track. This, coupled with Chris’s vocal just makes me want to cry every time!

Always In My Head is hands-down my favorite track off Ghost Stories. Everything from the lyrics to the production is a stroke of genius, and this track serves as the best example of how throughout the years, Coldplay have managed to evolve their sound while still maintaining that heart and emotion of their debut album.

Magic

By RhysBP : Magic is one the strongest examples of how much Coldplay have changed their sound. Everyone knows Madness by Muse and it’s easy to see the similarities Magic shares with it. Consider it its sister.

Instantly, listeners will hear the sounds of a heavy electronic drum beat, a very steady bass line, but no Jonny or Chris. They eventually come in but with more gusto than the previous track. The funny thing is that Jonny starts off on the piano as Chris goes solo with his vocals. Still, the quartet deliver an instrumentation thats sound as optimistic as any One Direction song. This comes mainly from Jonny’s occasional piano.

Again, the lyrics are all about separation, with Martin going on about how the time spent with his loved one is simply magic. Yet the chorus, which is made up mostly of the repeated line “I don’t”, lacks a bit of polish. It is at this point that the song begins to sound a bit too repetitive and mind numbing. However, the band have a trick up their sleeve (no pun intended). After the repeat of the chorus, the band bring out of the best sounding verses on the album. As Martin sings about how far he wants to fall, Jonny comes in with some of his trademark guitar work and you feel the song growing a new lease of life. This then leads to an all-out jam and as a result, the most pleasurable part of the song. The song ends with Martin stating that he still believes in magic before the song quietly fades off into the distance.

Ink

By the_escapist : Amazing upbeat drums start this song, accompanied by an acoustic guitar with an incredibly catchy tune. Chris vocals soar and probably it is the rhythm that captures anyone’s attention. The lyrics are not so great and quite depressing considering the music behind, but still the song achieves to be one of the greatest on the album. It is a new type of love declaration for Coldplay. The climax comes with the last verse (I see the road begin to climb…). This indeed are four friends just making great music and all I know, is that I love this song, so much it hurts.

True Love

By RhysBP : True Love would have to be one of the three best songs off the album. It can be compared to older Coldplay as it sees the band going back to pre-Viva days when strings wouldn’t make such a dominating presence.

At first, the song sounds like it is continuing on with the upbeat vibe left over from Ink. However, as Martin takes centre stage, you can tell it’s going to be another story of separation agony. The chorus is made up of Martin asking his lover that even if she doesn’t love him, she should lie to him anyway. Ouch! From then on, you can tell that True Love is one of the saddest songs on the album.

In similar fashion to Strawberry Swing, the percussion heard on True Love is very minimal but very effective. Featuring a mix of electronic drum beats and a bass drum from an unlikely source in Timbaland, the riff is capped off by what sounds like a hand clap. It doesn’t change much from that formula but its repetition doesn’t seem to drag the song down. You can almost thank the string arrangement for being played at over the top of it.

There are two really shining moments on this song, the first being Martin’s falsetto. He doesn’t sing pass the three minute mark but in that short time, his falsetto is magical. It is well exemplified in the chorus, where he draws out the world ‘lie’.

The second part occurs not long before the end of the song. Buckland comes in with a demanding guitar solo from that literally slices through the song like a hot knife through butter. If it wasn’t for this solo, the song would’ve petered out very quickly.

Overall, this song is so heartbreaking but so addictive to listen to at the same time. I won’t be surprised if this was released as a single in the future.

Midnight

By lennyrott2 : Midnight, Coldplay’s surprise single from Ghost Stories is perhaps its best crafted. Based on a Jon Hopkins track, it quickly becomes Coldplay’s own, a pulsating dark, shimmering, and symbolic piece of work that brings the band’s strengths for atmosphere to fruition. The song smartly takes its time to build, adding texture and electronics slowly and beautifully. Chris’ vocoded voice is refreshing and haunting at the same time, and while properly drawing comparisons to Bon Iver and Imogen Heap, they remain distinctly his. The bleak lyrics also exemplify the vocal minimalism that is needed for such a track, and helps make the it all the more peaceful. The building synths near the climax are the best Ghost Stories has to offer, and the deep bass drum and unique flutelike notes paint an absolutely sublime picture of a dark, hazy sky speckled with stars. This is easily one of Coldplay’s most beautiful and effective songs.

Another’s Arms

By RhysBP : By The song features the same elements as some of the other songs on the album – electronic drums, idling synthesizers and the occasional piano. However, the main ‘star’ on this song is the pre-recorded voice of an anonymous female vocalist. Like the piano on the previous track, it helps bridge the verses.

Seeing as this one of four songs heard live before the release of the album, fans were greeted with a demanding burst of passion and exuberance. However, on the studio recording, the production makes the song come off a bit soft sounding. That’s the only disappointment I can find in the song.

Having said that, the last two minutes of the song are quite special. Buckland delivers another guitar solo and although it could’ve been more prominent, it instantly demands your attention. The melody changes slightly to allow the song to sound more aching and even a vocal sample of Jane Weaver’s song Silver Chord can be heard. The song finishes off nicely with a repeat of the opening chorus and thus completes the saddest song on the album.

Down the track, I don’t know if the band will play this song live after the Ghost Stories era but one thing can be said. Along with Politik, Major Minus and God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, Another’s Arms is a song that sounds much better live.

Oceans

By the_escapist : A standout moment of the album, Oceans takes you back to the Parachutes era while retaining modern elements since the song is based on several electronic arrangements like the haunting submarine beep made by Will Champion, which sets the beat throughout. Guy and Jonny provide ambient while Chris (playing acoustic guitar) sings one of Coldplay’s saddest songs about being alone. The song ends with a synth which sits perfectly while Chris sings the last lines of the record, a heartbreaking story after being with someone. A true gem in the album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6nvhpdOlWk

A Sky Full of Stars

By mayrn43 : A Sky Full of Stars is a rousing song on a minimalistic, serene album. The opening piano is upbeat and a complete change of mood from the previous track on the album, Oceans, which was a more mellow and stripped-back affair. Chris Martin’s vocals are sharp and his lyrics are hopeful. The production of A Sky Full of Stars was done by Avicii, a solid DJ/producer who has been behind many EDM hits of recent times. This song explodes into an instrumental EDM type chorus that undoubtedly sounds similar to big house songs that have found success in the charts. But, in its entirety, A Sky Full of Stars would just be another one of those mainstream house songs if it wasn’t for Martin’s excellent delivery and the perfect guitar licks done by Jonny Buckland. A Sky Full of Stars is still not the most original song, but it is catchy, and a fun celebration on a gloomy record.

O

by ARoBttH14 : Probably better described as the hidden gem of Ghost Stories, O (Fly On) is the true heart breaker of the album; delicately placed at the end to leave what ever is left of your composure (and dignity) in ruins. It is beautiful from start to finish. A simple piano riff runs throughout, played with such sensitivity it is as if Chris is plucking at your own heart strings. The hook (“A flock of birds”) used as a metaphor to how love can land in some places temporarily but, inevitably, must eventually take off, leaving nothing behind but fond memories of how they moved in unison and how beautiful it was. The chorus (” And I always look up to the sky, pray before the dawn”) represents on how Chris is left alone, casting about for something he cherished so much and praying for it to return to him. He then slips so easily and proficiently back into his falsetto, cooing: “Cause they fly always, one minute they arrive, next you know they’re gone…they Fly On.” Again, he is emphasising on how inevitable it is that love will always end. He then alters the piano chord scheme ever so slightly before exclaiming: “Maybe one day, I can fly with you.” This is him looking to the future and how he is not suitable enough to fly among those he has lost and how it will take time for him in order to learn how to love again.

The outro (O) is a stunning piece of music. It follows the intro of the album, making the album loop, only in this case, Apple Martin and her friend: Mabel Krichefski are the lead singers. This is something very precious as Chris and Gwyneth often keep the children behind closed doors in order to protect them, but Chris making this exception makes it sound astounding. Guy providing a small subtle bass line with the two girls whispering: “Don’t ever let go” something of a catch phrase off Chris’ own father. This makes the outro sound haunting, almost creepy, but unique and inspiring at the same time. In conclusion, my personal favourite emotive song of the past decade, on par with Fix You and The Scientist and just below Politik in my opinion. A lovely song that combines the old with new in such a way, it cannot be put into words. An absolute work of art!

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That concludes the main album review. Try reading the review while listening to Ghost Stories if you haven’t already! There may be something you didn’t notice before or perhaps give you a different perception on the concise but detailed sixth album from the boys.

US fans will have been able to buy the deluxe edition of Ghost Stories from US retailer, Target. Coldplayers outside of the US may have found alternative methods such as buying 2nd hand with international delivery or have simply streamed the extra tracks instead such as on the full Ghost Stories lyric video below :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pybIIXwdcmI

The deluxe version of Ghost Stories is reviewed below :

All Your Friends

By lennyrott2 : All Your Friends is notably the darkest track on Ghost Stories Deluxe Edition. The misty atmosphere, leading bass guitar, Massive Attack style drumbeat, and echoing guitar are very reminiscent of the The xx. In many ways, I imagine this song belonging on an album with Moving To Mars, as often the electronics and piano become deep, spacey and sharp. It certainly sounds like a Coldplay B-side, as it is difficult to classify in their discography, but the track is very enjoyable and fresh sounding. The lyrics are overall decent, and I especially like the electronic flare at the end of Chris’ “fire.” Most of all, it does a wonderful job in balancing live instrumentation with production value, something that Ghost Stories as a whole could have done better, making this track very welcome.

Ghost Story

By getithom : Ghost Story is easily a completely remarkable and tremendous song. I know I keep saying ‘____ is one of the best things Coldplay has produced’, but honestly, Ghost Story is in my list of favorite Coldplay songs. In fact, it’s now sitting right behind A Rush of Blood to the Head for favorite title track song. (Though, I don’t see how anything will ever beat that song, by any band, ever.)

Lyrically and musically, it’s completely different from anything else on the album, but goddamn does it flow well. Almost immediately, it plays like the brother of the B-sides from the A Rush of Blood to the Head days. My friends and I talked if Coldplay were possible of ever returning to the glory of those days way back in the early days of Ghost Stories. They did, and it exceeded any expectations I had. Listening to this song still puts a giant smile on my face. Everything from Chris’ vocals, to the drums, to Jonny’s solo and to the wonderful bass is almost overwhelming.

O (Reprise)

By the_escapist : After hearing this version of “O”, one asks itself: Why this one did not feature in the album instead than the other? Probably it was because it has a more edgier and rockier sound than the normal one. These features, in my opinion, just lift the song. Jonny’s guitar at the beginning is fantastic and Guy’s bass goes with it perfectly. Those angelical voices singing “Don’t ever let go” with Jonny’s riff behind is the best way for the album to finish. I love this one so much because it is Jonny all over the place instead of Madeon’s sound and electronic music (which still features a bit in this one) on the regular one. Delightful to hear.

Congratulations to those featured (more than once in some cases!) and thank you for forming this detailed review of Ghost Stories. Please remember to share this on Facebook and Re-tweet on Twitter!