When given a chance to comment on Parachutes in 2006, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin said “We know that’s terrible music, and we always try to think about what we can do next.” Nonetheless, two years later I still made it my first C.A.T. (and one of the few any of us would do on an album from the 21st Century). Three years after that, a spambot commented on that post “I am not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for great info I was looking for this information for my mission.” Perhaps I can help.
To answer the question, I don’t know where I was getting my information. I make a lot of claims about a lot of people that, for all I know now, were entirely made up. Certainly my writing about Parachutes being unpopular or divisively mellow seem peculiar, given that it’s well-known that Coldplay was pretty popular leading up to the release of their debut LP. I have to guess I was going off Wikipedia or just the way things felt in the first quarter of 2018. Coldplay was arguably the biggest band in the world back then, so pretending that this was a hidden gem was an odd tactic to take.
But I too make it my mission to spend more time learning or understand more. Just this week, people have been talking about this NYT study on when our musical tastes peak. The conclusion was that my favorite song probably came out when I was between 13 and 16 years old. And you know what? That’s prime Coldplay time. My sweet spot would be around 2002, the year that gave us some of my all-timers, like Beck’s Sea Change, as well as A Rush of Blood to the Head. The only thing is I was way more into classic rock during that period than I was any other time in my life, so I’m not sure I want to subscribe to this theory.
I actually feel like my musical taste has grown more sophisticated over the last decade of this blog. In early 2008, I was learning how to be alone with music in a way that I hadn’t ever been before. It was my freshman year of college, and my first time doing things like walking to the grocery store, folding way too much laundry, or driving for hours by myself. It’s at that point that music started to actually matter to me personally, and I still feel strongly about the stuff I was listening to then; albums like At Dawn, Because of the Times, Turn on the Bright Lights, and, yeah, Parachutes.
None of the bands who made those albums are in my regular rotation anymore. But they definitely lay at the foundation of what I listen to know, even if I was late to the party back then. Parachutes made me feel something, and the fact that it didn’t have “Clocks” on it made it seem more like it was “my thing” than it actually ever was. Look, it’s not that great, I’ll admit it that Chris Martin was more right than I would have ever allowed 10 years ago. But I listened to the album on my drive home from work today and I still had a good time privately singing along as a drove the same route I’ve driven hundreds of times before. In that context, it’s perfect: a boring commute, a corny album, and me.
Favorite Tracks: “Don’t Panic,” “Shiver,” “Everything’s Not Lost”