Today we are looking at the album that killed my interest in Coldplay; Ghost Stories. From about 2008 to 2011 or so Coldplay were one of my favorite bands, I absolutely adored Viva La Vida and the Prospekts March EP and I at least enjoyed the singles from Mylo Xyloto even if I never got into the full album. Then Coldplay released A Sky Full of Stars as the lead single from their album Ghost Stories and I pretty much lost all interest in this band until I rediscovered Viva La Vida in 2015 and heard some of A Head Full of Dreams.
Now let’s be clear, I went into this album more biased than usual because of the disdain I had for A Sky Full of Stars. I could not stand the boring instrumental and excruciatingly repetitive lyrics; and yeah those criticisms kind of apply to the album as a whole. I don’t dislike dreamy ambient sounding music as a whole, in fact one of my favorite albums this year, Vitamins and Flowers by Trophii is a card carrying Dream Pop album. The difference is that Coldplay are at their best when they mix ambient elements with more traditional rock elements and always benefit from having interesting soundscapes.
The only track with any real energy Sky Full of Stars, with the only other thing keeping me awake being random drum machines. I get that Coldplay leaned on similarly dreary sounds for some of their hits like Yellow, Fix You and The Scientist but those songs still had some sort of rock edge or changes throughout the song. Yellow has gorgeous delay filled guitar passages, Fix You turns into a rock track with group vocals and The Scientist eventually turns into a rock song as well. On top of instrumental shifts that keep these tracks interesting, the lyrics are much deeper and more interesting than anything on Ghost Stories.
Overall this feels like an album where Coldplay weren’t sure what direction to go in, adding in 2010’s pop elements like the heavy use of drum machines and the dreary introspection of their earlier work. The issue is that the album isn’t as good at being dreary and introspective as Parachutes or X&Y and it is nowhere near as good at being a pop album as A Head Full of Dreams. If I were to rank all of Coldplay’s album this would by far be the worst, at least in my opinion.
Album on Google Play
Album on ITunes
Album on Amazon