Your Ad Here


main | archive | about us | feedback


issue: 11/01/2000

- Books
- Games
- Links
- Music
- News
- Software

search mindjack

vCity 1.0
by Dr. Adam L. Gruen

20 days in the life of a 21st century virtual city simulation.

Mindjack Radio
Powered by

Mindjack Store
Buy Mindjack t-shirts and other apparel.
temporarily unavailable

Mailing List
Get informed of site updates.


buy this album at

Coldplay, Parachutes

- reviewed by Jennifer Hawker

This year the music press can’t seem to get enough of calling every new band that comes along “the new Radiohead” or “Buckley-esque” simply because the singers possess voices not unlike a Thom Yorke/Jeff Buckley hybrid. It seems to me like lazy journalism. One has to look at the music being played and the lyrics of the songs, not just whether the singer has the uncanny ability to warble on incoherently.

London-based Coldplay is yet another of those bands lumped under the “New Radiohead/Buckley Rock” label. Additionally, they’ve been called “The New Travis” in the British press, since with a similar “mellow acoustic rock” sound captured in mega-hit Yellow, they seemed destined for the same success Travis found in 1999. A few months ago, Parachutes debuted at #1 in the UK album charts, following Yellow’s success. Having conquered Britain, Coldplay are now seeking the rest of the world.

As a fan of the bands that Coldplay are compared to (and influenced by), I was of course curious. After all the fuss and hype, I gave Parachutes a listen. And I started laughing. Singer Chris Martin’s voice threw me far from expectations. Jeff? Thom? Fran from Travis? Nope. Try Nick Drake. A bit on the deeper side, it’s only in the odd howl or bit of falsetto that he strikes one as a distant cousin to Jeff Buckley. As for the music, it may initially appeal more to those who enjoy lighthearted Travis rather than angst-filled Radiohead, but there’s a spacey, dreamy vibe that harkens early Verve in many of the songs. In opener Don’t Panic, Martin’s voice is immediately striking, singing “We live in a beautiful woooooooorld” in a drawn-out way, more Richard Ashcroft than Liam Gallagher as he bends and shapes words to fit melodies.

Many of the songs have fairly straightforward relationship themes we’ve heard time and again. In Shiver, Chris longs after a girl who doesn’t notice him: “So I look in your direction, but you pay me no attention…I know you won’t listen to me ’cause you say you see straight through me.” Later in Trouble, Chris is filled with painful regret again, yet this time he’s not been unnoticed: “I never meant to cause you trouble, I never meant to do you wrong.”

One of the highlights is the delicate Spies, which grabs hold of the heart and doesn’t let go until you’ve journeyed up to the stars and back down again. The following Sparks, a gentle love ballad, calms the soul as a cup of tea until the catchy Yellow, actually one of the weaker tracks, perks things up yet again. High Speed is another of the album’s space rock gems, and makes one wonder how a band so young (all are in their early twenties) can sound so accomplished with this, their debut album. They aren’t Radiohead by a long shot, but then, who is? And who cares? Coldplay stand solidly on their own despite their obvious influences, which fall away after several listens to Parachutes convince you that Coldplay can only get better as they mature.

Jennifer Hawker welcomes your comments on this review.


main | archive | about us | feedback