This is it: the Coldplay album that I’m embarrassed to have bought.
Musically, perhaps their last effort was worse. Viva La Vida was a disaster of an album, an overreaction to success, I think. But Ghost Stories is such a cliché, the classic soft-rock tripe that Coldplay gets a bad name for. Finally, their detractors are on the money. This sounds like a solo project after the band breaks up, and maybe that’s what should have happened.
The album is cheesy. One song proclaims over and over, "I love you so much it hurts." By the fifth time, it hurt all right. Then the very next song warbles poetic about true love for 5 minutes. I guess it should be a relief that the album is short. Only 9 songs. (Yes, this is the album that gives you 3 extra songs if you buy the Target version. Imagine how much worse those "bonus" tracks must be.)
Bottom line: Ghost Stories is soft, unimaginative, overdone, and eye-rolling. Nothing worth saving here.