Some might say that Coldplay killed rock music. That is a highly negative and incorrect assumption. In fact, Coldplay kept guitar driven music alive throughout the 2000s and did a very good job of doing so, with nobody special keeping the rock and roll flame burning afterward. This release, coming out during the dawn of the new millennium, set English music onto a new trajectory.
This album is more than the hybrid Oasis/Radiohead style the band professes to offer. It made singer Chris Martin and the rest of the band pop/rock superstars, which they still are to this day. Their first two albums, in particular, were amazing, and this is the first of those two.
Don’t Panic with its strummed acoustic intro gives vague reassurance to the meaning of existence. It’s a very short song being just over two minutes and introduces the band’s sound. Indeed, we are halfway between Oasis and Radiohead for the most part, but the songs are original in any case/
Shiver follows which tells a lover not to do so in the cold of the night. It’s a good pop song, and we can already sense the quality of the album by this point. It’s really nice sounding music.
The follow up is the James Bond 007 inspired Spies. It shows the paranoia, panic, and imagination of a particular spy trying to survive. It’s an unusual twist on an unusual concept.
After that, we have Sparks with its melancholy sound and fantastic guitar parts. Chris Martin, although not the world’s greatest singer by any means, sings this song nicely.
Yellow is a great hit single and is a love letter to not just a potential lover, but the world as well. “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and everything you do. And it was all yellow.” Great lyrics.
Trouble is about being stuck in a bad situation. It refers to a spider’s web and being stuck in that. Boy, these guys could write great songs! At least better than any of their contemporaries of the time.
The shortest track on the album, the title track Parachutes is a low fi recording of Chris Martin singing and picking acoustic guitar away, whilst reminding his lover he will always be there for them. Quite romantic.
The outer space influenced High Speed is just thrilling to hear. It has strummed acoustic guitars, space noises, and a super trippy outro. It’s one of the most underrated Coldplay songs you will hear. Nice job on the sound and mix here boys.
We Never Change pines for the simple life and things that stay the same, which is difficult in these internet and technologically driven times. It’s a great concept in a song, sounds so subtle and nicely done.
Everything’s Not Lost comes next and it finishes the album nicely, with reoccurring slide guitar and keyboard patches. It also has the hidden track Life Is For Living after some silence, and it’s also worth listening to, unlike most hidden tracks.
Coldplay went mega after the release of this recording, and we had A Rush Of Blood To The Head afterward. It’s a simple and fantastic album and has influenced legions of musicians all around the world to this day. If you like melancholy niceties and an original twist on music, try this album as it is likely you will enjoy it, for that reason. It’s a unique listen.