Parachutes

Who will be the next Radiohead? Or the next Verve, or Travis? In England, the answer on everyone's lips is Coldplay. On its debut album, Parachutes, this youthful quartet resembles each of the above bands. Coldplay make straight-ahead, melodic Brit pop that strives for significance with a capital s, even as it has a hard time shaking its influences — you can also hear the ethereal guitar chime of U2, a bit of Dave Matthews' breathy folk implosion, even a misting of Roger Waters-era Pink Floyd. More than anyone, however, the ghost of Jeff Buckley lingers here, as the go-anywhere falsetto on songs like "Shiver" demonstrates. Parachutes ultimately rises above its influences to become a work of real transcendence: On songs like the unrepentantly romantic "Yellow," the band creates a hypnotic slo-mo otherworld where spirit rules supreme. When frontman Chris Martin moans about "skin and bones/Turning to something beautiful," he could very well be talking about his own band.

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