For a band that always scores a hit, including the hugely successful Viva la Vida, it’s incredibly difficult to aim at something bigger.

A Sky Full of Stars, second single from forthcoming album¬†Ghost Stories, has just been released and it’s already topping the iTunes charts in 73 countries. Including major markets US and UK.

1. Solid songwriting

Try not to think about the heavy EDM moment, this is still a classic solid Coldplay song: piano, voice, emotions and feel-good moments.

2. A killer hook

This is where Chris Martin nailed it: the way he sings “you”, going high as the build-up comes to the climax. It’s something that can’t get out of your head.

3. Avicii

The fusion between disco music and pop/rock melodies is becoming increasingly popular, it’s one of those combinations that the market nowadays welcomes with open arms. To make sure they don’t get it wrong at their first attempt, Coldplay heeded the counsel of EDM icon Avicii who is on production credits.

4. Piano

Yes, we are in 2014 but that sound coming from the miraculous 18th-century invention of Italian musician Bartolomeo Cristofori ennobles any song. Coldplay made of it their trademark, nevertheless they managed to score their most famous song to date (Viva la Vida) without using it. So far.

5. The last 60 seconds

Songs tend to be repetitive and don’t add something, especially commercial ones, during the last 60 seconds. If A Sky Full of Stars were a car ride, the last 60 seconds would be when the driver moves into fifth gear to distance everyone else.
The intensity obliquely rises with a simple but powerful change – it nearly becomes a new track. And that’s where it turns into a killer:”It’s such a heavenly view”.

Biggest hit to date? Probably, we just have to wait a couple of months and check if it’s still topping the charts of 73 countries.

Some wrote that Coldplay were in a phase favoring low-key quality sounds to success. That could have been true before 29th April.

Philip Wilde

Ghost Stories is released globally on 19th May 2014.

Enjoy A Sky Full of Stars here: