There’s no voice on this Earth that can evoke the pain of heartbreak quite as well as Chris Martin.
The Coldplay frontman’s falsetto paints a picture of his recent “conscious uncoupling” from Gwyneth Paltrow in the band’s latest album release, Ghost Stories.
The album also launches the band into ambient dance-track territory, having worked with various producers including Timbaland and Swedish DJ Avicii. The latter’s influences are heard all over the record through pulsing drum machine beats and electronic sounds, particularly on the track True Love.
True Love is a love song tinged with sadness that turns into a full-on club anthem. Martin sings: “Remember once upon a time I was yours and you were blind”.
And just in case anyone needs reminding what the album is about, Martin sings on the song Ink: “Feels like there’s something broken inside” and “All I know is that I’m lost whenever you go”.
Midnight is another anthemic track on which Martin’s soaring falsetto manages to sound like pure heartbreak, like a soul crying.
Oceans is perhaps the most quintessentially Coldplay track on the album, opening with some jangling acoustic guitars.
Some of the band’s old reference points are still there: at times the striding guitar melodies sound like they were written for U2 and there’s a bass riff on the opening of track Magic that sounds like something the Red Hot Chili Peppers would write.
But for the most part, Ghost Stories pushes Coldplay into new territory. It’s an ambient, dance album that should come with a warning: this one’s not for the broken hearted.
*Ghost Stories is released on Friday May 16
Ghost Stories track listing:
Always In My Head
A Sky Full of Stars