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Coldplay
Parachutes
label: Parlophone / Nettwerk America
released: 07.10.00
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0

Everybody Here's Got Somebody to Lean On
by: smoke

Once in a while, that incredible album comes out and you can't exactly put a finger on exactly what it is that makes this so memorable. The songs are written so well with such musicality that you swear that you've had to have heard each one of them at some time in your life, (if not in some other life). An album where extraneous noise is forgotten and replaced with well-placed, simple instrumentation that sings its own verses with the lyrics. An album that even though you may listen to it too often to bear to give it one more play, you know that someday you will pick it up again and its beautiful chords within will sound as sweet the next time. This is one of those albums.

Let me begin by minding all of you that a fan of Rage Against the Machine's latest effort or a proponent of naming Nine Inch Nails' most recent recording may consider this album to suffer from a bend of monotony of pace and chord usage. But on the other hand, some of the subtle beauty lying within this recording is exploration of sound that Coldplay finds within the confines of tempo and vocal tones chosen.

With the exception of the brave contrast that "Shiver" makes in comparison to the remainder of the album, the instrumentation lives off of folk guitars with an occasional plugged-in pedal, simple percussion rhythms, haunting piano tones and small bits of chamber strings. Without venturing into the brashness of an Oasis or the lack of seriousness lended to themselves by Blur, the album still is distinctly British. Lyrically, the words are distinctly chosen like that of a somber Charlatans recording, yet with a touch of somewhere between lostness and sarcasm normally associated with the Smiths of old.

The album begins with a brush-sticked acoustic drum and bass rhythm followed by near-haunting guitars and lyrics, but yet the track is titled "Don't Panic." Subtle, yet paced, the song is an excellent sign of things to come. "Spies" jumps back and forth between acoustics to tom drums and eletrics which matches the near-paranoia tone of the lyrics. "Sparks" is filled with endearing sincerity for one held close only imagined by most pop artists in today's music scene.

And you know that every British album that makes it to the states has one radio-friendly pop song that doesn't get old. Just listen to "Yellow." You may laugh from the cheeky sappiness the first time, but believe me, you'll play it again. Excellently placed piano work makes the lyrics of "Trouble" quite profound before the album turns to a place a bit darker. A ray of sunlight is seen at the end when "Everything's Not Lost" assures you that everything will be all right with the exception of the hanging guitar line that doesn't allow you to completely be sure.

Everything said, it garners my vote as one of the top albums of the year and I can only wait for the next release of a British artist featuring a catch pop release wrapped up in an incredible full-length LP.

If you liked Parachutes...

Tracklist:
1. Don't Panic
2. Shiver
3. Spies
4. Sparks
5. Yellow
6. Trouble
7. Parachutes
8. High Speed
9. We Never Change
10.
Everything's Not Lost
11. Careful Where You Stand (hidden track)

Guitar Tab
"Yellow"
Parachutes Album