Ghost Stories by Coldplay

Coldplay is a British group that became popular at the start of the 21st century with their first album, “Parachutes,” which included the massive, melodic hit “Yellow.” Since then, the group has gone on to produce “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” “X&Y,” and “Mylo Xyloto.” From their albums have come chart-topping songs like “Fix You,” “Viva La Vida,” and “Paradise.” Now the group, which consists of Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, and Will Champion, has released a sixth studio album, “Ghost Stories.”

When Coldplay released the single “Magic” from “Ghost Stories,” the song became an instant hit, as it contained all of the elements of the most popular Coldplay songs – a melodic beat, meaningful lyrics, and lead singer Chris Martin’s soothing voice. With the second single, “Midnight,” Coldplay continued to give fans more of what they love. Recently, the band released a third single, “A Sky Full of Stars,” which was also an instantaneous hit. Much to the delight of loyal fans and listeners, the three singles provided a solid sampling of what fans could expect from the album. The variety in the songs showed Coldplay’s wide variety of talents.

This past spring, Martin divorced Gwyneth Paltrow, his wife of 10 years. Some label this album Martin’s “divorce album.” The lyrics to the song “Magic” reflect these events with the lines, “I call it magic when I’m with you / And I just got broken, broken into two / Still I call it magic, when I’m next to you.” The song continues, “And if you were to ask me / After all that we’ve been through / ‘Still believe in magic?’ / Yes, I do.”

Coldplay’s sixth studio album has received much criticism due to its new sound. Some diehard fans are upset over the band’s decision to work with electronic dance DJ Avicii to produce “A Sky Full of Stars,” which is very up-tempo and strays from the typical Coldplay sound. However, the upbeat tone and melody of this track provide a nice break for listeners amid the redundant, slow songs on “Ghost Stories.” Ironically, “A Sky Full of Stars” has proven to be very popular; it claimed a spot in the American iTunes Top Ten when Coldplay released it as a single, even reaching number one.

That the four musicians have decided to venture into a different type of music is made especially clear in the song “O.” Like the others on this album, this song is slow and accompanied by mellow music, with Martin’s voice almost whispering to us. However, what makes this song different is that it is nearly eight minutes long – and after about four, the music ceases. With about a minute left, a faint melody is heard in the background with an almost indistinguishable voice accompanying it.

Coldplay’s newest album appears to be very successful; it sold over 300,000 copies in its first week. Personally, my favorite song on it is “Ink,” since it is a nice balance between the slow tracks and the up-tempo “A Sky Full of Stars.” It is also the closest match to their past hits. “Ghost Stories” proves that Coldplay still has an extensive range of skills and great potential for the future.

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