Paramore

Riot!

Written by: PP on 23/07/2007 01:32:46

It's no secret that Paramore are a summer band. They're the sort of melodic pop punk band that writes songs perfectly suited for sunny days at the beach, where the biggest of your worries is how to keep your beer cold without having to down it in a single go. Yes, this is the band fronted by the petite cute looking girl whose face you've probably seen all over the likes of MTV and The Fuse this summer. Hence the early summer release date, so that the album gets enough time to climb the Billboard ladder by the time the climate gets really hot. That is, as long as you don't live in Denmark or the UK where the rain seems to be never-ending this 'summer'.

Truth be told, if we minus Hayley's pretty amazingly strong vocal performance in comparison to her size, there isn't much to "Riot!". The instruments are pretty bland and boring, and serve merely as a platform for Hayley's infectious choruses and the girl-power riotous vibe. A hook here and a hook there, followed by some solid three-chord riffage and they'll have you hooked (:D) in no time. As a consequence however, originality suffers, but this doesn't need to be a bad thing. Pop punk lost its originality years ago, and it's rare to find a band that actually thought of something new to bring to the genre (for example Set Your Goals) that's riding on its biggest wave of popularity to date. So even though "Fences" might put some Panic! At The Disco fans on their toes through its theatric sound, and "For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic" sounds like a Pinboys song, both succeed in what is probably the most important thing about a record, namely making you sing along to the lyrics and lift your mood even if the weather seems to have forgotten the location of world's rain forests.

But yet "Riot!" has flaws that in the last few years have become disturbingly common in pop punk albums. For some reason, the band, or whoever picks the tracks for the album, seems to completely lack any kind of ability to recognize what makes their sound work and what doesn't. You guessed right, after the melodic, upbeat beginning, which sees Hayley fully exploit her sugarcoated vocals, the album first stumbles on the first ballad "When It Rains", and finally falls on its face on "We Are Broken", which is probably the cheesiest, most cliché piano-ballad you'll come to hear on a pop punk album. I guess the major labels will never learn that you can't mix power-pop and pop rock together on the same album without breaking the flow. It's kind of like being in an awesome concert, where the band closes the set with one of those songs where the spotlight is on a chair and everyone is waving lighters around. After such a gayass song, the otherwise great "Fences" ends up sounding much worse than it really should, and the album closes on a negative tone. It is, of course, easy to skip the annoying songs but unfortunately a review judges an album as a whole, not just the four or five songs that are pure pop punk godhood.

6

Download: "For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic", "Misery Business", "That's What You Get"
For the fans of: Pinboys, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.06.2007
Fueled By Ramen

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