Now almost as much a part of UK households as the most popular of soap operas it seems that a day has not gone past without the surging guitars of 'Yellow' or the piano-dominated Trouble (hands up all those who became irritated every time Chris Martin raised his voice a pitch towards the end of the "Oh no, what's this?" line). Nevertheless their familiarity can't escape the fact that they are excellent songs. Indeed, 'Parachutes' is the kind of album for which the terms 'well crafted' and 'understated' were made for. As a whole there are addictive tunes abound whether it be on Martin's varying vocal range on 'Shiver' or the subtle strummed melody on 'Sparks'. The second half doesn't quite match the excellence of the first but in fairness debut albums usualy struggle to achieve consistency. Hated by some for its blatant commercial success, this is a definite victory for songwriting over manufactured pap and for that we must all be thankful.