Album Review: Paramore: Paramore

[Fueled by Ramen]

Paramore-ParamoreRating: 8/10

Key tracks: “Grow Up,” “Now,” “Ain’t It Fun”

 The last time I rocked out to a new Paramore album was 4 years ago. I was a 16-year-old junior in high school dressing in Hot Topic band tees with a new driver’s license, fresh breakup and 11pm curfew. Brokenhearted I’d blast the speakers of my Toyota Camry in the Kroger parking lot to “All I Wanted Was You”. Gotta love teen angst.

Like myself, Paramore went through their own breakup, losing two founding members/brothers Josh and Zac Farro. My fellow fans and I worried if this would mean the end of our musical paramours Paramore. We hadn’t had enough of that petite firecracker Hayley Williams and her fiery red hair to match. Luckily Paramore is still here and they mean business… misery business!

Their first single “Now” off their self-titled album is definitely making a declaration about being a threesome. In a style that’s definitely somewhat different than their previous sound Williams repeats over and over in an almost pleading way the chorus “If there’s a future we want it now!”

In an interview with Radio.com, Williams said, “The self-titled aspect of the whole thing is definitely a statement. I feel like it’s not only reintroducing the band to the world, but even to ourselves.”

That exploration can definitely be seen in this album with the varying styles from soft and sweet in “Last Hope” to punky and pulsing in “Fast in My Car”. Williams is also able to explore a more sultry side in “Ain’t It Fun”. The song has an R&B/Jazz feel that’s sexed up with the electric guitar riffs.

At one point when “Hate to See Your Heart Break” came on I forgot I was even listening to Paramore. The sound is so different, almost completely replacing the rock elements with symphonic strings and xylophones. The trend continues with “(One Of Those) Crazy Girls“ and the ukulele interludes.

Die-hard Paramore fans might have a hard time adjusting to the new sound, but change is good. There’s no denying Williams has an amazing voice and could sound good singing virtually anything. Each song of this album chronicles the band as they try to rediscover who they are as a group, starting off with their familiar punk sound but then experimenting with bits of other genres while making them their own.

This album review was written for ACRN.com and published on April 5, 2013.

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