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Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

May 16, 2014
4.2 out of 5 stars 744 customer reviews

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3:36
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4:45
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Ink
Ink
3:48
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4:06
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4:54
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4:28
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7:46
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Digital Booklet: Ghost Stories
Digital Booklet: Ghost Stories
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Let's get this out of the way: some people really, REALLY hate Coldplay. And I kind of get it. Coldplay doesn't exactly cater to anyone's masculine side, for one thing. And Chris Martin is such an easy target: he's eager to please, he's not afraid to go into a wobbly falsetto, his "uncoupled" wife's name is effing Gwyneth. Whatever. Forget those people. Focus on what's happening here, because what's happening here is actually quite remarkable. A melancholy break-up album that initially seemed destined to fail (and the critics have already been stomping the crap out of it, writing a review just two hours after hearing a stream? are you kidding me?!), now seems to be connecting with people. At least that's what it looks like from where I'm sitting. Consider the evidence at hand. I was underwhelmed by Magic upon first listen, only to find myself haunted by it lately. There's something lurking within that song and it keeps finding me. And the rest of the album seems to be progressing on a similar trajectory. This is a suite of songs that seem to belong together. And, no, the lyrics are not profound, but neither are they dishonest. Or put it this way: it's not exactly poetry but it really works with the music. How's that? (Alright, I'm starting to ramble now…) Look, I don't know what I was expecting from this album—I was definitely underwhelmed by Mylo Xyloto—but I find myself surprised by it. And quite moved. Listen to it on the headphones, late at night, and see if you agree…
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This album is Coldplay's most underrated gem. It's getting a lot of flack from critics and some fans alike. They've definitely dialed it back since Mylo Xyloto, but this album is pure Coldplay goodness, full of palpable emotion and beautiful melody. It's softer, subtler, more gentle than Viva or Mylo, calling back to their first three albums. But at the same time they experiment with synth sounds and beats that makes it something we've never heard from this band before. It's beautiful.
BUT-- I was disappointed to find out that Target has an exclusive of this album with three new tracks. Three tracks makes a BIG difference on a 9 track album! I would have bought it there first if I had known.
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Format: Audio CD
Regardless of what you think about Coldplay it's hard to deny the cultural phenomenon they've become. With each release their popularity grows and they manage to expand upon their sound bit by bit. With Ghost Stories the band proves they're in it to win, taking the most acoustic template of their early records and mixing it with gentle electronic elements to create a dreamlike soundscape that is both fascinating and a bit underwhelming.

"Always in My Head" is a great opener, an ethereal number that's both gentle and driving at the same time. Most have probably hear "Magic" by now and have doubtless formed an opinion. I'll admit to being underwhelmed by this track initially but within the context of the album it opens itself up and feels much more natural. Chris Martin's vocals are in great shape and he uses his wide range quite tastefully. Guy Berryman's bass riff also deserves credit for building a solid foundation for this track as a whole.

"Ink" is more blatantly electronic, with programmed beats giving way to swirling synths and acoustic guitar with great effect. "True Love" follows a similar formula but is thankfully broken up by some nice guitar touches near the end. "Midnight" is wonderfully dark and Martin's layered vocals carry a haunting vibe. The poppier feel of "Another's Arms" and the Parachutes-esque "Oceans" pick things up a bit, giving way to "A Sky Full of Stars", which seems destined to be the big single from the album. Rolling piano and danceable beats give the album a shot of adrenaline and I can't help thinking the record as a whole could have benefitted from a few more of these moments. The soft closing piano of "O" brings the album full circle and closes it admirably.
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This collection of Coldplay songs attempts to bring a quiet and restrained nature to a more electronic and bass heavy atmosphere; in parts they succeed, in others they flub.

1. Always In My Head - 9/10 - A great album opener with a wandering guitar line that you wish went on for longer. Some of the better lyrics on the album appear here and the tinkering sounds in the background will give you shivers. One of my favorites from this. Simple and beautiful.

2. Magic - 7/10 - This song was a good choice for first single. It's subdued, heavy bass driven sound fits the rest of the album. It's a light and crisp song with some cheesy lyrics that fit the title of the song. There's a more Coldplay-like bridge near the end with some acoustic guitar that sounds like it wanted to stay for a bit longer or perhaps be a bigger part of the song.

3. Ink - 6/10 - A low point of the album for sure. I actually really like the synthetic drum part and some of the soft noises going on in the background, but this song feels too familiar. Lots of RnB flare on this track that doesn't work well with the rest of the album. The lyrics are trite and there's no other way to put it. It's a fun song, one of the more upbeat on the album, but there's nothing original or memorable about this track.

4. True Love - 8.5/10 - One of the most real lyrics comes on this track when Martin sings, "Tell me you love me, if you don't, then lie to me." His vocals on this song are crisp and upfront. I love the orchestral arrangement that floats in the background, especially the plucking strings when they match up with the guitar in the background.
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