Written by: HES on 04/04/2013 19:59:58

Alright so Paramore’s back. Our favourite little pet-peeve has released their first album since 2009's “Brand New Eyes”. The album is simply called “Paramore” – a statement, considering that guitarist Josh Farro and drummer Zac Farro left the band in December 2010 and many therefore doubted if Paramore could ever be Paramore again. They chose to call the album “Paramore” sort of as to “relaunch” the band since so much had happened. Back when the controversy was at its peak, Josh Farro accused front singer Hayley Williams as being manipulated by their management and that she treated the band as a solo-project. He even went as far as calling the band a “manufactured product of a major label”. Needless to say, this doesn’t really fly well with the conventions of rock and roll and it has put a lot of pressure on this release – it’s obvious that the drama has been part of creating the new album as the lyrics of “Interlude: Moving On” goes “Well I could be angry. But you’re not worth the fight. And besides I’m moving on”.

The first song of the new record is a song that sounds a lot like every Paramore-song before it; “Fast In My Car” has the classic echoed vocals and a catchy refrain supported by a little bit of welcomed electronic elements. But don’t think this is your average Paramore-album. The 3 remaining members: Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York have really pushed it this time and even though songs like the single of the record “Now”, “Proof” and “Part II” sound remarkably the same as previous Paramore songs, there’s a new spark to songs like the 3 “Interludes” that feature a ukulele and “Ain’t It Fun” a soul-ish, gospel inspired firecracker. “Still Into You” is an off-beat pop-song with the usual Paramore-edge but in some way there seems to be more of a spring in the band's steps and the songs are way more open towards the audience in general. Some may call this a sign of selling out. But I personally think it suits the band to have a bit more of an emotional vocabulary than the teenage-angsty songs about the hardships of life. This song coupled up with a magnificent vocal performance by Williams makes me believe there is a future for the band.

“Anklebiters” is a bit more of a classic pop-punk inspired, fast-paced sing-along-song. You can already see the audiences of future shows singing along at the “woah”-brigdes. In general, the pieces relying heavily on the conventions are even more well-written than before, but so are the tracks where the band might experiment a bit more. This is a very well-written album! The ballad of the album “Hate To See Your Heartbreak” might be very soft and sweet but it doesn’t in any way succumb into the dangerous pits of cheesiness. That song and even “Grow Up” have a little bit of country to them. This mixture of genres could be confusing if the album wasn’t tied together by a bit of the “old Paramore” in every song and Williams’ characteristic voice. But honestly it seems to have been a big relief to the band to not be as dogmatically bound to their “sound” as they may have been on previous albums. The lyrics even manage to finally show a bit more of Williams as a person. As if the pre-mentioned attacks have only made her more assured of herself. In “(One Of Those) Crazy Girls” she even confesses to stalking an ex-boyfriend.

I must admit to have fallen absolutely in love with this album at the very first listen. I didn’t at all expect to. We as rock-adorers usually see anything that’s been related to selling-out to major labels as infected with a disease of mediocrity. I expected Paramore to put out an album simply covering the styles of back when the band had 5 members and maybe even a bit more punk just to convince us all they didn’t sell out, but instead I am pleasantly surprised to hear the band take more chances than ever, facing their critics with their heads held high. My only problems with this album are minor details like the voice-echoing I mentioned above. I understand that it’s kind of become a signature thing, but listening to the tracks with the pure voice of Williams I’d say it’s way better “au natural”. And then there’s the diversity of the tracks. I guess it’ll be disputed whether the band should have cut down the number of songs to make the album sound more unison. This album literally has a song for every kind of person. But is that really a bad thing? All in all I am not done with listening to this album and the differences in songs bring a new little twist up every time I re-listen to it. Even though two members were subtracted from the band is seems as if Paramore has actually gained something more through the ordeal.

Download: Now, Ain’t It Fun, Anklebiters
For The Fans Of: The Pretty Reckless, Cartel, Hey Monday

Release Date 09.04.2013
Fueled by Ramen

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