Review: Parachute's 'Wide-Awake' Delivers Average Love Songs, Not Much Else

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 8:09 AM
Review: Parachute's 'Wide-Awake' Delivers Average Love Songs, Not Much Else by Patrick Dewey

Parachute, rising pop rock band, recently released their new album, “Wide-Awake,” dropping in advance of a U.S. tour later this month.

Music should focus on a variety of human emotions, both those with roots in happiness and those that are the cousins of sadness or anger. And an album that has anything to do with emotion should have a few songs that represent each of these feelings. This album focused too much on feelings of love and what it’s like to be in a romantic relationship. Disclaimer: I am not currently having any experiences regarding romantic love, so as one positive review suggested, I may not be the target audience for this album.

Musically the tempos of the songs were fairly well-balanced, although, the album did have a few too many slow songs for my taste. This being said, a couple of the upbeat tracks had an exhilarating energy to them.

“Without You” is about not wanting to part from someone that you’re in love with. A slight gospel influence appears on the backup vocals of this song, and this musical style makes cameos throughout the album, revealing that Parachute borrows from genres other than pop.

“What Side of Love” is about getting the most out of a relationship. You’ll find the theme of the song through the lyrics, “Is it taking you higher?/Are you walking the wire?/What side of love are you on?”

The song is essentially asking about the equity and satisfaction that someone finds (or does not find) in their relationship. “Jenny” is about the emotions that accompany a romantic relationship.

As I mentioned before, the album has too many slow songs. For example, “When You Move” is about being physically attracted to someone, but it’s just too plodding, even for a love song. Another example in this category is “Everything.”

“What Breaks My Heart” continues this trend of slow songs, but one could argue rightfully so as it’s about knowing that your lover is in love with someone else and that you will never gain back that desired relationship.

One of the more up-tempo numbers was “Crave,” which I was singing and dancing to as I was listening. It’s about the desire to be with someone and have their affection. “Get Away” is probably my favorite song on the album. It’s about how we all need to do something for ourselves, sometimes at the spur of the moment when we’re getting burnt out. A quote from this song that illustrates this theme is “Get up, get out, get going, and make a getaway.”

As a music lover, it would be horrible of me to not mention some of the great instrumental qualities of the song. It has outstanding solos on both guitar and saxophone. It is one of the few songs that is not exclusively about romantic love. The song “New Orleans” is about the magic, energy and vitality in the city. Here we see a repeat of the gospel influence that I mentioned with the opener.

Parachutes’ “Wide-Awake” is a wonderful portrayal of what it feels like to be in love. It may have a few too many slow songs, but I also realize that a slow tempo is typical of most love tracks. The album has a good mix of tempos and musical influences. If it explored some other emotions with the depth and sensitivity that it uses to explore love, it would be an amazing record. If love is a prevailing part of your life right now — for good or bad reasons — you will love this album.

Patrick Dewey is a Contributing Writer for The Spectator.

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