Back with an album that packs a mighty punch and a few very questionable hairdos, is Paramore.
Over the past four years the pop/rock band have had many ups and downs, one of the major downs being the departure of the ‘Farro’ brothers, Josh and Zac, in 2010. Leaving a question on the minds of thousands of fans…’what will happen next?’
It is now clear that what was happening during this time was the reignition of the band, who decided to carry on as a trio; Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Jeremy Davis. The self-titled fourth album from Paramore had quite high expectations, it would determine if the trio could still bring the power which made Paramore. Thankfully, it does.When a band has not put out a full album in this amount of time, then it is usually the first song that will determine if they are going to pull you in to enjoy the rest. Opening track ‘Fast In My Car’, does do this, not only does it feel like a classic Paramore song, but it also accentuates their new sound, by opening with a powerful riff which carries the song.
The album continues with Paramore’s new sound when hard-hitting ‘Now’ begins to play; the first single released from the album. When this track was released it was obvious that the band were trying to take their music in another direction, by adding a greater rock feel to it. It is quite easy to lose yourself to a constant head nod during ‘Now’, but when listening to the lyrics it seems as though it is about rebuilding Paramore from the ashes after the ‘Farro’ brothers exited, “we’re starting over, we’ll head back in. There’s a time and a place to die, but this ain’t it.” Screams – lead singer – Hayley Williams. However when talking to the rock magazine ‘Kerrang!’, she assured them that none of the songs had been written with the ‘Farro’ brothers in mind.
As the record continues it falls into classic Paramore, which is not a bad thing; songs like ‘Grow Up’, ‘Daydreaming’ and recently released single ‘Still Into You’, take what the fans know and love about the Paramore sound and crank it up a notch to a new level of catchy hooking quality.
Being, in a way, a new beginning for the band, it gives them a chance to try something new and different. This is exactly what they do with ‘Ain’t It Fun’, which starts off with funky guitar riff, beckoning a tune to get you moving. By the end your ears are treated to a massive gospel choir outro singing “don’t go cryin’, to your mama, ’cause you’re on your own in the real world.” with Hayley giving the classics ‘whao-ho-ho-ho-hooos’ over the top. This isn’t the only time on the album that the trio do something slightly different. Throughout the tracks there are three interludes, ‘Moving On’, ‘Holiday’ and ‘I’m Not Angry Anymore’, which bring along with them some catchy ukulele strumming.
A real treat for avid Paramore fans comes in the song ‘Part II’, which, anyone who has the band’s 2007 album ‘Riot’, will realise that it sounds very familiar to ‘Let The Flames Begin’. Well by now you probably will have guessed that ‘Part II’ is actually the second part to ‘Let The Flames Begin’. It takes the band back to their original sound and blasts out a chorus on par with the first part.
Songs like ‘Last Hope’, ‘Proof’ and ‘[One Of Those] Crazy Girls’ are the ones which will be getting the biggest sing-a-longs at concerts, they sound as though they were written to be screamed back at the band whilst playing live. The funky guitar riffs mixed with hooking choruses and meaningful lyrics make these three of the best songs on the album.
The 17-track record is much longer than their previous albums, which usually stay at around 11 or 12 songs; but the quality does not fizzle out towards the end. However, being their big comeback album, it could have ended with more of a bang. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many great albums which have ended brilliantly with a slow-meaningful song, but those songs are usually amazing. The last track, ‘Future’, begins with some real potential to be great, it’s deep, catchy and relaxing, however after two verses the track turns to a repetitive instrumental outro which fades in and out for the next 3 minutes. This does not take away the fact that this is an album that met all the expectations though.
Paramore have once again proved that they still have the fight left in them, and that the departure of two members may have been the best thing to have happened to the band.
Listen to: Proof, Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore and [One Of Those] Crazy Girls.
The album ‘Paramore’ is out now.
The full track-listing is as follows:
Fast In My Car
Interlude: Moving On
Ain’t It Fun
Still Into You
Hate To See Your Heart Break
[One Of Those] Crazy Girls
Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore