Coldplay – Parachutes (2000)
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.