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Coldplay: Parachutes.

Coldplay: Parachutes.Music doesn’t come more touching than this. With their debut single alone, the emotion-fortified “Shiver,” Coldplay prove they can shift between elated and crushed in a breath, as singer Chris Martin pours out music’s oldest chestnut (unconditional yet unrequited love) with the shakiest of voices and a backdrop of epic guitars. For 10 tracks on Parachutes, he adds new-found meaning to the most tired and overused rock sentiments — love found, love lost, love unrequited — over acoustic guitars and emotionally fraught rock.

And for once, all the clich├ęs ring true because Chris Martin genuinely sounds like a man picking over the bones of his life, coming up with just as many reasons to be cheerful as seriously depressed. Not that Parachutes is a depressing album–there’s too much conviction to the guitars and hope in Martin’s words for that. Instead it’s a beautifully tender balance that comes as close to perfection as anything that’s come before it.

Oh, yeah… This album really grows on you. A friend of mine bought the album and the first time I listened to it, I thought it was OK, but nothing more. The second time it was a bit better. The fifth time I listened to it, I completely fell in love. This album is just damn spectacular! I’ve now bought a copy for myself and I gave one to a friend of mine for his 22nd birthday.

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