Low intensity, a certain return to the musical roots can be inferred from Coldplay's "Ghost Stories". But more than anything it is a divorce album.
Since Coldplay first made its debut at the millennium with their debut "Parachutes" - a bundle of heartwarming and nice pop songs - has a lot happened. Among other things, they have grown into one of the decade's biggest bands. Thanks largely to their unadorned sound that characterized the first two albums behind them ("A Rush of Blood to the Head" and the aforementioned "Parachutes") - a sound that they are now returning with their sixth album.
As a U2 for ten Coldplay have acted conscience of the world, filled venues around the world and managed to attract fans across the generations. On the last album - "Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends" and "Mylo Xyloto" - collaborated additionally with Brian Eno.
With "Viva La Vida" seemed Coldplay take aim at world domination with bombastic stadium pop - while those with "Mylo Xyloto" continued to sniff at sports stadium sound with rock, commercial dance music and football choirs - a mix that was directly unpleasant. That they have chosen to embrace minimalism is therefore welcome.
But beyond a certain return to the roots is "Ghost Stories" more than anything else a divorce album. The news that Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow decided to go their separate ways after ten years of marriage went round the world earlier this year. An event that marked both Martin's lyrics and the melancholy feel of the songs. Chris Martin has never sounded so sincere and present as when he is in "Oceans'" singing "You've Got To Find Yourself Alone In This World" - accompanied by acoustic and what sounds like a lost submarine in the dark water. The track fades out in an atmospheric and gloomy electronic debauchery, which makes the transition to the latest single "A sky full of stars" will seem like a veritable punch in the face.
"A sky full of stars" - a collaboration with Swedish producer Avicii - with the risk of sounding bantering: I want to listen to use music to dance to, then there is soul and disco vocalists in this context is far more captivating than an indie uncle wailar brittle if his ex-wife.
This decoction to the song is sure to be successful from a sales point of view and I can understand that a record label wants to release it as a single. But no one in charge has put his foot down and removed the "A sky full of stars" from the whole album represents is strange. The piece is of course surrounded by eight intimate melodies that do not interact with on some level.
It reminds me of the situation when Coldplay made the "Princess of China" with Rihanna on the predecessor. They choose to cooperate with the currently most sought after artist, but the end result just feels empty.
It could have been genuinely surprising, but instead of finding a common path frontal crashes expressions and penalizes both parties.
The collaboration with Timbaland, "True Love", succeeds. A soft, programmed ballad with restrained strings which, despite unmotivated visited by howling guitar, is a perfect part of the atmosphere that permeates the "Ghost Stories". Sometimes storytelling and the low-intensity melodies so intimate that you as a listener instead feel remotely. But it is saved by the hot and The xx-reeking "Magic" and "Ink" - which although a bit silly text is like two outstretched arms.