Coldplay - Parachutes - Review
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critics' view

Forget trashing rooms and rent-a-quotes, just listen.

It’s all a question of what you want from your rock stars. The criticism most often levelled at Coldplay (certainly round these parts) is that they will never be the saviours of rock’n’roll. They will never cause front-page tabloid sensation and they really like their parents. Frankly, they’re more likely to enjoy a nice cup of tea in front of the TV than throw it out the window.

But, hang on. Weren’t Oasis everything we could want from a rock band once? They fought, had rock star girlfriends, slagged people off and wanted loads of cash to blow on stupid houses. Fine, but those are exactly the things that have made them an embarrassment; an endless, dull cocaine comedown. Remember the disappointment you felt after ‘Be Here Now’? Coldplay will never let you down like that.

Like Travis before them, Coldplay care about what really counts. ‘Parachutes’ is all that matters in the world to singer Chris Martin. It only takes one listen to realise how he has poured every thought, every feeling he’s had in the last two years into this record. With the focus so much on Chris‘ voice here, it’s like reading one long, intimate love letter.

It’s powerful because its sentiment is so simple. And, let’s face it, so easy for everyone to comprehend.

Again, in the devotional ‘Yellow’ (“For you, I bleed myself dry”, no less) or the gorgeous regret of ‘Trouble’ (“I never meant to do you harm”), it’s the force of feeling which counts. That’s what brings the entirely favourable comparisons to Jeff Buckley, The Verve, even Radiohead. But it’s far gentler than anything the latter have ever done. Unlike Thom Yorke, Chris exists in a place we can almost understand. A place that Fran Healy might have passed through, but is too happy with his girlfriend to really remember.

All told, it’s incredible this is a debut album. Accomplished, yet subtle, it works perfectly as a whole in a way all the production skills in the world couldn’t replicate. Forget trashing rooms and rent-a-quotes, just listen. This really is all that matters.

Let it be that simple for once.

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New Musical Express is a British music journalism website and former magazine that has been published since 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart, in the edition of 14 November 1952. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music newspaper. These days, NME.COM brings you the latest music news and reviews, along with music videos and galleries, plus band features, blogs on your favourite artists, concert tickets, competitions and more.
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