Wide Awake may be the best album so far by pop/rock band Parachute. Released in early 2016, the album is fun, intuitive, pensive, and takes the listener through the album as if it were a story. Not only is Wide Awake cohesive within itself, but it ties together the themes of the band’s previous three albums. Parachute’s debut LP is titled Losing Sleep, followed by The Way It Was, and Overnight. It’s as if the band has been sleepwalking through a long, difficult night, and has finally shaken off the fog of sleep; bringing the theme of “sleep vs. awake” to full circle in Wide Awake.
7 out of 12 tracks on the new album talk about either falling asleep or waking up; two ideas that are presented differently in every song. Each track, regardless of how upbeat or subdued it sounds, maintains the high level of sensitivity and heartfelt lyrics that the band is known for. The album takes the listener on an emotional Ferris Wheel ride, alternating songs about having love, to losing it, to finding it again; going around in circles before arriving at a final conclusion. The phrase “wake up” takes on a few different meanings throughout the album. In “Jennie,” lead singer Will Anderson mourns a lost love, saying “I was sleeping, and I’ve finally woken up,” almost as if he awoke with a jolt to a harsh reality. The soulful track “New Orleans” paints a picture of a young girl who is “wide awake again” as she “comes alive” driving around the city. The last song on the album leaves the listener with a feeling that the dawn is finally breaking, with the tag line “I think we’re finally gonna get out, I can feel it, I’m finally waking up.”
Parachute certainly gives the impression that they are now more alive and alert than ever. The cohesiveness of their latest album, paired with the fact that it rounds off the themes of their previous albums, makes Wide Awake nothing short of genius. A new dawn is upon the band, and they’re certainly wide awake to experience it.