Average User Score: 8.1May 18, 2013There are two types of bands in this world: Those who evolve and those who change. Paramore's self titled album is a prime example of whatThere are two types of bands in this world: Those who evolve and those who change. Paramore's self titled album is a prime example of what happens when a band changes.
Let's be honest here, at least a good portion of fans bought this album expecting to hear the sound which made Paramore great, the fast rifts and in your face attitude. If you haven't gotten the idea from reading thus far, I'll spell it out for you; if you're going into buying it expecting to hear the successor to "Riot!" and "Brand New Eyes" (Nevermind "All We Know Is Falling"), you're going to be sorely sorely disappointed. The first single, "Now", is more or less what one would expect if the band had announced that they were working with Avril Lavigne's producer; glimpses of Paramore's signature pop-punk sound with very poppy overtones. The track itself however isn't all that bad, but would really only be considered filler if it were on any of their previous albums. This bring us to the second single, "Still Into You". "Still Into You" presents a radical departure from anything even remotely close to the old Paramore sound and what seems to have made 95% of Paramore fans fly into a rage. With this one, Paramore evidently wanted to channel their inner Katy Perry from everything from the overall sound to the video in itself in a completely serious manner. In fact, the only way it could sound poppier is if Ms. Perry herself were featured in it. I don't wish to get into a debate on whether or not the Farro brothers' departure from the band are what caused this change or who is/was the true creative force in Paramore, but I will say that just about every song seems to be, or at least contain, a cheap stab at them in one way or another that would make Taylor Swift say "Not bad".
The album is not without it's hidden gems however, as songs like "Anklebiters" and "Part II" present a sound one would expect if this sudden change were instead foreshadowed in their last album, a more balanced pop-punk/power pop combo and are relatively decent tracks. Aside from that, however, most of the songs on the track seem to echo my thoughts on "Now" in having a very pop overtone to them, but are mostly unremarkable. Other songs however are more Indie inclined and contain things from a ukulele and a choir, among other things, but the overall album is still pretty pop sounding. For some reason I can't fathom, this album seems to be being pushed as the quintessential sound of a bands maturity and progress, when it's really anything but.
All in all I'm saddened to say that this blundered experimental album is the only Paramore album that I have had to force myself to listen to in its entirety, and that's only because I was desperately trying to find more than two songs that actually sounded like Paramore to keep myself from relapsing into the deep depression my medication tries so hard to fend off. This album really is a dividing line between fans, as you can only really either love it or hate it. Hardcore fans will cry blood, casual fans will wonder when Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne gave birth to their lovechild and why they're in Paramore now, but new fans will be attracted to it's mainstream radio friendly electro-power pop sound. If you're truly thinking about running out and buying this album, I'd give it a listen in it's entirety on the Web first to make sure that it's your cup of tea unless the place you buy it from has a return policy.
I personally dislike this album very very very very much (I say this to avoid using the word 'hate'), and I really hope that this isn't a permanent change and that Paramore will be back and better than ever next time and that whoever told them that going in this direction was a great idea be hung from a tree and beaten like a piñata.
I'm giving this album a very deserving 4/10.… Expand