Coldplay's Ghost Stories is a hauntingly beautiful collection of songs that manages to retain the band's signature accessibility while navigating deeply personal accounts of lost love and longing. Chris Martin is generous with his heartbreak and Ghost Stories finds its strength in the midst of the band’s vulnerability.
The lush soundscapes throughout Ghost Stories hum with a cool, quiet confidence. Not since Parachutes has Coldplay exercised such restraint sonically. It’s clear that members Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion have fully embraced their place in the commercial music stratosphere, and the result is an incredibly bold and focused effort.
Respectful of its subject matter, Ghost Stories is largely a toned down and intimate affair when compared to previous releases such as Mylo Xyloto and its predecessor, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. For the most part, the album’s sparse and spacious arrangements are a departure from band’s usual arena-pumping anthems and yet, for all the restraint exhibited, Coldplay never loses their panache for mass audience tailored sing-along melodies.
Ever the romantics, Coldplay’s affinity for emotional arrangements and Martin’s lyrical ability to directly and unpretentiously address the album' s universal themes puts the band in the same pop saavy class as icons Phil Collins and Genesis. It’s no wonder Chris Martin was recently selected to induct Peter Gabriel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Ghost Stories will reverberate with anyone who has ever been through love’s ringer and Coldplay's fans should be pleased by the band's continued growth and trajectory.
Check out highlights from the band's television special for Ghost Stories on NBC!