To most music fans, the ideal album is one that can carry through a whole day and suit almost any mood that comes along. Coldplay’s most recent offering, Parachutes, is a CD that you can put in first thing in the morning and listen to throughout the day until you succumb to slumber; it is almost guaranteed that at least one song will say what you’ve been feeling. The British group has a unique way of soothing the ear with their consistently pleasing guitar riffs and thoughtful, smooth vocals.
When the alarm clock goes off tearing you away from that weird dream, the first song on the album, “Don’t Panic,” is an upbeat way to start the day. The chorus tells us that “we live in a beautiful world” and the easy guitar crescendos reinforce the idea. “Shiver” is another song ideal for shaking that sleepy feeling. This song, with its anxious guitar riffs, rocks out the most of any on the album. The speaker is frustrated because he loves a girl who doesn’t acknowledge him. He wants to be strong and move on, but he admits that he will always wait for her to change her mind; he adds that whether she chooses him or not, she will always be his object of desire. Lyrically, neither of these songs are a strain on the brain which makes them ideal for early morning listening.
After a busy day of school or work, a song that helps unwind the frazzled nerves is a welcome thing. Parachutes has several numbers to fit the bill. The laid-back “Yellow” is a great song for sitting back and watching the clouds go by. However, if the simplistic guitar chords combined with the happy-in-love lyrics don’t make you forget your troubles, then perhaps the bluesy, thoughtful “Everything’s Not Lost” is more your flavor. Lead singer Chris Martin’s vocal delivery mixed with the bare piano intro is a sweet combo ideal for unwinding as the sun sets.
Finally, Parachutes features music for falling asleep. “Sparks” provides hypnotic, mellow background music as you get cozy in your bed. The song is a tad on the sad side, but lyrically it is one of the strongest pieces in the collection. Something has gone wrong in the relationship and there seems to be no easy solution, but the speaker is willing to ride out the confusion because of the sparks he saw; the sparks make him hope that there will once again be a flame.
The most intriguing song on the whole album is perhaps “Trouble”. A sensitive piano intro massages the listener as the speaker uses the image of being caught in a spider web as a metaphor for getting caught up in distractions, and so ignoring someone important in his life. “Oh no, I see, a spider web, it’s tangled up with me. And I lost my head, the thought of all the stupid things I said,” begins the dreamlike song. Martin’s British accent comes through nicely in the piece.
At a first, brief encounter the listener will be tempted to suggest that the lead singer sounds like Dave Matthews. However, further listening disproves that theory and Chris Martin comes into his own—-perhaps he even sounds better than Matthews. Parachutes is complete–musically and lyrically. In short, it is a great soundtrack for your day.