Having arrived late on the scene to Paramore’s tunes, I have fervently followed their musical development, from ‘Emergency’ (first song on their first album, All We Know Is Falling) through to ‘Escape Route’ (final track on the deluxe version of self-titled album, Paramore).
On the latest album their iconic punk-rock style has been pushed to its limits as they reach for epic guitar solos (see the single ‘Future’) which are counterbalanced by three interludes which heavily feature a ukulele and give off a wonder-filled acoustic feel. Rather than allowing a massive 19 tracks (69-70 minutes) to stymie the album, each track feeds into the next with great ease, helped along by the three interludes which seamlessly string along song transitions (a conversion helped along by the crossfade option in iTunes).
While this album comes after the departure of founding members, Josh and Zac Farro, it both picks up where previous albums left off and separates itself from them. Beginning with ‘Fast in My Car,’ most listeners wouldn’t even realise something’s missing. Hayley Williams carries the vocals with tremendous vigour and veracity. At no point do you feel the absence of backing vocals, although the effect may be different during live performances; time will tell.
For the most part, I have found the album to proffer weightier lyrics, which at some points initiate serious soul-searching (see, ‘Part II’), while simultaneously shedding the shackles of pessimism for a more optimistic outlook. This is perhaps best captured in the songs ‘Ain’t It Fun,’ ‘Daydreaming,’ ‘Last Hope,’ ‘Now,’ and ‘Still Into You’. The only exception being the cynical ‘(One Of Those) Crazy Girls’ which is little less than a stalker’s anthem.
However, the lyrics will continue to speak to Paramore fans, who find themselves with many of the same questions as in previous albums. In fact the album seems to have grown out of previous albums. For example, compare the lyrics of ‘Part II’ (Paramore), with those of ‘Let the Flames Begin (Riot!), which I would suggest is its ‘Part One’.
I implore listeners to listen to the entire album in order to grasp to richness of this continuity. I have come across few albums as versatile and coherent as this album. It genuinely offers something for everyone. Released April 2013, Paramore’s self-titled album has already topped charts in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and US. It is flavourful and fresh, without losing the essence of what makes Paramore, Paramore.
Paramore – Paramore (Fueled by Ramen, 2013)