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Cheryl Cole - 'Parachute'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:16 UK time, Saturday, 6 March 2010


So I was talking to someone this morning about Glee. He's not a fan. He doesn't like the TV show and he doesn't like the music. That's his choice. I like the music, and the TV show, but when I said so, he accused me of pandering to the lowest-common-denominator (*eyeroll*), and went on to say that as I'm normally so snooty about music, I must be just SAYING I like Glee to make some point or other.

Now, this is nonsense. For all that you can form an opinion about music before you hear it, based on factors which are not present in the music itself, once the song hits, it either works or it doesn't. You can't MAKE it work because all your friends love the song, any more than you can force yourself to hate a song you love, just because it is by someone whose work you do not normally enjoy.

Or to put it another way, there's no room for 'should' in popular song. There's only "yay!" or "boo!".*

(Here's the video. Can someone check if Cheryl can do the next series of Strictly...oh.)

So bearing in mind this is already a hit on downloads, was always going to be a hit and really does not require my or anyone else's help or commentary in order to achieve what it is going to achieve (apart from everyone who is buying it, obv), this leaves me with three choices.

I can hate on it, because it's, like, happening without my express permission and stuff.

I can love it, because it's going to be a hit and you can't argue with chart success, right? Lots of sales always means a very high quality product, dunnit? *cough*

Or I can listen to it and tell you about what happens. Guess which one I'm going for?

So what happens is this: Cheryl's pleading voice strikes home. Hard. I never really got 'Fight For This Love' because I never really believed her, but my GOODNESS I believe this. It's nothing to do with anything which is happening in her personal life, I don't need the back-story to get carried away, it's simply that she sings these tender, mournful lyrics as if she means every word.

And the strings wrap around her like a soft blanket - or an actual parachute, if you wanna go literal with it - and carry her aloft in a puff of warm harmonies. It's a beautifully made song, performed beautifully. There's even a vibraphone! I love those!

It's not technically perfect, that martial drumbeat could be a bit less drum-machiney, and hiding an autotuned vocal behind Cheryl's voice still counts as autotune to these ears...but flaws only really work as flaws when they spoil something, and this is unspoilable.

Better than Glee, even. I know!

Five starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: March 15th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

* Although I reserve the right to use the word in future, because I, like all reviewers, am nothing if I'm not making it up as I go along.

PS: On Friday 12th March Cheryl will be performing this song and a cover in Radio 1's Live Lounge. You'll be able to see this LIVE on Radio 1 online from 10am.


  • Comment number 1.

    Was the "Better than Glee, even" bit stuck in to deliberately provoke people Frazzel?!? Because I won't take the bait.. no sir..

  • Comment number 2.

    ... How the hell can you say this repetitive dull nothingness song can even touch the brilliance and cleverness of Glee?!?! It's a shocking song, instantly forgettable and I'm failing to see why people are buying it. I've also heard it before, just can't work out where.

    Had an argument with friends, of diverse music tastes, about which is worse. This or '3 Words'. We were split. But opinion wasn't massively positive for either!

    5 stars?! No. I know the rating system means nothing. But still. No.

    I never thought I'd be looking forward to Girls Aloud coming back. Just so she goes away, mind you.

    Yum this bait tastes great.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm fully expecting Spirit to come out all guns blazing with the good and bad points of this song and explain why it will be a top 10/5 hit.

  • Comment number 4.

    To be honest I prefer this massively to 3 Words, it's a nice enough song not great but not a complete mess. 3 STARS for myself.

    P.S: It is not better than Glee (even though without the story most of the music in Glee is pretty poor).

  • Comment number 5.

    Yep . in the light of Cheryl's personal life this song strikes a chord in the big world , and the song is lifted by an absolutely brilliant , memorable pop chorus .

    Currently at number 11 on downloads alone , after 5 weeks in the top 75 , this song will be a future top 10 single , and if Liam would like , I can list the 10 factors why this will be a top 10 hit .

  • Comment number 6.

    Actually , it should be in the top 10 tomorrow .


    As he has correctly predicted tomorrows NUMBER 1 SINGLE !

    Expect to see the brilliant Blogging Liam celebrating tonight , drinking champagne in either Southampton or Scunthorpe , and at exactly midnight , he will pass out !!!


  • Comment number 7.

    This Is Stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    When I was the only person to correctly predict that Jedward wouldn't make it to no.1 no-one cared. Suddenly Liam predicts one song will get to no.1 (he wasn't even the first person to say it! Kutox said it before him!) and he's renamed the messiah. I want my medal too!!!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Chin up Harry !

    It is SOOOO much easier in the music business to predict songs that WON'T be number 1 , than songs that will .

    For example , in the top 40 , a whopping 39 never made the number 1 spot that week , whereas only 1 did !

    However , here is challenge to you , set personally by me , that if you get it right , will lead to you gaining a prize .

    Your mission , if you choose to accept it is as follows :

    You have until 7pm , on Sunday 7th March 2010 , to tell me the song and artist that will in the future ,knock TINIE TEMPAH'S PASS OUT , from the number 1 spot .

    Happy predicting Harry !

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't have anything to add as Harry covered my feelings in his first comment...

    I predict that this will be number 1 sunday 14th.

    Aaaaaah i'm scared to be wrong/attacked by Liam or Spirit

  • Comment number 10.

    Okay Spirit here is my prediction. First I believe that Pass Out will stay no.1 for two weeks (On the 7th March and 14th March) but I believe that the song that will knock it off the top spot will be Lady Gaga's Telephone on the 21st March.

    The song has bags of commercial appeal and is already beginning to climb up the Itunes charts thanks to her performance on Jonathon Ross last night. Once the video is released and on heavy rotation on MTV and co. the song is really going to take off. With the added appeal of Beyonce to boost the star quality this sounds like no.1 and if Just Dance could get to no.1 then Telephone should do it easily.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hmmm, this isn't released until March 15th, and it's already heading for the top 10. Well done Cheryl I say - Fight For This Love was awful, really awful, and '3 Words' went on forever with the only real good bit about 30 seconds long, AND it only came around TWICE. Criminal, that is.

    But this song, I agree with Fraser in that it is actually sung with some emotion and some personality, I REALLY hope this song hits number 1, because it's just so perfectly produced and everything works together far better than her other songs. But unfortunately it won't get number 1 on its week of release... because this song is released at the same time as 'Telephone', so the pleasure will go to Lady GaGa.

    5 stars from me.

  • Comment number 12.

    Harry I predicted Jedward wouldnt get #1 too.

    The next number 1? I don't think Telephone is a good enough track. Plus it's on Gaga's album isn't it?

  • Comment number 13.

    Not a good enough track! It's one of the best things Gaga has done behind Bad Romance (and some would say Poker Face, even though I didn't really like it that much).

  • Comment number 14.

    Telephone is amazing! Nuff said.

  • Comment number 15.


    Yes , now Cheryl has well and truly flown into the top 10 with the use of a Parachute.
    Keep soaring girl !

  • Comment number 16.

    This song is one of my favourites off the album.. I think it should go at least top 5 anyway.. Its already no 6 in ireland..

  • Comment number 17.

    ^^^^Have I found a fellow Irishman on this blog?

  • Comment number 18.

    Its about time, how ironic on St Paddys Day!

  • Comment number 19.

    Im off for Guinness. Also Irish if you go back 3 generations, so I claim to be Irish every now and then.

  • Comment number 20.

    By 'now and then' I assume you mean that you pretend to be Irish when there's a drink going.

  • Comment number 21.

    Liam only pretends to be Irish , when he hears a hot girl say :

    " OOOOOH I love Irish guys ! "


  • Comment number 22.

    Exactly doesn't everyone?

    We are an irresistable race.

    Trust me, I know. ;)

    I'm gonna go out and get drunk now on Guinness and go dancing around with leprechauns in ringforts.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm actually(as in was born here!!!) Irish and i LOVE THIS SONG!!!!

  • Comment number 24.

    Why Kingshleppy, I was born and live in Ireland too. I thought I was the only Paddy in the village.

  • Comment number 25.

    I was hoping you were as well.

  • Comment number 26.

    Joke, obvz.

  • Comment number 27.

    Sadly Spririt my fake Irish accent really can't pull it off. The line "well I'm 4th generation Irish. Yeah that's right baby, 4th, count em." never seems to work either.

  • Comment number 28.

    was gonna translate this song into irish but its just too late and my brain is in french mode...maybe tomorrow..

  • Comment number 29.

    If anyone needs proof that Google Translate is rubbish here it is. I just typed in the first verse and chorus of Parachute converted it into Irish and then converted the translation back into English, look what it came up with!

    I am not informed about anyone the way you my hand
    I am not informed anyone about the things that we proposed
    I will not tell anyone
    Will not tell anyone
    Wish to push me down
    They want to see you fall (down)

    Will not tell anyone how you turn my world around
    I will not express to anyone how your voice is my favorite sound
    Will not tell anyone
    Will not tell anyone
    Would they see us fall
    Would they see us fall

    I do not need a parachute
    Baby if I have received
    Baby, if I were you
    I do not need a parachute
    You gonna catch me
    You are gonna catch if I fall
    Down, down, down

    Personally I think they may be better than the original lyrics

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    Love it! way better than what I could have written so props to Google Translate for that but yeah, after years of it doing my french homework for me I realised that it actually wasnt that good!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    God, I wouldn't know how to translate the lyrics of Parachute into Irish, my Irish has gotten fierce rusty since I finished scoil bliana seo caite.


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