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Coldplay - Parachutes Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 November 2000


format: CD
label: Capitol Records
release year: 2001
performance: 9
sound 8.5
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageIt's more than a little surprising that Coldplay's gloomily confessional brand of rock has captured the pop music world's attention in almost no time flat. But with its single "Yellow," this band has tapped into a large audience much quicker than similar artists, like Jeff Buckley or The Cure, ever did during their greener early days. Parachutes, Coldplay’s new album is the most depressing feel-good record of the year. Come on, get happy listening to the sad sounds of Coldplay.
Singer Chris Martin's vocals easily jump up into higher registers at key moments, which may remind some of the utter elasticity of Buckley's sadly quieted, yet blessed, vocal instrument. Other times, though, he becomes a little pouty, a la Robert Smith of the Cure.

"I awake to find no peace of mind" are the words he uses to open the acoustic and vibe-y guitar-supported "Spies." This is just one example of how Coldplay's lyrics paint a bleak picture of the world, one that is wary of its surroundings’ true intentions at best, and just plain afraid of it all as a worst-case scenario.

Next to Martin's up-front vocals, Jon Buckland's wide array of guitar colorings are Coldplay's most distinctive features. One moment he's busily strumming along, the next he's picking out appropriately chimed notes. "Shiver," for example, opens with a repeating guitar figure similar to what The Edge has perfected over the years with U2. "Sparks," on the other hand, floats along with a gently acoustic strummed accompaniment, which is a dead ringer for one of Johnny Marr's patented Smiths motifs.

Not only is Parachutes a well-written and well-performed album, it will shine on almost any audio system as well. From my car to my home system and every place in between, the sound and clarity on Coldplay’s newest effort is as good as anything I’ve heard all year and you’ll have a good time giving this one a try in your system.

Sure, the album is a little more somber than most, but it’s still mainstream-friendly and very good. Think of Coldplay as what Radiohead might have sounded like if they'd continued to write songs like "Creep," and had not become overly experimental with their music.

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