• Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: May 8, 2020
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. 100
    Petals For Armor is a display of the multifaceted truth that is ‘femininity’; Williams’ rage is complex yet simple, primal yet now more discrete.
  2. May 7, 2020
    100
    A record that perfectly proves how much strength is in vulnerability, it’s undeniably Hayley’s most powerful move yet.
  3. May 8, 2020
    91
    Though it contains mere hints of the scrappy rocker we’ve watched for 15 years, Petals Of Armor is the bold signature of someone who is more than ready to show off different sides of herself—yet has nothing left to prove to anyone.
  4. May 8, 2020
    88
    The shockingly honest debut is more comparable to the work of Sharon Van Etten than any of Williams' contemporaries in the pop-punk scene; not in the music itself, but the way both women use music as an outlet, in the aftermath of years-long relationships where they were demeaned and made to feel worthless.
  5. 83
    Williams sounds here like she’s singing about something else, something more her own. The assorted focuses of these songs sound like they’re being relayed less as rallying cries and more as personal thoughts and confessions to a close friend or a lover. The result is a fitting solo debut, a solid album full of friction and honesty.
  6. May 13, 2020
    80
    Petals for Armor succeeds best at sustaining a mood throughout, capturing the chaotic ups and downs of depression. Some moments are sugary sweet, while others are biting and angry, but the album keeps things healthy by switching between infectious pop tunes and mellow art-pop parts.
  7. May 8, 2020
    80
    On her solo debut, Williams goes beyond all expectations to create an experimental and multifaceted picture of pain as she opens up the door into a new decade of her life.
  8. 80
    Petals for Armor doesn’t offer up an easy redemptive arc towards happiness; it is a Herculean effort to pull yourself out of depression. But in letting us in on that effort, Williams has created something special.
  9. 80
    Many of these songs sparkle with insight and the daring of a shape-shifting vocalist, but a handful assume too readily that maturity and seriousness are only achieved through dour restraint. Still, as she and her band proved on Paramore’s excellent 2017 record “After Laughter,” Williams was already a pro at packing complex emotions and perceptive wisdom into bright, technicolor pop-rock songs.
  10. May 8, 2020
    80
    While there's certainly an audible sense of collaboration on Petals for Armor, it's Williams' ability to turn her dark, personal moments into anthems of survival that stick with you.
  11. May 8, 2020
    80
    Petals for Armor is a musically strong, emotionally vulnerable album that finds her standing confidently as an artist in her own right.
  12. May 8, 2020
    80
    It’s wilder and unvarnished, adding up to a self-portrait that’s intensely candid and intimate.
  13. From a less skilled artist, such a disparate-sounding album might morph into a collage of loose touchstones. Hayley Williams, on the other hand, draws clearly from other artists but retains her voice at the centre. Her frankness cuts through across Petals For Armor.
  14. May 7, 2020
    80
    At 15 tracks, Petals for Armor can occasionally feel redundant; two or three songs feel like retread territory that was better explored elsewhere, and there’s only so many metaphors you can create for flowers. Still, the album’s final third, while the most pop-oriented section, is also its most interesting. ... It’s the sound of an artist blooming into some the best music of her career.
  15. May 7, 2020
    80
    It's brutally honest, yet comforting and displays the freedom and catharsis she felt via making it. A compelling new chapter for old fans and a thrilling set for fresh ones.
  16. Q Magazine
    May 7, 2020
    80
    Viewed either as an introduction or reinvention, Williams emerges as a formidable solo artist here. [Jul 2020, p.111]
  17. May 7, 2020
    80
    Petals for Armor is a confident solo debut that suggests Williams has valences she’s just beginning to explore.
  18. May 12, 2020
    72
    Though the strength of Petals for Armor is derived from the complexities inherent in self-actualization, it is, at times, weakened by its musical and lyrical scope.
  19. May 15, 2020
    70
    This is a record which feels familiar and safely experimental, while Williams reveals more of herself than ever before. Just exactly who that is isn’t yet certain, and where she’ll go from here is anyone’s guess, but it’s sure to be interesting.
  20. May 8, 2020
    65
    Overall Petals For Armor proves that Hayley Williams, with her singing as sharp as ever, is no one trick pony and is willing to push the envelope outside of her comfort zone for a sophisticated and sensual debut album that should play well to the masses.
  21. May 11, 2020
    60
    Whilst Paramore's music tends to be all rage and release, solo Williams offers something much more quirky and cerebral, delving poetically and occasionally combatively into her insecurities. The elaborate intricacy of writing and production may be a lot to take in for all but devoted fans.
User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 319 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 319
  1. May 8, 2020
    10
    Paramore fans, attention. On Hayley's debut album, you won't find that teen hardcore stamina from Paramore's early career. It's easier toParamore fans, attention. On Hayley's debut album, you won't find that teen hardcore stamina from Paramore's early career. It's easier to approach the solo album with the tracks from the band's last album, especially when Hayley lets out her colorful pop influence from the 1980s and 1990s, like a juice from Madonna and Cindy Lauper. But the predominant tone here is the minimalist sound like The XX and Lorde. The singer allows herself to play with different movements, textures of vocal sounds and, at the time of the chorus, embraces herself tightly in the pop she knows well. Full Review »
  2. May 8, 2020
    10
    In love with this album, it is as incredible as each song has such a strong and different melody, Hayley definitely knew how to accommodateIn love with this album, it is as incredible as each song has such a strong and different melody, Hayley definitely knew how to accommodate these songs and make this album wonderful. Full Review »
  3. May 8, 2020
    10
    It’s awesome to hear that beautiful masterpiece called petals for armor, I’m so proud of her as a fan. Give a chance to hear it.