It was 2002’s “Clocks” that put Coldplay on the map for me. I specifically remember my high school having a piano in an open space and a handful of guys would constantly play that goddamn riff over and over again shouting “We’re doing Coldplay!” Annoying as it was, I finally gave the actual song a try and fell in love. I’ve been a fan ever since but I will also say I have not been a huge fan. Overall, Coldplay is a strong Pop/Rock band that makes solid music and even creates some fucking stellar tracks from time to time (“The Scientist” and “Fix You” are sheer perfection even after all of these years).
Imagine my excitement when they released “Magic,” a song that would quickly rise up the My Favorite Coldplay Songs chart. The use of snare and bass isn’t completely new for them but it came together in addition to the heartbreaking lyrics. Unfortunately most of their just released new album, Ghost Stories, is also dire.
I understand that a music act cannot do the exact same thing record after record but it is also unfortunate when they begin to deviate from what made them popular and it doesn’t work nearly as well. Other Pop acts to suffer this fate? Phoenix, Lady Gaga and Athlete. What sets the band at hand apart from the others is that they still maintain some of the brilliant elements of Coldplay past that pop up every now and again. Case in point: “Oceans.” This track sounds like it could be a bonus track on re-released version of A Rush of Blood to the Head and that is a very strong compliment. It starts with a simple guitar and Chris Martin’s beautiful yet fragile falsetto. It doesn’t build into a full blown epic saga but ends on a grander noter than where it began. Makes me feel like there is still a chance for more greatness in the future.
What would have been all-time is if they had secured Rihanna to come back and duet again. “A Sky Full of Stars” is an all too familiar sound for RiRi so I would suggest “O.” See below for lyrics:
A flock of birds/Hovering above/Into smoke I’m turned/And rise following them up
If those aren’t lyrics that Rihanna could wrap her thin voice around, I don’t know any that would fit! But alas, the queen of questionable actions is absent from the album just like the exciting melancholy. Don’t get me wrong, Martin was going through some things during the production of this album and it peaks through numerous times. It just doesn’t hold my attention like it used to. Maybe this album isn’t a shower but a grower? Here’s to hoping!
Download the album here: Coldplay – Ghost Stories
Listen To: Magic, Oceans, Always In My Head, O
Side Note: Ghost Stories is not available to stream but services like Spotify are apparently trying to change that status.