People I talk to tend to brush away the compliments I give to Coldplay, because they associate the band with something ridiculously negative. However, I can easily brush off their perception of Coldplay with the band’s newest release, Ghost Stories, which utilizes extended instrumentals and simplistic lyrics to capture the moment. Ghost Stories, Coldplay’s sixth studio album, brings together the band’s fundamentals and focuses on their pure emotions.
The track I cannot stop listening to is “Magic,” the album’s second track. The song uses a simple drum beat, that sounds more electric than raw, and a guitar melody that changes a limited amount of times. The melody is stable and becomes background noise as an piano is added and dominates. Together these instruments are calming and smooth. The lyrics fit into this ambiance with easy declarations of love, with lines like “I call it magic, when I’m with you” and “I wanna fall, fall so hard/and I call it magic/and I call it true.” The song also makes light references to classic magic shows, with this line, “Call it magic, cut me into two/and with all your magic, I disappear from view.” This song’s lyrical lightheartedness and slow melody really made me feel comfortable.
There are a few other tracks from “Ghost Stories” that had me excited. “Ink” has an easy rhythm that has a strong sound of drum and guitar. The melody doesn’t change much and “Ink” is one of the more poppy songs. The lyrics are all about the loss of love, using tattoos are the last connecting factor between lovers. “Got a tattoo and the pain’s alright/just wanted a way of keeping you inside,” covers the song’s message and tone.
“Oceans” is a really great song. This song’s introduction is only vocals and an acoustic guitar, which is a nice change from the rest of the album. This raw tone makes me more inclined to listen and feel. The lyrics are also enchanting with special lines like, “I’m ready for it all, love/ready for the pain/meet under the sun,” and “behind the walls, love/I’m trying to change.” It’s almost like a fairytale.
“A Sky Full of Stars” featured a strong piano, which I spent the entire album waiting for. This song includes so many parts and is louder and faster than most of the other tracks. The lyrics get cute around lines like, “Cause in a sky full of stars/I think I saw you.” That’s repeated a couple of times and introduces the musical climax.
“Ghost Stories” ends with “O,” which relies on piano for the majority of the track. It’s a solo experiment between piano and man to see which one can outshine the other. However, these two elements, utilized in the way they are in “O,” sound perfect together. When vocals drop, piano shines, and vice versa. I kept thinking I wanted something more or something louder, until “O.” This song’s slow, piano melody and inspirational bird metaphors made me emotional.
This album is not as demanding as the rest of Coldplay’s discography, but allows the band to take a step back and experiment with their particular basics. They only escalate once, but the songs that focus on slow, composed emotions are strong and relatable. The underwhelming theme of love molded this album to be a certain way, and I think Coldplay made it work for them. This album has emotions.