Paramore: Paramore


Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Paramore is one of the more interesting bands in music today. This power pop rock band has been churning out rock hits for a handful of years now, and more than its fair share of band drama as well. With the departure of the Farro Brothers at the end of 2010, fans have been split about whether the band could really continue on as a trio after losing so much talent. But Hayley Williams & Co. pressed on, and three and a half years after releasing Brand New Eyes, they are back with an eponymous record which takes them in a bold new direction.

The angst is still there as tracks like “Fast in My Car” and “Grow Up” demonstrate, but it’s given a heightened quality with all the internal strife the bands has endured, so this makes the tracks meatier as a result. First single “Now” is gritty, and is emblematic of the band’s desire to take life by the horns, while “Interlude: Moving On” is one of four ukulele interludes on the album which showcase the various degrees to which Williams is struggling or succeeding in her attempts to move forward.

For all the hubbub about how the band was going to go down the tubes because of the departure of the Farro Brothers, this album holds up remarkably well. “Ain’t it Fun” employs a dance rock groove with a surprising layer of synths, but when you get to the final portion of the song and a Gospel choir comes in, the song hits an unexpected stride. “Daydreaming” is the sort of anthemic track you listen to on the highway with the windows and top down, “Part II (Flames)” is scorching rock ‘n roll, and the closing track, “Future,” in addition to being a perfect thematic ending to an album predicated on the band’s need to move forward, provides some epic, face-melting shoegaze rock that is unlike anything you’ve heard from the band before.

Williams shows incredible lyrical and vocal growth, particularly on “Last Hope” and “Ain’t it Fun,” respectively, and the band adds a number of layers to their pop punk sound that are creative and, for the most part, successful in their application. Paramore still rocks with the best of them, they’re just growing up with this record and showing that they’re going to be around for a while.

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