Album review: 'Ghost Stories' by Coldplay | Inquirer Entertainment

Album review: ‘Ghost Stories’ by Coldplay

12:06 AM May 27, 2014

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A dissolution of a celebrated marriage between a British rocker and an A-list Hollywood actress right in front of the scrutinizing eye of the public–what could be more agonizing than this ?

Well, this is exactly what happened to Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, when his 10-year marriage to actress Gwyneth Paltrow crumbled. What was once touted by many to be a fairy tale marriage has unhappily ended.


With this fact as a backdrop, it got me wondering if Chris Martin could still deliver in the lyrical department and how this challenging period in his life would affect the outcome of his band’s latest studio-release ‘Ghost Stories’?


I had more than just a few questions running in my head even before I decided to review their latest offering since I do have a set expectation level when it comes to a band like Coldplay. And that is, would their latest studio-release match the level of listeners’ impact achieved by some of the band’s older albums?

That seems a fitting expectation because Coldplay have consistently dished out hit after hit each time they came up with a new album. All of their previous studio-releases have reached multi-platinum status.

On a more personal note, to this day I still find their songs “Shiver”, “Yellow”, “The Scientist”, “In My Place”, and “Clocks” just as beautiful and majestic  to listen to as they were years ago when I first discovered the music of Coldplay.

Now, will ‘Ghost Stories’ be deemed a proper Coldplay album? Or will it lean towards being another concept album? Or will it be an open journal that will account moments when his marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow was beginning to crumble?

All of these questions and more will be answered below.



Here is my review of the best tracks of ‘Ghost Stories’.

Track 2. “Magic” – The minimalist beats punctuate throughout “Magic” until you get past the intro wherein the subtle touches of the keyboards are added to accompany Chris Martin’s crisp vocals. Here, he sounds more optimistic that somehow, someway, he will find again that “magic” he once had shared with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Unlike the other previous tracks, Chris Martin doesn’t sound completely broken down here. Instead, he holds out to the day he can patch things up with his ex-wife before everything is lost. Optimism?

Ghost Stories Album Cover   PHOTO from

Track 3. “Ink” –  For Chris Martin, nothing is more bittersweet than knowing that he has a tattoo which symbolizes his love for Gwyneth. “Ink” had a true story to tell and felt it had the most “traction” to one of the key moments he cherished in their marriage. Sentimental ?

Track 6. “Another’s Arms” – In the previous tracks, even though Chris Martin was very honest and more open to sing about some of the tribulations he is going through ever since his touted dream marriage fell apart,  in this track, however, there was a feeling with the listeners he was holding something back. One senses, though, that he still believes that not everything is lost and perhaps one day they might be able to get back together. Hope ?

Track 8. “A Sky Full of Stars” – “I’m gonna give you my heart/ … I want to die in your arms/ “Cause you get lighter the more it gets dark.” Even after his marriage has ended, Chris Martin still speaks of his undying commitment to Gwyneth Paltrow. Denial ?

Track 9. “O” – Not all the tracks here are drowned in sorrow and self-wallowing. The last track on the album ends in somewhat of a high note. Chris Martin declares he hasn’t lost all hope for a possible reconciliation in the future. “So fly on, ride through/ Maybe one day I’ill fly next to you/ Fly on, ride through/ Maybe one day I can fly with you” Non-acceptance ?


Coldplay will always be regarded as one of the best British-Rock bands to come out in the last 30 years.

Lyrically, listening to this album got me a bit depressed and this can’t be avoided as you can really hear the sorrow in Chris Martin’s voice in tracks like “Ink” and “Another’s Arms”. He sounds like a broken down man overcome with regret that he couldn’t make their relationship work. His mind is whirling with thoughts that only put him further in a dark place, emotionally.

For example, the would-be harsh reality for him of eventually seeing his ex-wife with another man is one such thought Chris Martin isn’t yet prepared for anytime soon because he is yet to come to grips with the reality that his marriage with Gwyneth Paltrow is over.

Obviously, there is an “emotional overload” listening to ‘Ghost Stories’ that as a music aficionado, it got me reminiscing about my own past failed relationships and wondering if there was anything I could have done to prevent the end to any of them.

This kind of maudlin songs may just be a bit too much to bear in one sitting for some music aficionados as they are repetitive in its circular range of emotions of sentimental reminisces, denial, foolish hope, and self-pity, as exhibited by Chris Martin for the entirety of this album. Chris Martin pours his heart out in rivers of tearful emotions in all of the songs listed in ‘Ghost Stories’ to the point you need a breather after listening to all of them.

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My Final Verdict: 7/10

TAGS: Coldplay, column, Entertainment, Ghost Stories, Josh Atilano, Music

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