40 Days of Rewind: Coldplay – Parachutes (2000)

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Released on 10th July 2000, Parachutes was Coldplay’s debut studio album, and the first of what became a whirlwind career creating arguably one of the biggest bands in the world. Coldplay consisting of Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion formed in 1996, and were signed by Parlophone for a five-album contract in 1999.

The album begins with ‘Don’t Panic’ the fourth track the band released as a single from the album. The track is a very laid back start to the album, lined with the upbeat and positive lyrics “we live in a beautiful world” a style that would feature throughout.

The album is laced with the foundations of what has now become Coldplay’s iconic sound, an indie rock-pop blend, teamed with Martin’s signature vocals. It paved the way for a following five albums to date. The album is certainly more stripped back and raw than Coldplay’s more recent albums with a mellow feel, yet it can definitely be considered to be the one that threw them into the British music sphere.

The album features the singles ‘Shiver’, ‘Yellow’, and ‘Trouble.’ Although initially ‘Shiver’ placed the band into the UK official charts, ‘Yellow’ reached to number four, and is often considered one of the roots of the band success. By far one of the best songs on the album, it’s simple yet effectively repetitive lyrics “they were all yellow” matched with the romantic “you know I love you so” was a definite crowd pleaser. There is no wonder why it is still such a huge favourite, always perfectly chanted back in choir-like fashion from Coldplay’s now colossal fan base.

‘Shiver’ another one of the more upbeat singles is second on the album,  yet still featured Martin’s now unforgettable and distinguished falsetto. The track often faced many comparisons to the likes of Jeff Buckley. Tracks such as ‘Trouble’ and ‘Everything’s not lost’ are also particularly memorable. The piano melody for ‘Trouble’ is instantly recognisable, and imitates a genuine confession, with lyrics such as “I never meant to cause you trouble/I never meant to do you wrong.” The final track, ‘Everything’s not lost’ and hidden track ‘Life is For Living’ initially starts with a soft piano, but gradually builds into Coldplay’s normal gentle optimism.  A simple, yet refreshing conclusion to the album.

The album’s subtle brilliance displays a calm yet thoughtful approach to what they are producing, each song illustrating the emotion sprinkled throughout the album. The album had a relatively good reception, NME naming it ‘incredible’ for a debut album, and ‘accomplished.’ It did receive some minor criticism from others for being too ‘safe’ yet it reached number one in the UK official charts.

It has continued to reach 8x Platinum with a whopping 2.4 million units sold and over 4 million in Europe alone. Although the band at times can divide opinion, they are still overwhelmed by worldwide success, from headlining Glastonbury festival to sell-out arena tours.

Parachutes is an uncomplicated, easy to listen to album, and introduced the world to Chris Martin’s distinctive vocals, and Coldplay’s honest and iconic approach to pop.

Parachutes was released on 10th July 2000 via Parlophone. 

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