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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Vinyl|Change
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on 21 May 2014
Okay, I've read the reviews from people saying this is not what they were expecting, they wanted more in your face, catchy, jump-up and down songs. All I can say is that there are enough of those kinda albums out at the moment, and most of them are about as deep, personal and meaningful as a slap in the face. Here Coldplay have gone against the expected, and triumphed, in my opinion, with an album not afraid to take risks. After all isn't an artist allowed to make an album that they believe in, and one that feels right for them at the time? I would much prefer this than listen to an artificial album, dictated by the wants of the many. Look at all of the blockbuster movies that don't know what they want to be, usually they try and appeal to so many demographics that it ends up appealing to no one in particular. This album is atmospheric, deep, involving, without falling to cliche, or surrendering to populace demands or wants. The best music is made without an audience in mind, for that music will find its audience, and that is the best way for all music to be. Coldplay have moved on, and they have evolved, but if you haven't too, then I guess its time to stop listening.

I love all the tracks on the album, but standout tracks for me are, 'Magic,' with its catchy, and affecting beat, along with the poignant, heartfelt lyrics. 'Midnight,' with its haunting (great video by the way) and sleepy chorus, synthesised voice and mellow but soulful tone. 'A sky full of stars,' which is slightly more upbeat and reminiscent of Coldplay's early days. And 'O,' with the most gentle, subtle piano, over which Martin displays the deftest of melancholic poise as he sings from the heart. This song has already become a favourite of all Coldplay songs to me.

And so to summarise, for those wishing the band to stand still, perhaps Coldplay have left a few of you behind, but for those who are willing to take the journey and trust in the band, and willing to let the album haunt you more than once, before making a decision on its overall worth - pull up an ear and enjoy!
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on 19 May 2014
I love Coldplay, I think they are an innovative and brilliant band - and I am old enough to remember the first Beatles record being released!

I don't necessarily like every track they have ever recorded so I would be more than happy to say if I thought this album didn't live up to expectations, but it does. It is brilliant. It is different, you are waiting for some of the tracks to break out into some sort of usual Coldplay anthem the nearest they come to that is Sky Full of Stars but the other tracks are haunting and melancholic in a beautiful way. It is obvious what the theme of the album is and the sadness is there for anyone with half a heart to hear but it doesn't make it miserable or bitter. For me, this album celebrates love, without regrets and is beautiful.

I believe this album is a natural progression from Waterfall. If you aren't keen, keep playing it and I am sure it will soon grown on you. Wonderful and haunting, beautiful and melancholic. Highly recommended
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on 21 May 2014
I haven't been a fan of Coldplay's quieter moments for a long time, not since A Rush of Blood to the Head, the last time they did slow stuff well. Ever since, their downtempo output has been rather dreary & dirge-like so I really wasn't expecting to like Ghost Stories. Listening to the 1.25 minute itunes previews wasn't encouraging me to change my opinion. Then I watched Ghost Stories; the Film on SkyArts. Then I watched it again. Then I bought the album.

Let's be clear - Ghost Stories is not the soundtrack to your dash to work, jogging or motorway driving. It's late night and mellow. Despite the subject mattter it has a blissed out, trippy feel & it's perfect for when you come in from a night out & it'll be a great chillout accompaniment for when you're watching the sun set on a beach of your choice this summer.

'Always In My Head' does exactly what it says on the tin and will indeed be always in my head. Just because it's slow doesn't mean it's not catchy. I haven't decided yet whether 'Magic' is going to be irritating on repeated listening but for now I like it. The electronic 'Midnight' - weird, wonderful & vocodered - is something of a stand out. The closer 'O' is rather similar to opener 'Always In My Head' which gives the album a satisfying, cyclical feel. Along the way there's 'Ink' which I'm not sure about & I wouldn't care if I never heard 'Oceans' again. The album does really need 'Sky Full of Stars' for a change of tempo & to give us the chance to dance around our bedrooms. It's fun, though a bit more work could have gone into the lyrics. Still, resistance is futile as it's probably going to be part of the soundtrack to this summer. Learn to love it.

There are no huge, anthemic choruses here, rather the music ebbs & flows like waves on a beach & I find I really like it like that. The production and instrumentation are first rate & the band really hit it out of the park. It's a quiet triumph.

No one is as surprised as I am by how much I like Ghost Stories. If you're a doubter too - give it a chance. It might surprise you.
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on 14 November 2014
So the two singles (Magic/A Sky Full Of Stars) were OK, Oceans is great, but the rest is a little mediocre. For me, although I do like it, this album is below the standard of all their previous albums, and unlike earlier albums it hasn't really grown on me with additional listening. I had very high expectations, only partially met.
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on 16 June 2014
Love hurts. OOOoooooohhh, OOoohhhhhhh love hurts. I was in love and it broke my heart. I wish I was still in Gwyneth's "fire down below". OK Chris we get it. You broke up. It hurts. Your ex is beautiful. etc...

I like this album musically - some great production and melodies - but after a few listens through now the lyrics are starting to jar a little. I know that this was an album of catharsis but about 5 of the 9 songs are laments about missing her, wishing he was with her, feeling her, seeing her and so on.

Worth a listen if you're a Coldplay fan (which I used to be but have slightly gone off them since their early stuff)
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on 8 June 2014
I would highly recommend this album as music to listen to before/whilst going to bed as an integral component to your reverie.
It is soothing, mystical, ethereal and hypnotic, drowsy, and feather-lightweight floating over all the other caprices of the universe, all at the same time. Even the drums have a 'smoothered' echo, 'playing' with my heart beat unconsciously.
If you would like to know more about this genre; I suggest John Lennon (&sons) Home Demos, Kate Bush's Aerial, and a number of other classical/playlist suggestions. I suggest Brahms 4, Rachmaninoff Études-Tableaux Preludes, Vince Mendoza 'Nights on Earth', and even the Goldberg Variations.
Well done Coldplay! Never slept so well during exams, with this and ear plugs I'm sorted!
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on 7 August 2014
I love Coldplay but I find this offering from Martin a little too personal. Whilst I do like some of the songs I find I avoid listening to this album. The broken heart/angel wings is emblematic of the mood with the loss of an ideal/idealised relationship difficult to avoid and clearly painful. A bit too much raw emotion for me.
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VINE VOICEon 2 June 2014
After the success of Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay were up against a very difficult quandary. Where the album was so in-your-face with smashing anthemic choruses... how on earth do you follow that? You'd end up going bigger and brasher, else you'd face the backlash of "sounding the same" or it not sounding as big - but Mylo Xyloto was certainly pushing the limits in this respect

In a curious twist, Coldplay have taken the move to detract from the in-your-face sounds to embrace more sombre tone. But I'm not talking about a slight step back, this is complete U-Turn we're talking about here! It goes without saying then that the album will be an unpleasant shock for a lot of people - When you come in expecting the sort of explosion you got from their last albums, you'll be hideously underwhelmed by its smaller sound and be left with the sort of angry-confused face you'd get if a troupe of clowns burst into your house and stole your chairs. 'Midnight' was an awful shock when it was first released - I was sitting, waiting for it to build up and go into something... it didn't. To be quite frank, were that my first listen with the rest of the album, I'd have probably set fire to it in rage. Once it sunk in though, I was hooked. So be aware that it's a very different sound

The important point here is that the smashing anthemic style has taken a back seat for a more serene / sombre sound - Laced with more synth and electronics. It's like the guys are exploring a new shadowy corner they haven't before, and it's a refreshing addition to the impressive collection of albums they have. It's very laid back, and whilst I hear it referred to as a 'break-up album', I find it doesn't wallow in self-pity but instead seems to look at the better side of things. And whilst I might get lynched by the old guard for saying this, the style really seems to hark back to the style of Parachutes / A Rush of Blood To The Head

1. Always In My Head - This sets the tone and what to expect from the album. It's an elegant, simple piece with an infectious guitar hook
2. Magic - Bit of a pop-ish guilty pleasure. The lyrics are a bit twee, but it's very catchy and upbeat
3. Ink - Very underrated. A gorgeous, toe-tapping, light-hearted piece with a charming chorus
4. True Love - A delightfully sweet song. I love the synth hook that runs in the background of the song
5. Midnight - Coldplay's collabs with Jon Hopkins work well (Life in Technicolor) and this one is no different. It's a brilliant, haunting piece, and the synthesised vocals through the vocoder (think Daft Punk) just add to it. Ironically where I wanted it to take off on first listen, I prefer the start of the song where it's more sombre
6. Another's Arms - One of the more darker songs on the album, with a simple chorus that will get stuck in your head. The guitar later on is a superb addition to the song
7. Oceans - If you're one for B-sides: Think 'Careful Where You Stand'. Personally this is the weaker song. It's a quaint guitar-driven piece, but goes on a little too long
8. A Sky Full Of Stars - Well... I guess it'd be rude if there wasn't an anthemic sound somewhere! A fantastic speaker-smashing song to finish the album on a high. It's got the rave-like edge of 'Charlie Brown' and the verse just teasingly builds to the crescendo of a chorus
9. O - After the explosion of the last song, the album rounds off with what is probably one of their most beautiful pieces to date - Just vocals and the piano

All in all - An absolutely superb album. The reason I gave it 4 stars, however: Bonus Tracks. They were released exclusively in a US-version of the album - So completely unavailable if you don't live there. Personally, this is a poor move and a huge slap in the face for non-US fans

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on 19 May 2014
All the best bands have albums which tell the story of where they were in their careers/lives at the point when they wrote the songs and Ghost Stories is no different.

Coldplay are experts at putting together that long lost art form of an "album" rather than a collection of loosely collected tunes. Pieces of music that you listen to in their entirety because they make more sense that way.

Mylo Xyloto was a screaming thunderbolt of feel good that said "we are Coldplay, we are one of the best bands in the world and this will be one of our headline albums that even a non Coldplay fan will buy and that we will do huge shows off the back of." Let's face it the album then became the 2012 Paralympic Closing Ceremony Soundtrack!

This album however doesn't want to order you to crank the volume up and risk breaking your speakers with anthems, rather it invites you to sit down, relax, absorb, listen and understand the emotion of what you are hearing.

Here is a very personal collection of songs to be listened to as simply the next part of the Coldplay discography. It is not a stand alone album but is the latest destination on the Coldplay journey.

In my opinion this is a beautiful, chill out, piece by one of my favourite bands. If you appreciate music you will appreciate this. Some may say this is a self indulgent piece but I'm sure the same was said about Beethoven when he was a global headline act with everyone waiting eagerly for his next release.

Intelligent music - an album.... remember those?

Put the CD on (or make sure the album is sorted in track number order on your mp3) - press play and leave it to play until the final note.

...and if you want to understand it more then go onto You Tube and search out the excellent interview with Zane Lowe
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on 12 June 2014
I am a massive Coldplay fan, been to watch them 3 times and I have loved all of their previous albums. However, I do not find this album to be anything special. In my opinion A sky of stars is the best song on the album followed by magic, the rest are very poor and Had A sky of stars not been a part of this album, I would have given it 1 star. Completely different to coldplay's usual music.
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