Thursday 22 March 2018

In house: This week's home entertainment hot list

Music reviews: Coldplay - Ghost Stories


Richie McCormack

So, Chris and Gwyneth have 'consciously uncoupled'.

We can all picture the scene that follows – the Coldplay guitarist that looks a bit like Simon Pegg turns to the handsome bass player and with a David Brent-like whisper and wink says, "get the guitar". But, the end result, Ghost Stories, is some of the most interesting music Coldplay have made to date.

This is very much a break-up record. Lines like "I've lost you now, you've let me go" (True Love) permeate the album.

Where Ghost Stories' strengths lie are in its instrumentation. Jonny Buckland (the Simon Pegg-looking chap) has become quite adept at blurring the lines between what is a guitar sound and what's electronic creation. Guy Berryman's bass underpins it.

There are nods to the likes of Brian Eno, Animal Collective (Midnight) and Martin's hip-hop pals (Another's Arms) but at no point – thankfully – are they greatly signposted. There is a subtlety to the first two thirds of Ghost Stories that may surprise some. The final third of the album is where Coldplay try to write 'Coldplay songs'. Sky Full of Stars will no doubt spend the summer bouncing from most radio speakers.

Oceans captures the album's essence when it fades out on celebratory church bells fading and distorting.


Archie Bronson Outfit - Wild Crush

Wild Crush is the fourth album from London trio Archie Bronson Outfit and their first in just over four years. Worth the wait? Undoubtedly, yes.

They hit the ground running, and at pace, on opener Two Doves On A Lake with Sam Windett's vocals teetering over a scuzzy groove, bringing to mind the likes of Clinic.

That band's fondness for psychedelic sax is also echoed on tracks such as Cluster Up & Hover.

With a folk base, scuzzy guitars and a drum sound to kill for, ABO can come across as a red meat-fed Midlake and there's a lot to love in that.


Conor Oberst - Lonely At The Top

At 34, Conor Oberst has released enough music to make someone twice his age envious.

On Lonely At The Top, the voice – that of a sensitive and perhaps tortured young man – remains the same, but there are new flavours to the music.

Most notably the Graceland-like guitar work on the likes of Hundreds of Ways. The quieter moments are where the album excels, notably on the delicate Night At Lake Unknown.

There's plenty here for longstanding Oberst fans to enjoy. It's doubtful Lonely At The Top will see their numbers swell, however.


First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday’s Irish Independent

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent

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