Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' is 2014's Hottest Record — Was 'Conscious Uncoupling' Good for PR?

Chris Martin has had a tough year after going through a breakup with wife Gwyneth Paltrow (which, in typical GOOP fashion, they publicly announced). But now, he's gotten something that should really lift his spirits: his band Coldplay's new album, Ghost Stories , has become the biggest-selling album of 2014 so far, even beating out Beyonce's Beyonce. But the album's success begs the question: how much of its sales are due to Martin's high-profile breakup?

Sure, Coldplay has been promoting the album like mad: they got a special on NBC and appeared on "The Voice," "Jimmy Fallon," and "Saturday Night Live." But throughout all the press, there's only been one narrative running through people's minds: is it about Gwyneth Paltrow? Which songs? How much? "Oceans" sounds like it could be about her! What about "Sky Full of Stars"? That definitely sounds like their love story.

Maybe the album is about their split — Martin did say that he blamed himself, and this album could be cathartic for him. But the cold truth of it is that most of these songs are filled with the same generic platitudes about love that crowd most of Coldplay's albums, it's just that this very public breakup has given them the sense of a consistent narrative. Of course, it probably would be on the Billboard charts either way, so there's no way to know. But it seems like the kind of press that Ghost Stories is getting is making it sell more like a tabloid than an album.