Ghost Stories


Parlophone, 2014

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Coldplay are real masters of pop music. They sought to create a restrained and meditative album with Ghost Stories and still ended up making a pretty awesome pop album out of it. Ghost Stories is far removed from the ostentatiousness of pop music. While the band’s other records are meant to be played in arenas, Ghost Stories is meant for the intimate coffeehouse setting. However, the songs from this album could still fit right in with the rest of the band’s catalog when the band is playing to a crowd of thousands packed in a stadium. Although it’s ironic, that’s why my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Ghost Stories, more than any of the band’s other albums, is a true testament to the great pop band that Coldplay is. 

But this is not to say that this is an easy album. It’s a shocker on the very first listen. The opening cut “Always In My Head” is slow and cautious, almost like an “intro” number; it ends sort of abruptly and seems as if it will be a build-up to something grander. On the contrary, however, this opener sets the stage for what’s to come in the album. The only instantly catchy and remotely upbeat song on this album is “A Sky Full Of Stars,” and this is only relative, since this track is definitely far more subdued compared to the typical grand Coldplay ear candy that haunts many a radio station.

This disc is not grand; it’s experimental, maybe, though not overtly so. But for the kind of sound that the band was aiming for, they had to approach this album differently – and drastically so – from everything else they have ever done. Dominated by sparse, electronica-influenced compositions and a laidback sound, Ghost Stories is Coldplay’s downtempo/chillwave album. Still, this is very much a “Coldplay” record. Despite the huge shift in the band’s musical direction, Ghost Stories still has all the elements that makes Coldplay such a mainstream alternative rock act. Every track on this album is fit for popular radio.

In a way, Coldplay has really pushed the boundaries on this release. The slow, somber, and hushed sound of this album is pretty unexpected and commendable, especially coming from a band that is such a pop music darling. Keeping it fresh seems like a priority here, and Coldplay has certainly got their priorities right.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Parlophone, and is used for informational purposes only.