Label: Parlophone The London foursome Coldplay were early critics' darlings in their native U.K., showcasing melodic pop on a slew of EP releases and constant live shows just after the spark of the new millennium. Combining bits of distorted guitar riffs and swishing percussion, Parachutes was a delightful introduction and also quickly indicated the reason why this album earned Coldplay a Mercury Music Prize nomination in fall 2000. The imagery captured on Parachutes is exquisitely dark and artistically abrasive, and the entire composition is tractable thanks to gauzy acoustics and airy percussion. Coldplay's indie rock inclinations are also obvious, especially on songs such as "Don't Panic" and "Shiver," but it's the dream pop soundscapes captured on "High Speed" and "We Never Change" that illustrate the band's dynamic passion. Parachutes deserved the accolades it received because it followed the general rule when introducing decent pop songs: keep the emotion genuine and real. And Coldplay did that without hesitation.