Felipe Dana—AP
By Jamieson Cox
March 4, 2014

Coldplay aroused a lot of curiosity last week by dropping a new single out of the blue, the frosty, minimal “Midnight,” detached from the announcement of a new album. Thankfully, the British quartet weren’t content to leave their fans hanging for long: they announced their upcoming sixth full-length Ghost Stories (due for release May 19) last night, along with another new single. “Magic” isn’t quite the hard left turn that seemed to be brewing in the wake of “Midnight,” but it does hint at a few new tricks up the band’s sleeve, with a simple, brooding beat-and-guitar intro that’s more familiar in the hands of younger compatriots like the xx.

It blooms from there into a climax built from familiar components — stadium-sized guitar leads, Chris Martin’s indelible falsetto — that have anchored Coldplay’s work for a decade, making “Magic” a successful marriage of old and new. It remains to be seen whether Ghost Stories will hold more of the same.

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