Paramore: Paramore

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Posted May 10, 2013 by in
paramore-album01-header

Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

4.5/ 5

Details

 
Producer:
 
Label: ,
 
 
 
 
Genre: Alt-rock, pop punk
 
Producer: Justin Meldal-Johnsen
 
Label: Atlantic, Fueled by Ramen
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 63:48
 
Release Date: 5 April 2013
 
Spin This: "Ain't It Fun," "Fast In My Car," "Hate to See Your Heart Break," "Future"
 

Pros:

The push to break beyond the politics of hard rock limitations grants Paramore more to offer
 

Cons:

The weight of the disc is a lot to digest, especially when you factor in expanded versions like the 19-track deluxe Japan Edition. "Now" not the most complimentary lead single.
 

Pop punk band makes tough but innovative choices on their most versatile record yet

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Pop punk band makes tough but innovative choices on their most versatile record yet

There just might be reluctance from avid fans to seriously digest anything new from Paramore, especially learning that band co-founders Josh and Zac Farro are no longer associated with the group. That downsize automatically knocks the band down to being a threesome. You actually witness that reality when looking at their gloomy graffiti-charred cover art on their 2013 (self-titled) album. Making matters worse, “Now” probably was not the best choice for a lead single, despite its punkish sparks and “na-na-na” chanting. It woefully gives off the perception that it’s the album’s major attraction. Actually it’s not a bad track, just not Paramore at their best. For the lucky ones willing to dig deeper into the group’s self-titled album while shoving off whatever ill-conceived notions of a trite return, they will awaken to the good news reverberating through the remainder of the disc.

The disc’s real wonderwork is “Ain’t It Fun,” as Hayley Williams dances around subliminal Beyoncé “De Ja Vu” melodies before ascending to the clouds with a Sounds of Blackness-inspired choir on the joyous in-your-face vamp: “Don’t go crying Ito your mama/Cause you’re on your own in the real world.” But there’s plenty of goodies to pick from on the band’s fourth studio venture. This time around, Williams proves she can sing almost anything she sets her mind to. “Hate To See Your Heart Break” flaunts a Fleetwood Mac balladic simplicity that works well on her type of calm. Throughout much of “Last Hope,” she drives home more of the same before her bandmates turn up the volume, allowing her to take off with P!nk-like adrenaline. And when she cranks up her bad girl persona, she proves to be the Pat Benatar of her generation.

While the spotlight shines brightly on Williams’s instrument, the supporting cast fires up lively bandwork and some of their best ready-for-radio compositions. “Grow Up” feels like a grower. After dancing past the computer bleeps of the first verse, its catchy chorus instantly leaves a lasting fingerprint on the brain. “(One of Those) Crazy Girls” teases with The Zombies psychedelic rhythms for one verse before revving up the guitars and a sweeping string arrangement on an Eighties rock template. The short interludes – snippets of songs either still in the songwriting process or a precursor of what’s to come on the next disc – are dipped in Train-esque ukulele sensibilities, a trait that shows they could entertain an intimate room of ten.

There’s also a hyper abundance of tunes that rev up with rock radio revolutions and youthful rebellion (“Fast In My Car,” “Anklebiters,” “Be Alone”), which should raise awareness levels for the band’s fan club veterans looking for a “Misery Business” redux.

The band tries to walk on new territory, especially in this new difficult period of working as a trio. While some forecasters will quickly compare this effort with another band struggling with reinvention mode (No Doubt’s 2012 LP, Push and Shove), this one here is a no-brainer. Paramore is a tilt in a more progressive direction. On this disc, you can actually hear them breathing openly as they are no longer suffocating in the political pressures of rock heads to not embrace the mainstream. And even when they do play with anything that resembles right-now pop, they insert enough creativity into the mold to offset any of those silly comparisons.

The eight-minute “Future” even seems ponderous as it glides across a psychedelic dreamy haze led by sparse instrumentation. But the arrangement turns apocalyptic as the garage rock fuel from Taylor York’s loud drums and guitars set the stage for a ruthless finale. And when it tries to fade, it comes back like a stubborn hurricane reeking with more havoc. It’s the metal we expect from Paramore, proving that they can whip out radio-ready rock, Taylor Swift pop and still be the bad asses they are.

 



About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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