This is one of Anie’s album reviews. I’ve limited myself to one sentence per song.
Who Should Buy This: People looking for happy or catchy music, fans of jazz and ska influence, and people who like driving beats that make you want to move.
Album: Wide Awake
Genre: indie, pop, rock
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 7/10
Sounds Like: The Cab, The Maine, SafetySuit
One Sentence Summary: This is my favorite Parachute album so far, exploring themes of love and life with beautiful imagery, metaphors, quick rhymes, and irresistibly catchy music.
Best thing About this Album: This album has a very consistent and cohesive sound and lyrical profile while still exploring deviation and giving a variety to span the spectrum of the themes explored.
One thing I wish was different: There were two songs that I did not love (not bad for a full album), and some interesting musical references that I would be interested to see explored more fully (ie. Jennie).
Website: We Are Parachute
This is a playlist of all of the songs from the album that will automatically play through the whole album. To skip to a particular song, click on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner.
1. Without You* – check out my thoughts on this song
An opening song in every sense, this song begins by exploring the main themes of the album starting at the introduction of a love story that doesn’t quite exist yet with full-energy right out of the gate.
Can’t not talk about: As fun an seemingly frivolous as this song is, the structure, technicality, and core of this song are really solid.
2. What Side of Love*
By the second track, I’m really getting fired up with how fun, upbeat, and technically insane the songwriting on this album is, this particular song being a fantastic reverie on how love is a powerful force either to lift people up or make them feel down.
Can’t not talk about: I’m on the side of love that has the gospel choir. Very love.
Continuing the themes of love and sleeeping/waking up, this track wears a combination of gorgeous music and predictably amazing lyrics.
Can’t not talk about: I feel like this beach track has an underlying African vibe on the chorus which is as surprising as it is fantastic.
(Random sidetone: The first time I heard this song, I thought there was some random social commentary at 2:40. I heard “She was the Quran. You’re either with her or you’re not.” Silly Anie. That makes much less sense than the ocean imagery.)
Slowing down for the first time, this track is still about love albeit a more serious side, revolving around the somewhat humorous but always vulnerable emotional downplaying of what someone means to you with the contradictory phrase “only everything”.
Can’t not talk about: “You ask me how I feel, and it’s really no big deal. You’re only everything to me.”
5. Lonely with Me
I love the sincerity and humor in this track which seem to be becoming a trademark of this album, along with the fun, upbeat music and fast-paced intricacies in the lyrics.
Can’t not talk about: I’m a fan of self-referencing music, and this track has a little gem of foreshadowing tucked away at the end (Also, what the harmonica at the end? I love this band so much).
6. Love My Anyway
Going into a different (though no less infectious) groove, this track feels darker, evocative of the lyrics speaking of trying unnecessarily to hide a darker part of oneself to preserve love.
Can’t not talk about: Though very different musically, I absolutely love that this album has this beautiful deviation to give shadow to the bright lights of the other tracks.
7. New Orleans*
In another deviation (lyrically this time), the words of this track seem to follow completely different rules than the rest of the album, and the catchy strangeness of this song really just makes me want to visit New Orleans to dance in the streets.
Can’t not talk about: Will’s falsetto is amazing on this song and hello, gospel choir reprise!
8. When You Move
This song does a pretty great job at painting a picture, but it’s not a picture that I particularly love and I feel that I’ve been spoiled by this album heretofore into expecting a higher caliber of lyrics.
Can’t not talk about: Can’t really recommend this song, but it does have a great guitar part.
I can hardly fathom how so much greatness in songwriting was crammed into one album, but they’re at it again with quick rhymes, larger than life beats, catchiness of epic proportions, and overall clever writing which speaks of living life going in circles like a sleepwalker always wanting to wake up and break out.
Can’t not talk about: It’s almost baffling how well all the musical pieces on this track work together, so much so, that it’s quite difficult for me to try to pinpoint the crux of greatness on this song.
Not too many lyrics to speak of, this track has somewhat of a throwback disco/dance vibe underlying it and an undeniable beat.
Can’t not talk about: This track is not really my vibe, but maybe I’d like it more if I was a dancer?
11. What Breaks My Heart
This song is on the other side of love, and it’s both beautiful and tragic.
Can’t not talk about: The last verse is “what breaks my heart” in the most beautiful way, and: self-referencing for the win! #Getaway
12. Waking Up
A beautiful conclusion to the album and themes discovered therein, this song is the culmination of the process of waking up and deciding to live life and love purposefully, almost leaving you wondering if the entire album was in fact all just a dream.
Can’t not talk about: About a minute into the song, all the music stops in preparation for the chorus, and I just about died from the brilliance.
Conclusion: This album is fun and thoughtful, has light and shadows, and tells you that it’s okay to dream as long as you are awake.
Denotes my favorites
* Denotes songs released as singles
Click here to read through Parachute lyrics (including all the songs from this album).