Paramore have reinvented themselves again; taking their emo-angst and dressing it up into an alt-pop suit. An outfit which fits the current three piece well. A trio currently comprised of founding members Hayley Williams and Zac Farro along with long-serving guitarist and keyboardist Taylor York. The bright and breezy summertime nature of the music is some distance away from their pop-punk roots. Williams is still the band’s focal driving force. The young frontwoman’s delivery for the past ten years hasn’t waned in the slightest and she’s morphed and changed along with her group’s overall style. So let’s get stuck in.
Singing “All that I want is to wake up fine/To tell me that I’m alright and I’m not gonna die” Williams’ morbid reflection is juxtaposed with light-hearted backing on ‘Hard Times’. It’s an incredibly catchy pop track and the vibe for the record is set. The delicate percussive melodies which resonate throughout the opening trio of tracks are marvellous.
Williams delivers lyrics with the same punch as she has done many times before.
The sprightly pop aura which fuels the album gives Hayley Williams the room to experiment with vocal rhythms and quirky intonations not heard previously. She questions the idea of ‘Grudges’; “Stop asking why; Why we had to waste so much time. Well, we just pick up, pick up and start again” and criticises ‘Idle Worship’; “We all have problems don’t we? We all need heroes, don’t we? But rest assured there’s not a single person here who’s worthy!”
Williams delivers lyrics with the same punch as she has done many times before. What’s changed here is the collective vision of the band’s sound. While hints of Paramore’s pop-punk past crop up sporadically, such as on ‘Pool’, this album is a landmark in their career. It may be one of the best pop albums of the year so far.
By Will Hunt
Nice guitar work from Farro
Catchy choruses and clever songwriting
A shift in genre which suits them well
|1. Hard Times|
|2. Rose-Colored Boy|
|3. Told You So|
|5. Fake Happy|
|9. Caught In The Middle|
|10. Idle Worship|
|11. No Friend|
|12. Tell Me How|