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Coldplay – Parachutes (2000)

January 30, 2014

[Album 284/1001]220px-Coldplayparachutesalbumcover

Two things people did not have to worry about in the year 2000:

1. Y2K – Life seemed to go on when the calendar switched from ’99 to ’00.

2. Being able to find the song Yellow on a radio station.  Any radio station.

Very few artists have transcended radio formats quite like Coldplay.  Fewer songs have been as instantly appealing as Yellow.  As a result, over-saturation was inevitable and some listeners may still be recovering.

Fourteen years later, I was ready to go back.  Upon review, it’s a fine song on a fine album.

A quick recap of the rest:

1. Don’t Panic – A pleasant opener & incidentally, also the guidance from the front cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

2. Shiver – One of their better bridges, “just you try and stop me.”

3. Spies – Terrific guitar lead.

4. Sparks – The positive Wedding Crashers association only enhances a beautifully understated tune.

5. The aforementioned Yellow.

6. Trouble – Simple, sad piano part is perhaps the album’s finest moment.

7. I couldn’t tell you what this song is called – by the time I realize Trouble is over, the CD has already moved into track 8.  I keep meaning to watch out for this track: it’s so quick & quiet.  This song is my Polkaroo, missed it again!

8, 9. Would likely qualify as ‘filler’ Coldplay.  Nothing inherently offensive about either track but nothing terribly distinctive either.

10.  Everything’s Not Lost + the bonus hidden track wrap up the album nicely.  I listened to this album quite a bit while marking exams and I found this last song particularly reassuring.  Especially if my students didn’t exactly have a ‘fridge-material’ exam, it was a nice bit of consoling advice.

Parachutes is the sound of a group before they realized they were the biggest group on the planet, akin to the feeling I get from listening to pre-Joshua Tree U2.  The grandiosity of later recordings is nowhere in sight.

So if you’ve gone off the Coldplay of late, it’s worth a trip back to their charming beginning.

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From → 2000s

26 Comments
  1. Nice Polkaroo ref!

    • Thanks Sarca – a bit of a niche reference (for kids who grew up in Ontario in the 80s) so I’m glad someone got it!

  2. Yellow has taken all kinds of abuse and still holds up! Same could be said of this band.

    • It does – I think this is my favourite of their releases, though X & Y has some very strong moments as well

  3. solid album although my favorite coldplay song would definately have to be Fix You

  4. Two words: Burned out.

    • Was there a tipping point for the band where things went irreversibly south?

      • Yes. His name was Paul. And I worked with him every day for a friggin’ summer and he never stopped with the Coldplay. Until he was fired. But before then, Coldplay, Coldplay, Coldplay.

        I actually like a number of their songs, or rather, I did like.

      • That’s a shame – and in the record store you would have been trapped.
        Much as I enjoy the Pogues, I’m still not ready for their song Fiesta – it was played on repeat during the Euro Cup when I worked at a sports store in England. Even though it’s been 10 years, being a captive audience for the same CD on seemingly endless repeat is hard to get over!

      • It took me a while with Pink Floyd to get over the same kind of forced exposure. And I really didn’t have much ability to tell him to take off Coldplay (which was selling) when my own bosses thought I always chose the worst music in store.

      • Boourns to that.

        I was pleased that my submission of Sloan’s Twice Removed managed to get a spot in the rotation one day at the store – it didn’t quite kickstart their UK exposure as I’d hoped, but still neat hearing it across the pond!

      • I’ll bet it was! I was always sending Sloan CDs to people overseas, to check out this band. I always chose Twice Removed.

      • An excellent choice – I’m looking at sophomore records in February and of course was contemplating a ‘top 5’ of some sort. Would you say Twice Removed counts as a 2nd album (after Smeared) or would you include the Peppermint EP as well, bumping it to 3rd?

      • Oooh. That’s a toughy alright. I’ll have to go with 2nd. Although it falls third in my CD rack, I’ve always considered it their 1st true album.

      • Perfect – then it’s on the list, I was worried I’d have to exclude it!
        Same question with Up To Here (as it also will likely be top 5 material) – does it count as album #2? Or does ‘The Tragically Hip’ EP not count as a proper debut?

      • Oh man! My head’s exploding. I guess I do consider The Tragically Hip EP to be an album. Really the only difference is that the CD has two songs added which make it a full length I guess.

      • That works for me – I was hoping Up To Here would qualify as a sophomore album, thanks for confirming!

      • It’s funny because you can find die-hard fans who will argue tooth and nail over these details. “Road Apples is the second album…true fans that were there from the start know the self-titled was only an EP.” Stuff like that. But really it’s all personal. I’m meticulous how I have my stuff organized and cataloged. Sometimes you have to decide how to file stuff, and there ya go!

  5. jprobichaud permalink

    Man, I remember when “Yellow” first came out, well before they became heirs to U2’s dubious title of “biggest band in the world”. It was a great single and still is. The real tragedy is that they became too big too fast and never really learned to kill a stadium properly.

    • I have to give U2 credit though – I can’t say I listen to them that frequently, but I saw them on the elevation tour and they do put on a show. The highlight of the set was when they put aside all the lights and effects, stripped it down to just Bono & The Edge singing ‘Stay’ together

      • jprobichaud permalink

        I may not be their biggest fan but I give U2 plenty of credit. I saw them on their Vertigo tour. They at least built up a following, became the “biggest band” over time, and grew into that moniker. I thought they put on a fantastic show. I mean, by the time I saw them, they had been at it for a couple decades already so of course they knew what they were doing.

  6. Yellow was when I knew about Coldplay but just wasn’t into this music much. Then when Coldplay’s album came out in 2011?? I think?? That’s when I really liked them. I wish I had listened to them more before but I was just eh when it came to the band.

    • And the 2011 is actually the only coldplay one I’m not that familiar with, a student the other day was saying that’s their favourite. So with 2 recent positive reviews, I’m inspired to finally check it out!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Top 5 “T” Artists | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Top 5 Yellow Songs | 1001albumsin10years

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