Coldplay
Parachutes


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (127 Reviews)
May 5th, 2013 | 188 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just 'cause it's cliche to listen to it in Starbucks doesn't mean I don't.

Coldplay have aged fantastically.

Their first two albums had the misfortune of being released in a sea of imitators riding the Thom Yorke-mellowing-out-in-a-coffee-shop wave. Issue being, Coldplay were almost immediately more popular than their brethren and as such, became targets for critics sick to death of willowy British rock bands trying to bring the rain to America.

Now that Athlete-Starsailor-Travis have melted into slush and evaporated Parachutes can be fairly judged on its own merits. Slowly unfolding its pleasantries, it doesn’t immediately strike one as a great record but ends up pressing into you like a bear hug. It’s a compulsively listenable record, the kind of album you don’t think much of until the realization hits that you’ve listened to the whole thing straight through everyday for a week solid.

I don’t know who culled the singles from this album but they nailed it. The four singles are melodic genius, each sound like watching a warm sunset defy time and hang in the sky at just the right point, bathing the earth in sepia tone. The beguiling opener, “Don’t Panic”, sails around the globe in wide-eyed fascination with the people and places below. The guitar figure traces comets across the inky darkness of deep space. A piano figure twists out of the depth; an incredible guitar solo kicks up solar flares. “Oh/All that I know/There’s nothing here to run from” Chris Martin observes, “Cause yeah/Everybody here’s/Got somebody to lean on”. Just like that, it’s gone. In barely two minutes it’s one of the greatest things Coldplay have done and a hell of an album opener. “Shiver” resurrects Jeff Buckley to take the mic on a sweeping (and totally creepy) rouser. “Yellow” survives its endless use in TV Shows, commercials, poorly sequenced mixtapes, and radio repeats to remain a wonderful hand in the air anthem. “Trouble” might be the best of all; Chris Martin works that wonderfully warm falsetto into a strikingly catchy melody while Johnny Buckland’s thick chords are dragged beneath the sea.

With all the best songs being sent to radio, its easy to miss that the rest of the album isn’t drifty filler. “Spies” pulls a remarkable amount of urgency out of a band once voted most likely to put you to sleep (Travelodge poll, look it up) while retaining an overall cool vibe. The gorgeous “Sparks” slowly spins and unfolds like a music box while Crhis Martin sails to the moon and “High Speed” would make a good soundtrack to the most pleasent car chase your mind can construct.

Unfortunately, the album whimpers to a close. “We Never Change” suffers from some wheel spinning wandering while “Everything’s Not Lost” tips into full on corny with its gather- round-the-campfire singalong coda. It’s the only song on the album I would consider bad and pulls this album down a few notches from greatness.

When a parachute bursts open it’s a fairly violent affair, bones can be broken in the process if not done correctly. I’ve never had the experience of slowing terminal velocity with a bit of fabric but I imagine Coldplay’s Parachutes sounds like the period following the chaos. Once you’ve gathered your bearings you realize that you’re safe and everything is going to be okay. As the feeling of relief washes over you, you’re free to survey the horizon stretching out in front of you. If I ever find myself in this position, I’d be sure to cue up something off of Coldplay’s marvelous Parachutes before I take flight. Just need to remember to brace for landing, that can mess you up too.



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user ratings (1810)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


1675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Four reviews, Four days. Time for a break. Please suggest edits below! Fanks for readin.

ksoflas
May 5th 2013


459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic review for an awesome album.
I disagree about the last song though.
Pos'd.

NapalmCrusader
May 5th 2013


1737 Comments


This was one of the first albums I loved. The atmosphere and the sweetness here are spetacular

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


1675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks ksoflas!

bloc
May 5th 2013


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is truly fantastic. A Rush Of Blood is also great but after that I'd say things went south.

tiesthatbind
May 5th 2013


7380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fix the missing apostrophes in "it's" and "don't" in the summary, your review is well-written but
mistakes like that in the summary are really off-putting. Also:

Coldplay we’re almost immediately more popular

*were

Otherwise it looks good.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


1675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Viva is their best record.

YoYoMancuso
May 5th 2013


11223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album, Don't Panic is the best Coldplay song. Review ain't half bad, have a pos.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


1675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@tiesthatbind

Fixed, thanks.

RadicalEd
May 5th 2013


2848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review.

Everything's not lost is not that bad though.



Digging: ODESZA - In Return

KILL
May 5th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is the only coldplay album i like! hipswag :D

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

TheSpaceMan
May 5th 2013


2754 Comments


posd for the summary alone

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


1675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol Woo!

sublimefan1991
May 5th 2013


766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

everything's not lost is actually one of my favorites from this (thankfully not by you, but by many) overlooked album. to this day, i'd still consider this one of my favorite albums, a very solid work.

Ecnalzen
May 5th 2013


6822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Travis became a band before Colplay did and Chris Martin refers to them as one of their influences. Plus, they are still around. They announced a new album not too long ago. I actually prefer Travis to Coldplay, but I do like them both quite a bit.

I absolutely love Trouble and High Speeds from this. Wasn't a fan of Yellow when it was a single and still don't really like it now either. I prefer Rush Of Blood by just a bit over this.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


1675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Come on yo I totally knew Travis was around before C'play. I've long enjoyed their hit single "Why Does It Always Rain In This Fucking Country?"

The other two bands I named are still around but are also not, as in their fanbase/quality has dipped hard. Not that Starsailor or Athlete were ever good.

wacknizzle
May 5th 2013


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Yeah this album is awesome, great winter jams.

Digging: Phobocosm - Deprived

undertakerpt
May 5th 2013


1379 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

classic album, even if the last song is a pile of steaming mustard-coloured dog log

Ecnalzen
May 5th 2013


6822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I haven't heard of the other two you mentioned. It just sounded like you were saying all those bands were imitators and trying to ride in off of Coldplay's success and I didn't think Travis was a very good example for that. It's whatevs tho.

goldeneye
May 5th 2013


24 Comments


good review. i always listen to the blue room ep instead (since its basically parachutes cut down to the essentials and then mixed up with a few a-grade radiohead knockoffs), but as far as lps go, its probably their second best. high speed is great. yellow is fucking atrocious.



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