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Singing about breaking up is hard to do

Album review: Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories”

By Katelyn Lunders | May 21, 2014

Tags: Music Reviews


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When I told one of my friends that I was going to review Coldplay’s latest, she said that the best way to describe the album was with the “smiling pile of poop” emoji. After carefully listening to each song and its lyrics, I cannot disagree.

Coldplay is a band with undeniable talent, but in the case of their sixth album, “Ghost Stories,” they seem very lost. It is clearly a breakup album and is most likely inspired by the recent “conscious uncoupling” of lead vocalist Chris Martin and his wife Gwyneth Paltrow.

The album begins with “Always in My Head,” which sadly proves that any good lyrics the band had were, in fact, kept in their heads. The song is melancholy, repetitive and sounds oddly similar to an ‘80s slow-dance song.

The second song, “Magic,” has its catchy moments, but like the first song, it is forgettable rather than magical. Following that is “Ink,” which talks about the experience of getting a tattoo and loving someone so much it hurts — two things that sound painful, but instead are oddly paired with an upbeat instrumental.

The lyrics of “True Love” express what it feels like to want love so badly that you beg someone to lie to you and tell you that they love you. The lyrics are good, but the song would have been more effective with an equally desperate instrumental.

“Midnight” is my personal favorite of the album, but I would never listen to it in front of anyone. If you are recovering from a breakup like I am, this is one more song to lock yourself in a room and cry to. It uses the “darkness before the dawn” metaphor in the opposite way that Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” does. “Midnight” dives into what it feels like to be in a dark place in your life and to desperately ask the person who put you there to “leave a light, a light on.”

The penultimate track, “A Sky Full of Stars,” is definitely the radio song of the album. It is completely out of place in Ghost Stories with its pop flare, but unlike the rest of the album, you could blast this one in your car without anyone wondering if you were going to drive yourself into a tree.

In conclusion, this album is all over the place. “Ghost Stories” has its moments, but it may just be Coldplay’s worst album to date.

MOVE gives “Ghost Stories” 2 out of 5 stars.

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