Paramore is going through a phase, like most teenagers do, where the band is trying to figure out who it really is.
“Who am I? What should I do? There are other ways to play music? Why is there hair growing there?” are just some of the questions I think the band mates were asking each other during the making of their newest album “Paramore.”
The self-titled album was released April 9, along with a sigh of relief from lead singer Hayley Williams that she can still put out chart-topping music after watching the Farro brothers walk away.
After trying to work out their problems during the recording of their album, “Brand New Eyes,” in 2009, lead guitarist/songwriter Josh Farro and his brother, drummer Zac, left the band, claiming that Williams was too controlling of a force.
Taylor York on rhythm guitar and Jeremy Davis on bass flew in to save Paramore. But according to the sound of their newest album, it seems as if the new band members just confused it.
You can almost hear Williams trying to regain her balance as the new musicians showed her that there is more to music than just the four-to-six chord power guitar riff that made up Paramore’s signature sound.
There is a variety on this album that we have never heard from Paramore before, resulting in great diversity that sometimes turns into a muddled confusing mess, but also can be charming and different in a positive way.
Williams stuck to her old band’s style for some songs. “Anklebiters,” “Proof” and “Be Alone” are reminiscent of the fist-pumping anthems we all know and love from past albums.
The nostalgia stops there.
“Fast in my Car,” the song the band chose to open as Track 1 on the album, has the whiney and stereotypical pop tone alternative fans know as the sound of selling out. The shallow message seems to claim that if you are going through a tough time, driving fast will solve your problems, all above highly synthesized noises that are awkwardly placed.
The same tone appears in “Now,” as the lyrics give you a similar naïve message that the future should be here now, so we will not need to deal with the problems happening now.
In “Daydreaming,” Paramore makes a rookie mistake by assuming that repeating the same word over and over again will create musical magic.
And then Paramore surprises listeners with mature, deep and even heart-felt music, all the while going through their rough patch of transition.
My favorite song on the album is “Grow Up,” where we here the band stray away from tradition but in the positive way. The guitar is not as heavy, the mood is upbeat and the message makes sense. Grow up and move on, much like the band is being forced to do.
Williams uses soft-sung interludes to get some sarcastic and passive-aggressive lyrics in above the soft ukulele, a nice and subtle middle finger to her old band mates.
In “Last Hope,” listeners can almost hear Williams smiling. The simple melody compliments her soft voice, with no hint of anger, telling her fans that she tried to make herself happy, but people should realize they should let it happen instead of forcing it to happen.
We get a shout out to the old band in “Part II,” serving as the next part of “Let the Flames Begin” from their album “Riot” released in 2008.
The lyrics “What a shame, we all remain such fragile broken things” seems to hint that the band has not changed much since they sang “What a shame, we all became such fragile broken things” in 2007.
The tone of “Part II” starkly contrasts its part one, where the synthesized pop noises at times drown out their traditional guitar riffs. Listening to the two songs back-to-back, Paramore fans can hear the transition of styles.
Though the transition was choppy, Paramore has succeeded once again at producing quality tunes overall, but this time, they are breaking all of their rules.
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