Sound — 9
When you first hear or see Parachute (even the picture on the album cover) the first label that pops to your mind is: boy band. And many people will pass Parachute by as just another group of good-looking guys that young girls will love and only have poppy love songs. But this record proves what I believe: that Parachute is so much more than that. I listen to the album and I hear music. Just plain good music. Music that's refreshing after listening to the radio filled with autotune and rap. Parachute has a classic band set up - lead guitar, bass, drums, acoustic guitar and vocals, and keyboard - though they find a way to make this sound full and bursting on "The Way It Was", even with a choir on one track ("Something To Believe In").
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics of this album are all written by lead singer Will Anderson, with the exception of "Kiss Me Slowly", which was co-written with Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum. I find Will Anderson's lyrics and songwriting much better than he is given credit for and those lyrics form some of my very favorite songs. On a particular favorite, American Secrets, the verses of crafted skillfully to tell a story of a love that started simple and then got rather complicated ("Oh, she looks back and waves as I wait too long/ I can picture her room as the lights turn on") and then, just when you think its over, turns into a piano ballad about coming to turms with one's self and that same love. In "Kiss Me Slowly", the co-write, the picture of a city (I've always imagined New York) is painted just the story behind the city moment we witness is as well. The album finishes beautifully with the track "Philadephia", a song about a woman who has an affair with a married and thinks he will leave his wife for her but he doesn't ("She learned that love was supposed to win/ But sometimes its the demons, that are standing in the end").
Overall Impression — 10
Parachute's sound seems to have matured since "Losing Sleep", just as I'm sure the members themselves have. This is a band I can imagine more great music churning out from over the years, if only they don't get too obsessed with having radio hits and becoming hugely popular. This album speaks to me in many ways, the lyrics that sometimes hit home in your heart or just make you smile, and even every note the instruments play out. If I lost it (or more likely someone would steal it because it's so good) I would definitely go buy a new one, even if it was loaded on my computer, just so I could hold it in my hands. Parachute are hugely talented guys and this album is chock full of songs proving just that. And to all the people who complain, 'it's not rock, it should be pop, why is it called rock?', I just say 'It's music. And it's good.'