September 14, 2014

Magic (Coldplay) - Song Review

Muggles beware!

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Album: Ghost Stories

Artist: Coldplay

Release Date: March 2014

Genre: Pop

Verdict: 13+ for Mature Themes

Areas of Concern:


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--We see bruises on a woman's arms, implying abuse by her husband. We see him yelling and throwing objects at her and verbally humiliates her, reducing the woman to tears. At one point he throws her on a bed with the intention of smacking her but he is interrupted.


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--The video depicts a young man rescuing a woman from her abusive husband, ending in their (adulterous) romance.

-We see some suggestive artwork in the backgrounds, like nude female statues and a drawing of a topless woman with her hands over her breasts.


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--The video depicts a man to be an alcoholic; we see him drinking, walking around with a whiskey bottle and being a drunk.

Spiritual Content:

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--References to magic, in the sense of things getting better in a broken relationship. The narrator mentions several times that he believes in "magic", meaning "miracles."


--The video is about two magicians battling each other over a girl. Several magic tricks are performed during the video, many of which are implied to be "real", like lifting a spin with telekinesis, a man floats in the air by himself,


Moody Upbeat: Ghost Stories is a Concept Album focusing on the end of a relationship and the subsequent grief. This song represents the narrator still being in the Denial phase, but he seems to be somewhat "angry" in the song.

The actual rhythm and melody of the song is somewhat moody, but ultimately uplifting.

Review of Song/Album/Movie:

After the success of the grandiose Mylo Xyloto (grandiose according to fans, at least), Coldplay unanimously decided to strip down their next album to create a softer, more "acoustic" focused offering.

The first single from the new album "Ghost Stories", the aptly titled Magic made it's way into the musical world shortly after news of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's "conscious uncoupling" from each other.

Since the relationship troubles and subsequent break-up served as inspiration for much of the album, Magic found itself in the awkward place of being a man declaring that things will resolve themselves for the relationship to become whole once again when real life says the exact opposite.

But I'm getting off-topic here: Magic is a strange offering from Coldplay, returning the soft roots of older "Parachutes", yet having the electronic flavouring of newer "Mylo Xyloto".

The odd mixture of old and new works, being one of the softest songs Coldplay has ever made. Even softer than the excellent Everything's Not Lost from their debut album. Magic does overdo the sentiment a bit, ironic for such a subtle song.

The "Poppy" beat and sappy message, combined with an equally saccharine music video is ultimately too sweet for me, especially when it's so disconnected from reality when Coldplay has always been firmly in tune with the real world and not fairy tale land.

Nevertheless, people looking for a softer offering to play on a long family trip which even kids can appreciate, might find something worth looking for here. Coldplay's magnum opus it definitely ain't, but it's not so bad either.

Give it a listen.

Quality Verdict: Good (B)

Coldplay fans might find the song too whimsical instead of enchanting, and realists might find it incredibly cloying, but for those looking for the perfect relaxation song, it's "Magical" indeed.


Now, now, before you get your pitchforks and torches, Coldplay's song Magic has got nothing to do with witchcraft and the like, at least not in audio form.

The (somewhat silly) music video, however, depicts two dueling magicians and ends with the main character getting the bad guy's wife. Some may argue that this is acceptable because the bad guy is abusive and therefore, doesn't deserve her anyway, but it still ends up being adultery in any case.

The song is also about the end of a relationship and the "denial" aspect of it, as the main character struggles to accept that it ended.

Overall, Magic is a song for more mature listeners and something many people can relate to. In my humble opinion, this song should be acceptable for older kids/teens.

Content Verdict:
For Mature Themes

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