It spawned the hit singles "Shiver", "Trouble", "Don't Panic", and especially "Yellow", the band's Breakthrough Hit and one of their Signature Songs. The album was a critical and commercial success, selling 8.5 million copies worldwide as of 2011 and winning a Grammy Award. It also made several lists of the greatest (British) albums of all time, and was seen as a remarkably impressive debut effort.
However, the album attracted criticism from listeners who felt that its moody alt-rock sound was uncannily similar to that of Radiohead, particularly their 1995 album The Bends; some outlets proposed that at least some of the album's success was attributable to listeners being alienated by Radiohead's electronic and heavily experimental Kid A, which was released later that year (incidentally, the switch in style on Kid A came about in part from the heavy amount of Radiohead imitators that emerged following the success of OK Computer in 1997).
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has stated that the band looks back on Parachutes negatively.
- "Don't Panic" (2:17)
- "Shiver" (5:00)
- "Spies" (5:19)
- "Sparks" (3:47)
- "Yellow" (4:29)
- "Trouble" (4:31)
- "Parachutes" (0:46)
- "High Speed" (4:14)
- "We Never Change" (4:09)
- "Everything's Not Lost" (7:17)note
Look at the tropes, look how they shine for you...
- Animal Motifs: "Trouble" repeatedly refers to spiders and spiderwebs.
- Central Theme: Love. It's established from the get-go in the ending of the opening track "Don't Panic" ("everybody here's got somebody to lean on") and referred to extensively throughout the album.
- Darker and Edgier: The original European music video for "Trouble", which has Chris singing while tied to a chair in a dark warehouse juxtaposed with footage of the rest of the band members; to specify, Buckland and Champion forcing Berryman into being tied to a chair of his own.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Neither the ambient tone nor the U2-esque larger-than-life stadium anthems that the band would be known for are present on this album. Instead, it's an extremely dry, subdued record bordering on easy listening, which is largely why the band have disowned it.
- The End of the World as We Know It: The basis of "Don't Panic".Bones, sinking like stones
All that we fought for
Homes, places weve grown
All of us are done for
- Epic Rocking:
- "Shiver" and "Spies" are both 5 minutes long.
- "Everything's Not Lost" is 5.5 minutes long minus "Life is For Living".
- Hidden Track: "Life Is For Living", which starts a few seconds after "Everything's Not Lost" ends.
- Irony: In "Don't Panic", the verses describe an apocalypse and the fleeting hopelessness it brings to humanity, but the chorus consists of the line "We live in a beautiful world".
- Lonely Piano Piece: "Trouble"
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- "Don't Panic". A gentle, lovely melody about the fact that people are slowly killing the world. The music video makes it a little more obvious.
- "Shiver". It's strongly implied that the song's protagonist is following his love around, trying to keep her from freaking out.
- Miniscule Rocking: The Title Track, which is less than a minute long.
- Stalker with a Crush: Highly believed to be what "Shiver" is about.
- Title Track: The seventh (and shortest) track.