Perhaps you've seen Chris Martin's poncy little face on the cover of a magazine lately? I have. I have to say I do not like X&Y. However, I do not think that a band making a bad album detracts from their previous work. You see, I am not a music snob, and I do not require that bands should be as technically demanding as Tool, Opeth, or God forbid, DREAM THEATER. Music, above all other things, is supposed to make you feel good. And if Parachutes can be summed up with one word, that word is good. There is nothing phony, nothing pretentious, nothing cheesy. Only simple, lovely music. Therefore I deem Parachutes, although apparently simple, one of the beautiful albums of all time.
1) Don't Panic
Don't Panic start with a soft guitar riff, and then the song comes in. The time signature, as in almost all Coldplay songs, is a simple yet un-itimidating 4/4. The verse is plaintive and smooth, and in the chorus, Chris sings gently, "We live in a beautiful word, yeah we do, yeah we do." There. Ingenious in its simplicity. There is a delay effect on the guitar harmony that almost brings me to tears with its beauty. Later in the song, there is warped-sounding piano rendition of the melody that adds to the overall peace to the song. The chorus is repeated one last time, and the guitar goes on a slow solo. The last lyrics to seal the song are, "Oh, all that I know, there's nothing here to run from. Cuz yeah, everybody here's got somebody to lean on" What can I say? It is hard to imagine how people can conceive of something so lovely and calm. 5/5
Shiver is very different from Don't Panic. It is in a fast-paced 6/8 tempo and the drums provide an energetic start. During the verse, it cools down with Chris singing, "So I look in your direction, but you pay me no attention, do you." After that, the guitar plays a jumping, elated riff, as to answer the question in the previous bar. The next section is equally pleasant with "From the moment I wake, till the moment I sleep, I'll be there by your side, just you try and stop me." After several more bars, the chorus comes in with an astounding "Don't you shiver." Martin's high singing in the chorus is unsurpassed in quality. It goes back to the verse, which is like the first only with variations. After the chorus, Shiver goes into a calm bridge, only to return to a climactic and wild end. Another amazing Coldplay song. 4.5/5
This song starts out with an erie wailing, and then the first verse begins. It has a somber mood, with a guitar tremolo effect pulsating in the background. This is followed by a phantasmagoric chorus, which makes me think of Clive Barker or H.R. Giger creatures spying on me. The song repeats this, with the main line, "The Spies came out of the water. You're feeling so bad cuz you know. The spies hide out in every corner. But you can't touch them, no. Cuz they are spies." About a minute and 40 seconds before the end of the song the guitar is joined by some terrific drumming. Chris repeats the main line, and the song slowly winds down for a minute. A great song, and haunting nonetheless. 4/5
You Sparks fans out there, prepare to rag on me. To tell the truth, I don't like Sparks that much. I like the bassline, but I find the song a little bit dreary. Of course, I always listen through all of it, to respect the album. In the last 25 seconds, Martin does do some very sweet chanting with the guitar that I highly appreciate. 3/5
This is many people's favorite song from the album. I do think it is fantastic, but a little bit overrated. The verses are gentle and predictable, whcih can be very soothing when you're stressed out. The chorus, however is the real highlight of the song. Chris's vocalizing in the background adds to the beauty of his singing and the simple guitar riff. After this, the song more or less repeats itself, except with some different lyrics. In the final section of the song, Chris sings "Look how they shine for you," and in these few moments, I hear utter perfection. 4/5
As you may have seen, this song has a very sad video to go with the song's mood. Of course, when they brought it to America they completed changed the dark overtones. Ah well. Home of the brave. The song can not be lightened up, though. Chris Martin's singing is flawless as he sings with the main piano tune in the verse. The chorus is slow and mournful, but that doesn't decrease the immense beauty and wonder of the song. One thing I highly value in music is emotion. That is why I love early Korn despite not being a fan of the genre. In this song, Chris Martin seems to pour out everything he has within him into a lament. Close to the end, he sings, "They spun a web for me." I do not understand what he means, but I feel like I don't need to. This is one of those songs you shouldn't bother analyze. 4.5/5
A very short transition song. Coldplay obviously doesn't have dellusions of grandeur of making the title track some masterpiece. "In a haze, a stormy haze, I'll be 'round, I'll be loving you always. Always. Here I am, I'll take my time. Here I am and I'll wait in line always. Always." That is the lyrical content to the song. Not much? No. But quality is more important than quanitity. 3/5
8) High Speed
This is my absolute favorite song of the cd. Undoubtedly. The hypnotic guitar riff, along with the alluring bass line makes me want to cry and laugh and sing and sleep. I feel overcome with emotions I can't describe when I listen to this song. It is hard to convery how much I love this song, and describing it too much one not be adequate. As much as I want you to listen to Reflection by Tool deeply, you must listen to this song without other distractions if you are new to Coldplay. If not, you don't need me to tell you just how great this song is. 5/5
9) We Never Change
I don't enjoy the acoustic part of the song especially, but I love the soaring guitar work. I find the chorus spacey and euphoric. For some reason, Chris's voice seems to a be a little bit muted later in the song. Maybe I'm imagining it but I think there's something offputting about his voice in this song. I could be wrong. Whatever it is, my overall appreciation for the song is affected by it. 3/5 (don't kill me)
10) Everything's Not Lost
This is my one of my favorite tracks of the album, after High Speed and Don't Panic. Chris sings and plays with the piano, "When I counted up my demons I saw there was one for every day. With the good ones on my shoulder, I drove the other ones away. So if you ever feel neglected; if you think that all is lost, I'll be counting up my demons, hoping everything's not lost." The guitar plays by itself for a second a very very simple riff. But, as you know, simplicity doesn't bother me if there is enough substance. That guitar riff alone fills me up with so much beauty, just like with High Speed. The song continues with upbeat, motivational lyrics. It repeats itself, and then Chris sings by himself extremely high, "So come on, yeah. Oh, oh, yeah. Come on yeah. Everything's Not Lost" This is repeated several times, and the song comes to a subtle, content end. After a minute of silence, there is short song, similar to Parachutes, in which there is a strange electric organ procession. The short song isn't that great, but it doesn't matter. I give Everything's Not Lost a 5/5.
With many albums, I can say there are ups and downs. Really, with Parachutes, there are ups, and up-ups. A few songs only seem mediocre in comparison to mind-blowing songs, but as entities they are also wonderful. Remember, this review is just a reflection of my opinion, so please don't berate me because I don't like Sparks particularly.