mon 23/09/2019

CD: Coldplay - Ghost Stories | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Coldplay - Ghost Stories

CD: Coldplay - Ghost Stories

Coldplay's Chris Martin and the pain of 'uncoupling'

Artist Mila Fürstova's angels wings or broken heart

They say the devil has all the best tunes, but melancholia is another source of musical inspiration. Coldplay’s new album is the product of a period of emotional turmoil in lead vocalist Chris Martin’s life – the much–publicized ‘uncoupling’ from his wife the actress Gwynneth Paltrow.

The album was made before the announcement of their separation but it expresses a painful inner journey in anticipation of break-up, the realization of loss, and the mortality of relationships, all of which are the stuff of melancholy moods.

There is no trace of anger or vituperation here, no sign of blood on the tracks. Chris Martin has always seemed such a sweet man, with a voice that easily drifts into almost sugary falsetto. This album is as much of a declaration of love as anything else.   For all the characteristically grandiose musical packaging - this is, let’s not forget, Coldplay, quintessential dispensers of anthems -  there is a rawness here that is disarmingly touching. On the beautiful song “Midnight” with his voice multi-tracked and echo-laden, he sounds uncannily like Bon Iver whose best songs were also fuelled by the pain of break-up. Rock stars have a way of seeming impregnable but Martin comes across bereft: “I just got broken, broken in two” he sings on “Magic” which celebrates his former partner’s hold over him.

Singing about loss has always provided a way of transcending the numbness and terror that accompany the crumbling of illusions. Chris Martin has always seemed an incurable romantic – that is a large part of his appeal – and the process of writing these songs, in partnership with the rest of the band, has clearly been cathartic. There is a progression from the opening song “Always in my Head”, in which he sings of his abiding obsession, to the intimacy of “Oceans” and “O” which complete the cycle with a feeling of redemption, as if the loneliness and the wounds had been healed by a surrender to a love more universal than the inevitably transitory passions that are conjured in a relationship.

Rock stars have a way of seeming impregnable but Martin comes across bereft

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Average: 3 (1 vote)

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