Rarely have guitars sounded smoother. This Coldplay album sits somewhere between the serene perfection of The Prayer Boat‘s Polichinelle and a Radiohead acoustic set, and in places even manages to sound like a refined Pearl Jam release. But it’s big.
It is certainly mood music; less an album to dance about to and perhaps better reserved for quiet contemplation in a bedroom. Or doing whatever you do in a bedroom.
The single Yellow was an indication of things to come – nothing too miserabilist, but profound enough to be more than just confection. Trouble, like just about every song on the record, has an instantly memorable piano riff and the whole album showcases the art of brush-playing drums. The electric guitars that do manage to turn up scarcely trouble the ear – it is as acoustic as it dares to be.
Despite the beautiful cover photo by Coldplay, the sleeve should perhaps have included lyrics. The official Coldplay website (at the time of writing) isn’t much help here either, so you’ll just have to memorise them or check out one of the burgeoning numbers of fan sites out there.
Considering that Coldplay are almost literally just out of college, you can’t help but feel that, so long as they don’t screw it up for themselves, they have a particularly rosy future ahead of them and Parachutes is only an indication of things yet to come.
This is an album of remarkable depth, especially when one considers the youthful ages of the band members. After playing it five times, I still hadn’t become bored with it. Surely, this marks the start of a highly successful story.