June 02, 2014 12:00 PM

COLDPLAY

Ghost Stories |

ALT-ROCK

From Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours to Adele’s 21, pop music has a long history of breakup albums. You can add Ghost Stories, Coldplay’s sixth studio set, to the list. It was inevitable that frontman Chris Martin’s split with wife Gwyneth Paltrow would haunt this one. (Guess Conscious Uncoupling would have been too obvious a title.) Right from the start you can hear the ghosts of their relationship. Amid the moody atmosphere of vibe-setting opener “Always in My Head,” Martin confesses, “I think of you, I haven’t slept/ I think I do but I don’t forget/ My body moves, goes where I will/ But though I try my heart stays still.” On the next track, “Magic,” Martin continues to reveal his conflicted heart along to the pulsing electronic beat: “Call it magic/ Cut me into two/ And with all your magic/ I disappear from view/ And I can’t get over/ Can’t get over you.” All of this breakup brooding turns the melancholy streak that has always been in Coldplay’s music to a deeper shade of blue. There’s a pervading sense of loneliness and isolation on songs like “Midnight,” whose spooky chilliness makes it the album’s coolest cut. But the sun bursts through the clouds on “A Sky Full of Stars,” where Coldplay’s piano rock meets Avicii’s EDM for a moment of bliss.

HOT TICKET

Lady Gaga on Tour!

The last time Lady Gaga was supposed to play Madison Square Garden – in February 2013, with her Born This Way Ball – she had to cancel because of a hip injury that required surgery. So it was good to see the hometown girl back and healthy, strutting around the stage at the New York City arena. (Her ArtRave: The Artpop Ball treks around the U.S. until August.) While the show couldn’t match the Monster Ball tour that she last brought to MSG—it leaned too heavily on the disappointing Artpop, featuring all but one of that album’s songs at the expense of faves like “The Edge of Glory,” “You and I” and “Monster” – it reminded you that Gaga is a powerful live performer. When she belted out “Do What U Want” and then a stripped-down “Born This Way,” she lived up to her lyric “you can’t stop my voice.”

INTRODUCING

Iggy Azalea

The Aussie rapper boasts Top 10 hits ‘Fancy’ and ‘Problem’

Your real name is Amethyst Kelly. How did you come up with your stage name?

Iggy was my dog’s name. My dad picked him up a week after I was born, and he named him after Iggy Pop. And Azalea is the street [in New South Wales, Australia] where my mother lived.

What did you think of Anna Kendrick rapping some of “Fancy” when she hosted Saturday Night Live in April?

I loved it! I thought it was so funny that she did it as Ariel [from The Little Mermaid].

You spoof Clueless in the “Fancy” video. Which character are you most like?

Dionne. I love her style the most. She’s more funky, but Cher has the most hilarious quotes.

You’ve been known to twerk. How would you rate your moves on a scale of 1 to 10?

Um, 6. I used to live in Atlanta, and that’s just how everybody dances at house parties and stuff. The best twerkers are probably all the strippers in Atlanta. They’re pretty good!

Follow Chuck on Twitter @cchuckarnoldmuz

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