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The Critics Corner: Albums
Dirty Worj
Parachute | The Way It Was
Superb sophomore effort good to the last drop
Name: The Way It Was
Label: Mercury/Island Def Jam
Release Date: May 17, 2011
4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Alexandra Zawada
The band that brought us the well-known (and wonderful) song that is 'She Is Love' finally released their new album, 'The Way It Was', after a few years of touring with their debut album, 'Losing Sleep'. Unlike Parachute's debut album, which was twelve tracks, 'The Way It Was' has ten - however, two of the songs ('American Secrets' and 'Philadelphia') are about seven minutes long. There is something to love about every song that has made it onto this album - in a YouTube video Will Anderson, the lead singer from Parachute said that they made sure to perfect one song before going onto the other and not to expect any filler songs. The hard working band spent up to six months writing just one song, so you know this album has a lot of sweat and tears put into it. Has all this information still not convinced you to purchase it and take a listen? Alright...let me dive into the album a little deeper.

The album starts off with an upbeat song, 'White Dress', that tells about a girl that wants it all - which in this case she will find it in the city but the boy is trying to tell her that he wants to love her more than anything she could possible find and become. This song is a great start to the album because of its upbeat tempo and very catchy chorus. Then we go onto 'You & Me'. This sweet song explains love and the typical 'us against the world' story in the way of a dreamlike action movie. Not only is this a fun song, but it begins to show you that the band has a way with words - making lyrics catchy, fun, and sweet all at the same time.

We then move on to their single, 'Something To Believe In (Jeremiah)', which I am sure everyone has heard on the radio already. To keep it brief, this song tells listeners to stop waiting for something (love) to find them but to go and find something to believe in and something to fight for. My personal favorite on the album is 'Forever and Always'. The song is formed into a sad story: a girl is waiting on her fiancé (whom is running late), she gets home and he's not there either, then she gets a phone call that something happened. Next we find her in the hospital with him looking back to December where he proposed. She gets an idea to get married in the hospital and they talk about the future together. However, the song ends with the fiancé getting weaker and telling her he will love her 'forever and always' and for her to remember that. The song ends with just Will singing and it is so powerful that (girls watch out!) it could bring you to tears. I hate to admit it; but that was my reaction to the beautiful, heart wrenching song.

With 'What I Know', they are able to take a very hard and sad situation and compose it into an upbeat and powerful song. The song consists of all the confusion and heartbreak that happens when someone tells you that they fell in love with someone else. This song is definitely one of the best on the album. Continuing on to the next song, we get to the six minute and twenty second song that is 'American Secrets'. Even though it's far from the regular four-minute song, I advise everyone to listen to the entire 'American Secrets' song. “American Secrets’ is a beautiful song about looking back on memories and love that was lost, knowing that you're still holding on, and then deciding you are coming back for it. The song transitions from an upbeat first half to a slower second half when the listener is told that he is coming back for her. After you listen, you realize why it took six months to write this song.

In 'Kiss Me Slowly', we are yet again introduced to a blue-eyed girl (lucky girl!) and this song seems to be a fan favorite. It explains a nice moment for the couple where he wants the girl to just stay with him instead of running away.  This song does a great job at portraying an intimate moment between the couple. Next is 'Halfway', which is another upbeat song with a fun beginning. The three minute song talks about a girl that play the game of getting what she wants and then moves on to the next because she dreams up a guy and he knows that, but he's still willing to be hers. We then continue on to the next lengthy song, 'Philadelphia', which is a little over seven minutes long. This slow song is another personal favorite of mine, mostly because of the bridge, where Will's voice pierces through the song with words such as: “She thought that love was gonna save her, but love just never showed.” It brings out the harsh truth of love and what some people expect out of it. I recommend taking the time to listen to the full song without any distractions. We then finish the album off with 'Square One' (as the iTunes bonus), which is about trying to make something work that never began on the right foot. It closes off the album with an upbeat song, but that does not mean the song is a happy one. Most of the songs on the album (if not all) talk about the sad truths of love, and this song is no different, which makes it a perfect finish for the album.

If (and I hope you did) you have heard anything by Parachute before, then you really should not need convincing to listen to their newest album. The band always impresses with thoughtful songs. This anticipated album beat my (high) expectations, especially with songs like 'Forever and Always', 'What I Know', and 'Philadelphia'. Even though there are only ten tracks, every single one of them is a gem.
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