Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories” album has officially release and I, like, many fans, reviewers, and critics, will give my honest and wholehearted review of this album. I will also include in my review the three bonus tracks, (All My Friends, O (Part II/ Reprise), and Ghost Stories) From what I’ve already read online, there are many people who dislike this album because of its electronic aspect and the idea that Coldplay has strayed so far away from their normal style. Everyone’s a critic and I am too, but in all honesty, musicians has the right to create whatever music they want. They can’t always stick to the same style of music. There are people who do get tired of that, so it is important for musicians to be well-round and try new things. If the new style doesn’t work for their new work, they, he, or she will learn how to compensate for their next round of music that they will produce in the future. Also, people have said that this album was greatly influenced by the split between Gweneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, mostly focusing on Martin and not on the other members, Will, Guy, and Jonny.
(I know this album released last week, but I haven’t had the time to complete the review because I took on a second job. MUNNIES!!!! I need those MUNNIES!)
I really like this album as much as I do for their other previous releases. Of course there are songs that I will or will not like, but again that’s what it goes for album releases, you can’t really like all of the songs. I will give a more detailed analysis on the the album as a whole towards the end of this post. I confessing that I’m not really good at analyzing song, but hey I’m just telling you what I feel from these songs. Free speech, no? Now, one to the first song!
1. Always in My Head- 4.5 out 5 The album opens up to a slow rhythm of the haunting vocals that kind of remind me of how the ocean sounds at night time, quiet and haunting yet soothing. When the drums and guitar kick in, you would think that it would break that group of feelings, but it does quite the opposite. It adds on a kind of melancholy and a feel of reminisce that makes you think back on things. The lyrics, I feel, add on to these existing feelings. Many would say that this song revolves around Gweneth Paltrow, but I think it just more than here. I think that these lyrics related to the different things that greatly affect our lives, the things that always keep us up at night. Take Martin, for example, now that he is no longer married he has a lot of things that are affecting him, his divorce, his daughter, his band, his life in general. Of course, we don’t know who is “Always in [his] head”, but we know that he is always thinking about many important things.
As the song closes, the bass part that Will plays reminds me of a beating heart. Many a time when I think, I grow silent to the point that I can “hear” (well mostly feel) my heart beating. Especially when I lay in bed at night, when I try not to think, I always listen to my beating heart. I like how this first song begins on a slow start, that just like the title, “Ghost Stories”, it gives you a kind of haunted feeling about making you think, feeling the pull of various emotions that come when a person thinks, love, melancholy, sadness. They are all part of life and we cannot escape them.
2. Magic- 4 out of 5
When I first heard this song, I was watching the music video that the band made with actress Zhang Ziyi. At first I wasn’t a fan of the song of the way it was very different from most of the Coldplay songs I have heard (aka following the dislike that many people had about this song and album in general) However, the more I listened to this song, the more it grew on me. This song is not just about being with a lover, it could be with someone who is closest to you, a very close and dear friend, a child, a family member, and more. The music from this second track contrasts with the first one in giving a more whimsical and mysterious feeling, maybe even bit soulful. The opening from bass guitar and electric drum pad made me feel curious and, strangely, hopeful.
I don’t know why, but its how I felt at the time. Going on to the lyrics, it leads me to believe that life can be unexpected in that even with the bad things that happen in our lives, there is something that always comes up to light up the way even in the darkest of times. These things and even people can help many struggling people through difficult times. I’m sure that Martin was struggling greatly with his split with Paltrow and he shows his resilience in that he can pull through with the love and support from his friends and family. These things affect almost everyone, not just Martin, and it is a magical thing on how our loved ones can help us through the tough times and that magical feeling when the fog clears from our minds, allowing us to see and think clearly for the first time in a while. The song was a bit weird for me when I first heard it, the bass guitar and drum opening seemed to clash with each other, not seeming to fit each other. However, getting further into the song, they seemed to magically compliment each other together with the vocals and guitar parts.
3. Ink- 3 out of 5
This song seems to be out of place after the first two songs. This seemed to be a bit too upbeat for the lyrics. I also didn’t like how it played through, The lyrics seemed to reflect upon Martin’s feelings on his relationship with Paltrow from beginning to end. With many people, their loved ones (boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancee, husband/wives) leave deep marks/impressions on them, both good or bad. Many believe in their romance to be everlasting, but sometimes that may never happen. The memories and emotions that each person feels is deeply (and maybe permanently) attached into their memories like a tattoo.
Okay,so not all tattoos are permanent, but the concept still applies. These emotions and memories do, however, allows us to reflect upon ourselves to become better people.
4. True Love- 5 out of 5
“True Love” really reflects a kind of joy and sadness in love, especially with loved ones that a person truly and deeply loved. The music reflects these feelings and Martin’s vocal piece here seems to enhance these emotions. There is a sense of dreaming, in trying to hold on to the concept of true love, but knowing that it will not always stay the way a person ones. Even so, through the lying and the hurt, people can only dream about it. The changes in pitch and tone when Martin sings around the two minutes mark and on just reflects the intensity of his emotions, as wells as intensifies the impact of the song. Following the theme again, it gives off that haunted feeling.
5. Midnight- 5 out of 5
One of the first songs of this album that I heard on youtube, I really loved how the the song was composed with the use of the electronics. Following the title, the composition gives a mystical and haunted feel to the song. It makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, and trying to find the path home. When Martin sings in a higher voice, I felt the emotions of despair and hopelessness, but yet a ray of hope tries to push its way through the darkness. Again with the same these, you get to feel a deep sense of haunting through this song. Just like in their music video, I could imagine my self in that forest in the dark and feeling hopelessly trapped in the forest.
6. Another’s Arms- 4.5 out of 5
This song, now I can admit, is definitely a song about Martin’s pining for Paltrow. “Another’s Arms” literately talks about the absence of a love one who a person used used to be in his or her arms, and is now in the hands of another. For Martin, he’s been with Paltrow for almost ten years. It may seem short in terms of marriage with how many people have gone into twenty plus years or so with their partners, but for some, it seemed longer than that. I can relate to that in I’ve liked that I wanted to be in a relationship, be taken by other people. It makes you sad that they don’t want to be with out anymore, hence why Martin says “that’s just torture to me”.
Thoughout this song, there is some kind of weird warping kind of sound that bothers me a bit. It just sounds so out of place in it, but at the same time it fits because of the tone of the song. The warping sound creates a kind of state of confusion, mirroring the emotions of the lyrics; confusion, pain, sadness. The female voice in this song adds on to these emotions. I can just imagine what the music video would be for this song; a dark desolate room with a sofa and tv on with just Martin by himself trying to grab the ghost of the woman he loves, which in failing to do so, will fall into despair with his head in his hands/ leaning back onto the sofa defeated and tired.
7. Oceans- 5 out of 5
If only this song had the sound of ocean waves crashing in the night and then this song would have been even better. The title of the song and the lyrics don’t seem to make well, but if you look into the underlying meaning of the song, then you’d realize that the two compliment each other. How? For instance (and this is my take on it), this song shows how a person is ready for a change no matter how bad or good it is and will wait for as long as it will take to come to him or her.
All the possibilities are endless, like an ocean. Now the music to this song is really great, the acoustic guitar with the electronic part (beeping like) really does remind me a bit of an ocean. That beeping sound kind of reminds me of sonar beeping along with its echoing pings. Also when Martin sings in higher pitch and plays the guitar, it soothing and quiet. Even if we are missing the action from Will, Guy, and Jonny, such an absence works well for Martin’s vocals and guitar playing.
8. A Sky Full of Stars- 5 out of 5
“A Sky Full of Stars” is one of many song from Coldplay that I will out on repeat and just listen to it for hours on end. Out of all the other songs in this album, this seems to be the more upbeat one of the song list. Martin seems to go out more in the vocals on this one, singing with more vigor in my opinion. The electronic part goes well with Jonny’s guitar and when it builds up with during the part before the main chorus. Guy’s bass really comes out in this song as well. These lyrics seems to center around the concept of a person that is at the center of a man/woman’s heart even if they are faraway. Its kind of like having a distant/ hidden love in a sense. Sometime people love a certain person and he or she will hid it from them. They feel happy when they are happy, sad when they are sad. People like this (sometime, not always) are happy to watch their secret loves at a distance and would gladly do anything for them.
9. O- 5 out of 5
Oh, how fleeting love is…. “O” revolves around this concept of love and the hopes that one day a person can be once again be by his or her loved one’s side. Love comes and goes like the seasons and people can change it. One day you and another person have feelings for each other, and in a split second, the passion can easily die and disappear. And sometimes people just have to accept it as it comes, and just hope that it can one day come back again.
I have a feeling that’s what happened to Paltrow and Martin, and sometimes, you can’t really fix these things. Only time will tell. The piano plays a part once again to help enhance the lyrics, emotions, and evoking images of this song. The piano piece does remind me of birds flying, kind of what you would see when a bird takes off and flies high into the sky, disappear to no more than a speck in the sky. If you guys didn’t already know this, Martin’s daughter Apple, sung a part in both “O” songs. She shows that she inherited the genes of her father. I thought at first that it was Martin singing “Don’t ever let go”, but it was too feminine. However, it give a haunting end, ghostly like. I like it. I hope that she plays a more important part in the band later on in the future.
10. All Your Friends- 3 out of 5
I wasn’t really to fond of this song. It just didn’t connect with me at all. The lyrics were a bit confusing. Even though the song had some good instrumental parts, it was just not for me
11. Ghost Story- 5 out of 5
I think this is a very whimsical song that Martin sings about being a ghost, being invisible (either the self or to other people). Especially, with love, some people just don’t seem to see how much a person loves them. they can play the facade of not realizing that or just plain out ignoring them. Also there are some people who just want to be loved, but they are just passed by. Sometimes I feel that way, and it does make me sad every so often, but I’m so busy now, I don’t really have the time to think about it. 12. O (part 2/ reprise)- 5 out of 5. I just love listening to this part where Martin’s daughter sings. The instrumental part really focuses on enhancing Apple’s voice. Compared to track 9, you hear her voice more clearly in this one. A great little reprieve to the end of the album. ———————————————————————————————————————————————-
Overall, I think “Ghost Stories’ is a great album for the more electric part of Coldplay. It really touches upon the variety of music talent and skills that the boys have. I liked all the songs, but some better than most. I am a bit sad that there is not must in terms of music action from Will, Guy, and Jonny. It does seem more centralized around Martin, and not the other parts of the band. I hope that in the next album or release, that there will be more involvement with the band (maybe they can even sing their own songs! They have really nice singing!). If you haven’t had the chance to listen to their album, do find the time to listen. Again, not many of you might like it because of the jump from rock band to electric, but I think it works out well for this album.