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Coldplay - Ghost Stories

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Ghost Stories

Coldplay

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Around the time Coldplay's sixth album, Ghost Stories, was scheduled for release, lead singer Chris Martin announced he was divorcing his wife, the actress Gwyneth Paltrow. In light of this news, it's hard not to see Ghost Stories as a breakup record, a romantic confessional written in the wake of a painful separation. Certainly, the album bristles with references to broken hearts and regrets, ruminations on how the past informs the present, its every song infused with an inescapable melancholy, but the album doesn't play like a deep wallow in sorrow. It is soft, even alluring, a soundtrack to a seduction, not a separation. Much of that feel comes from the record's smooth crawl forward, how it's never hurried and always accentuating its good side, but there's also a sense that Martin, or the band in general, is anxious to a hit a reset button, to slowly recede from the artiness of the Eno-encouraged excursions of the late 2000s and reconnect with the sweet, simple band responsible for Parachutes. Like any attempt to revive the past, it's hard to reconcile that those were indeed different times. As majestic as they sounded in 2000, there was no denying Coldplay were a basic rock band, anchored on six strings and rarely finding textures outside of the confines of an amplifier. Fourteen years later, keyboards are at the group's foundation, a significant shift accentuated by their succumbing to a hallmark of modern production: they have a producer for every track. Coldplay may not be forceful, but within their incessant politeness they do have a distinctive personality, one that shines through whatever tricks individual producers bring to the table. Stars that they are, they can afford to enlist EDM sensation Avicii and R&B stalwart Timbaland to color individual tracks (they're responsible for "A Sky Full of Stars" and "True Love," respectively), giving Ghost Stories a fleet electronic facility that undercuts Coldplay's reputation as a dogmatic rock band without ever suggesting the group is adventurous. It's a nifty trick, a record that skirts any accusation of stodginess yet still feels as comforting as a warm bath, which is why Ghost Stories never feels heartbroken. Often, it feels like the lament of the sensitive soul who just had his heart broken but won't let his pain detract him from picking up that pretty girl at the end of the bar. This may seem a contradiction but it also suits a band like Coldplay, who at this stage of their career quite clearly want to be everything to everybody. If your heart is shattered and you want to slide into self-pity, turn here. If you are feeling free and want to woo a new love, turn here. If you want to just enjoy every soft, supple turn a rock band could do, turn here. Coldplay are here for comfort, as Ghost Stories proves time and time again. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Ghost Stories

Coldplay

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1
Always in My Head 00:03:36

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - Chris Owens, Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer, Programmer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Mark "Spike" Stent, Mixing Engineer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Daniel Green, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Backing Vocals - Rik Simpson, Drum Programmer - Jon Hopkins, Keyboards - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Madeon, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Joe Visciano, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

2
Magic 00:04:45

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - Chris Owens, Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer, Programmer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Mark "Spike" Stent, Mixing Engineer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Daniel Green, Producer, Programmer - Rik Simpson, Programmer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Joe Visciano, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

3
Ink 00:03:48

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - Chris Owens, Additional Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Chris Martin, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer, Synthesizer Programmer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Mark "Spike" Stent, Mixing Engineer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Daniel Green, Producer, Programmer - Rik Simpson, Programmer - Jaime Sickora, Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Joe Visciano, Additional Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

4
True Love 00:04:05

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - John Metcalfe, Conductor, String Arranger, Strings - Timbaland, Drum Programmer - Chris Owens, Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Isobel Griffiths, Strings - Ted Jensen, Engineer, Masterer - Chris Martin, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer, Programmer, Drum Programmer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Davide Rossi, String Arranger, Strings - Daniel Green, Producer, Programmer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Programmer - MARK STENT, Mixer, Engineer - Timothy Mosley, Drum Programmer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Mixer, Engineer - Joe Visciano, Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

5
Midnight 00:04:54

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - Chris Owens, Additional Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Ted Jensen, Engineer, Masterer - Chris Martin, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer, Bass - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Daniel Green, Producer, Programmer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Bass Guitar, Bass - Jon Hopkins, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programmer, Writer - MARK STENT, Mixer, Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Additional Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Mixer, Engineer - Joe Visciano, Additional Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

6
Another's Arms 00:03:54

Mike Dean, Drum Programmer, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - Chris Owens, Additional Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Ted Jensen, Engineer, Masterer - Chris Martin, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer, Drum Programmer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Daniel Green, Producer, Programmer, Drum Programmer, Samples - Rik Simpson, Producer, Programmer - MARK STENT, Mixer, Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Additional Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Mixer, Engineer - Joe Visciano, Additional Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

7
Oceans 00:05:21

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - John Metcalfe, Conductor, String Arranger - Chris Owens, Additional Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Mixer, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Isobel Griffiths, Strings - Ted Jensen, Engineer, Masterer - Chris Martin, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer, Synthesizer Programmer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Daniel Green, Producer, Mixer, Keyboards, Programmer, Backing Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Mixer, Mixing Engineer - Jon Hopkins, Programmer - MARK STENT, Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Additional Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Engineer - Joe Visciano, Additional Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

8
A Sky Full of Stars 00:04:28

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - Chris Owens, Additional Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Ted Jensen, Engineer, Masterer - Chris Martin, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer, Drum Programmer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Avicii, Writer - Tim Bergling, Producer, Programmer, Programming & Keyboards - Daniel Green, Producer, Programmer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Programming & Keyboards - MARK STENT, Mixer, Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Additional Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Mixer, Engineer - Joe Visciano, Additional Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

9
O 00:07:46

Mike Dean, Assistant - Adam Miller, Assistant - Tom Bailey, Assistant - Chris Owens, Additional Engineer - Olga Fitzroy, Engineer - Ted Jensen, Engineer, Masterer - Chris Martin, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Paul Epworth, Producer - Coldplay, MainArtist - Guy Berryman, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Will Champion, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Jonny Buckland, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Writer - Nicolas Essig, Assistant - Daniel Green, Producer, Programmer - Rik Simpson, Producer, Engineer - MARK STENT, Mixer, Engineer - Jaime Sickora, Additional Engineer - Matt Wiggins, Engineer - Matt McGinn, Assistant - Christian Green, Assistant - Madeon, Sounds - Kyle Stevens, Assistant - Hugo Leclercq, Assistant - Fiona Cruickshank, Assistant - Pablo Hernández, Assistant - Geoff Swan, Mixer, Engineer - Joe Visciano, Additional Engineer - Bill Rahko, Assistant - John Prestage, Assistant - Jeff Gartenbaum, Assistant - Joseph Hartwell Jones, Assistant - Neil Lambert, Assistant - Roxy Pope, Assistant - Apple Martin, Vocals - Mabel Krichefski, Vocals - Moses Martin, Vocals

2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company. 2014 Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company.

Album Description

Around the time Coldplay's sixth album, Ghost Stories, was scheduled for release, lead singer Chris Martin announced he was divorcing his wife, the actress Gwyneth Paltrow. In light of this news, it's hard not to see Ghost Stories as a breakup record, a romantic confessional written in the wake of a painful separation. Certainly, the album bristles with references to broken hearts and regrets, ruminations on how the past informs the present, its every song infused with an inescapable melancholy, but the album doesn't play like a deep wallow in sorrow. It is soft, even alluring, a soundtrack to a seduction, not a separation. Much of that feel comes from the record's smooth crawl forward, how it's never hurried and always accentuating its good side, but there's also a sense that Martin, or the band in general, is anxious to a hit a reset button, to slowly recede from the artiness of the Eno-encouraged excursions of the late 2000s and reconnect with the sweet, simple band responsible for Parachutes. Like any attempt to revive the past, it's hard to reconcile that those were indeed different times. As majestic as they sounded in 2000, there was no denying Coldplay were a basic rock band, anchored on six strings and rarely finding textures outside of the confines of an amplifier. Fourteen years later, keyboards are at the group's foundation, a significant shift accentuated by their succumbing to a hallmark of modern production: they have a producer for every track. Coldplay may not be forceful, but within their incessant politeness they do have a distinctive personality, one that shines through whatever tricks individual producers bring to the table. Stars that they are, they can afford to enlist EDM sensation Avicii and R&B stalwart Timbaland to color individual tracks (they're responsible for "A Sky Full of Stars" and "True Love," respectively), giving Ghost Stories a fleet electronic facility that undercuts Coldplay's reputation as a dogmatic rock band without ever suggesting the group is adventurous. It's a nifty trick, a record that skirts any accusation of stodginess yet still feels as comforting as a warm bath, which is why Ghost Stories never feels heartbroken. Often, it feels like the lament of the sensitive soul who just had his heart broken but won't let his pain detract him from picking up that pretty girl at the end of the bar. This may seem a contradiction but it also suits a band like Coldplay, who at this stage of their career quite clearly want to be everything to everybody. If your heart is shattered and you want to slide into self-pity, turn here. If you are feeling free and want to woo a new love, turn here. If you want to just enjoy every soft, supple turn a rock band could do, turn here. Coldplay are here for comfort, as Ghost Stories proves time and time again. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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