Paramore has done something that’s hard, if not impossible to do – to change what your music is about, but to keep your sound and original fans. But somehow, they've done it, and done it spectacularly on their 4th album.
If you were alive in 2007, you’re familiar with emo music. And if you weren’t alive then, you should get off the computer and study for kindergarten. Emo music was everywhere, and every rock band on the radio made it. Panic! At the Disco, Fallout Boy, Hawthorne Heights, My Chemical Romance, and Linkin Park were on repeat on my mp3 player, along with millions of other kids around the world. But Paramore was slightly different – they had a female lead singer. A very, very, very hot female singer. This brought in a trend of emo/alternative bands with female leads like Flyleaf and Hey Monday. However, Paramore is the only band from that era still kicking today. Why? Because they've evolved in a way that doesn't alienate their fan base, but matches the waves and trends in contemporary music, and this album is a culmination of that.
Their previous effort, brand new eyes, hinted at the new direction they would be going for Paramore. bne had a mix of love songs and I hate you songs, the latter being what they had traditionally done, and was what every other alternative band had done before them. But these love songs were something new, and, at least for me, was a refreshing change for both the band and the genre as a whole.
The best way I can describe the songs here is that they are aggressive love songs. I mean, look at “Be Alone”. It starts off in a fairly standard, aggressive way, but then we reach the chorus and Hayley sings out “You should be alone/Yeah, you should be alone/You should be alone with me”. It keeps the normal alt-rock attitude and sound, but it’s a song about how much she’s into a dude, and how he should totally hang out with her because it’ll be totally awesome. Totes. Same with “Still Into You”; it’s all about how, even after all this time, she’s still in love her guy, with a traditional alternative rock backing. It’s sweet, it’s touching, it’s headbang worthy.
There’s a few of the angry songs, but they aren't really angry. They come across as more of an acceptance of facts, an attempt to move on and separate from the past, and if they have to do it angrily, then so be it. Even “Part 2”, which is a sequel to “Let the Flames Begin” off of Riot!, takes the edge off the anger from the lyrics on the original track, but keeps the aggressive music somewhat intact.
And they experiment too, which is nice. They take a stab at post-rock on “Future”, mimicking Sigur Ros or God Speed You Black Emperor, in their own way. They do some sunny, beachy songs with “Moving On”, “Holiday”, and “I’m Not Angry Anymore”, all interludes on the album. “Hate To See Your Heart Break” takes on a late 50’s, early 60’s pop R&B love song feel (and by “pop”, I mean the stolen white version). It really shows off Hayley’s talent as a singer, if you ever had to question it. Plus, there’s the addition of the keyboard on nearly every track, which adds a nice, new layer to the sound.
Whatever you thought of Paramore before, ignore. Give this album, or at least a few of non-single tracks a listen. Trust me, I think you’ll like it. Know what else you'll like? Our blog on Facebook.