Apr 15, 2013Paramore are reborn.
This album is amazing. Some of it quite different to stuff they've done before, some stuff feels quite familiar. It took me a while to get into the album, but now I have I love almost every song. I love the electronic influences. Hayley has done a great job adapting to the new line up and there are some great lyrics on the album. It's a bittersweet goodbye to the old Paramore, but this album makes me excited for their future.… Expand
Apr 11, 2013Overall, its hard to say anything cumulatively negative about the album. Its not perfect no, but its pretty darn close. The lows here would be a highlight on most albums any day of the week. Paramore has shown tremendous growth with each album, from kids on Falling, to teens on Riot!, to young adults on Brand New Eyes, and finally to adults on Paramore. Its amazing to see that from good albums, they make great ones. Buy this album, and the rest of their discography. The next one will be perfect, I can almost guarantee it.… Collapse
Apr 10, 2013Some of the criticism fans have been laying against this album is just ridiculous. If anything, Paramore has blossomed musically with this album, which is easily their best. The sound is so diverse, there's more than just guitars and electronica: there's ukeleles, string sections, harmonicas and even a gospel choir. If that's not ambition I don't know what is. Maybe it's their lyrics, there's many songs that reflect on their troubles with Farros but they're also declaring that they're moving on and willing to try new things. Highlights include Part II, Still into You, Ain't It Fun and Future. After all the drama Paramore's faced over the last three years, they've come out the other side as a multi-dimensional band who's willing to push their own limits, marking their greatest artistic statement.… Expand
Apr 15, 2013Okay so I have always been a huge fan of Paramore so it was pretty likely that I was going to score this highly. All I can say is if you weren't a massive fan of Paramore before this album then I urge you to give it a try. There is still the distinctive sound that we associate with Paramore, however there are lots of great added elements to it. This may not be the loyal "Parawhore's" favourite album or for the people that "only love alt rock" but it's their loss. In my opinion there is something in there for everyone, from the slow "Hate To See Your Heart Break" to the poppy and upbeat "Still Into You" and "Anklebiters" you're bound to love something. This album is brilliant and is only bought down by one point as I don't believe it is the best lyrically. But believe me, Paramore are back, and they're better than ever.… Expand
Apr 9, 2013In this case, “new” can mean a lot of different things.
In the almost eight years since Paramore released their debut LP, All We Know Is Fas Falling, their sound has been described as emo, pop-punk, rock, post-grunge, alternative, and something called “emo metal”, according to Rolling Stone.
After streaming their self-titled fourth album over the course of four nights this week, I have tossed out all of those labels, because these three have managed to redefine who they are and what Paramore’s music is all about with one hell of an album.
Anyone who is likely to read this doesn’t need a history lesson about what Hayley Williams, Taylor York, and Jeremy Davis have been through over the course of the last 4 or 5 years. Their third album, the incredible brand new eyes, was essentially an autobiographical tale of the band’s personal struggles with one another. While it concluded with a sense of hope (see “Looking Up” and “Where the Lines Overlap”), the band as it was constituted was fractured and could not move forward as a cohesive unit. When the dust settled, Hayley, Jeremy, and Taylor picked up the pieces and moved on.
When the threesome surfaced from the studio in late 2011 with four reflective songs that would eventually become their Singles Club, they declared their intention to put the past behind them and focus on the future of Paramore. The band remained open and honest with their fans, keeping us updated and taking us along for the ride as they set out to create their fourth album. They seemed reenergized and, above all else, happy. Guided by producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Paramore entered an LA studio last summer determined to make the album they’ve always wanted to make. What they emerged with is their most ambitious, best-sounding, and universally satisfying body of work to date.
To try to describe Paramore as any one specific sound would be an exercise in futility. It samples from practically every genre of music under the sun, and features an incredibly diverse collection of instrumentation. The powerhouse lead single “Now” is traditional Paramore, as is the intense rockers “Be Alone” and “Part II” (as in, the sequel to 2007’s “Let the Flames Begin”). “Last Hope” and “Daydreaming” find the band paying homage to 90’s alterative acts with subtle verses and big crescendos. Did you know that before they joined Paramore, Hayley and Jeremy were in a funk band? Listen to “Ain’t It Fun,” the sure-hit groover that finds Jeremy and Hayley channeling Bootsy Collins and Mariah Carey, respectively, and you’ll understand.
Paramore is definitely much more of a pop album than some (less open-minded) fans may care for. But even these “pop” songs (“Fast In My Car,” “Still Into You,” “Grow Up,” and the aforementioned “Ain’t It Fun”) are too well-crafted and, frankly, too substantive to be lumped in with the countless other Top 40 acts du jour. Whether it was JMJ’s influence or Taylor’s songwriting ambition, this album features synthesizers…lots of them. But the keyboards manage to bolster the songs listenability without interfering with them, which is impressive considering the band never recorded with them before.
Paramore’s most valuable asset, Hayley’s voice, has never sounded better. Her face-melting wails are balanced by the album’s three ukulele accompanied interludes and the gentle and beautiful “Hate to See Your Heart Break.” Lyrically, Hayley has put the band’s new outlook in the forefront. The overarching theme of this record is “when happens, pick yourself up and move forward, because there is a lot more life to live.”
Paramore’s only real misstep, and I feel I may be nitpicking, is the organization of the songs. The interludes, for the most part, are catchy. But the sleepy “Holiday” wedged in between the Blink 182-inspred punk burst of “Anklebiters” and the Riot!/brand new eyes hybrid stomper “Proof” was a letdown. Also, “(One of Those) Crazy Girls,” which is a cross between the Ronettes and Weezer, seemed a little out of place toward the end of the record, and may become an afterthought.
Nevertheless, Paramore is a sterling effort that the band and their adoring fans can be proud of. They’ve been through a lot, especially for a group of twenty-somethings who will undoubtedly continue to evolve and adapt. The end result is a collection of 17 songs that offers something for everyone. It is ambitious and traditional, insouciant and focused, fist-pumping and tender.
A while back, Paramore left us as a troubled quintet seemingly pulling in opposite directions. They have reintroduced themselves as a refreshed, rededicated, and resilient trio of damn good musicians, moving on together, for one another, and for their fans.… Expand
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