Record Review - 3 December 23 2000

It's a shame for Coldplay's career that the band's debut album wasn't released a few weeks earlier. It's primo sweater music — that melodic, bittersweet guitar pop that perfectly accompanies autumn's wistful melancholy, at least until Daylight Savings Time sends your serotonin levels plunging. If you happen to be a college-educated whitebread who attended school somewhere with four seasons, it can have the added effect of summoning visions of frowsy-haired crushes with whom you once shared cigarettes amid the rustling leaves while wearing — you guessed it — sweaters.
The British quartet has all the sweater-music essentials: Chiming guitars, sinuous minor-key melodies, a depressed interest in rocking out, wonderstruck lyrics and a tremulous vocalist. What a shame, then, that Parachutes' appeal turns out to be as ephemeral as that blaze of color on the hills and as thin as the first pond ice. After a few listens, Chris Martin's doe-eyed croon begins to annoy, especially once one realizes where he's copping that occasional bend in his voice from: the late king of sweater music, Jeff Buckley. And like that collegiate crush, the songs turn out to be merely pretty rather than substantial. The band's big British hit, "Yellow," was a hit for good reason, but after a few spins it begins to sound like a middling Cranberries demo. Parachutes isn't hardy enough to survive the winter, much less wind up hanging around your CD collection next October.