Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Sound of Chris Unconsciously Uncoupling; Albums of the Week

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Sound of Chris Unconsciously Uncoupling; Albums of the Week

Article excerpt

Coldplay Ghost Stories (Parlophone) CHRIS Martin has nowhere to hide on Ghost Stories, an uncomfortable glimpse into his and Gwyneth Paltrow's "conscious uncoupling". Their daughter, Apple, bolsters him on backing vocals for the opening Always in My Head, though any sense of family fun is quickly banished by Martin's tone of weary resignation. True Love is even more anguished: "Tell me you love me; if you don't, Pop Afrojack Forget the World (Island) ACCORDING to DJ magazine and Forbes respectively, Dutchman Nick van de Wall is the ninth-best and seventh-richest DJ in the world. A Las Vegas regular at the forefront of America's EDM explosion, his debut album is sure to sell vigorously despite featuring many of the scene's least appealing facets. There are empty-headed party-time lyrics on Too Wild, plus Snoop Dogg urging you to put your "hands up in the sky, wave 'em round from side to side" in his umpteenth phoned-in guest spot. There's even a hideous mix of dance and rock on Three Strikes.

Afrojack's main innovation in the field seems to be a boingy effect on his cacophonous synths. By the time Sting shows up near the end, it's head-in-hands not hands-in-sky time.

David Smyth Conor Oberst Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch) IT'S always a bit tricky to anticipate Conor Oberst's next move, whether solo or as Bright Eyes leader. Flushed with both solo and band success, the Nebraskan has spurned all-out rock and electro-pop in favour of a more intimate approach, packed with his trademark lilting melodies, sweeping choruses and his natural capacity to surprise. With First Aid Kit offering stellar harmonies on five of the more then lie," he wails over Jonny Buckland's sad, sonorous guitar.

However, this is Coldplay so hope amid the heartbreak is obligatory. Magic is a life-affirming ballad driven by beats and bass, while Martin goes clubbing with his new DJ friend, Avicii, on their collaboration, A Sky Full of Stars, the lone upbeat anthem on the band's sixth record. …

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