Friday, April 12, 2013
The New Paramore
Throughout my life, I've had symbiotic experiences with several of my favorite musicians - records that fully expressed whatever I was going through at the time of their release. Paramore, band of my heart since 2006, has never let me down in that regard. Their 2009 album Brand New Eyes roughly coincided with, and reflected, the implosion of my marriage... to the point that I can't listen to some of those songs now. But their new self-titled release has lived up to happier expectations! Like me, the band seems to be turning a corner.
Paramore comes from a much lighter, more hopeful place than Brand New Eyes, while maintaining its honesty and edge. It's about putting down baggage and looking forward, not back; embracing your dreams and your current reality. With the dual influences of the 80s and Los Angeles (where Paramore wrote and recorded the album), it's also a LOT of fun. Hayley Williams said in an interview that she was listening to a lot of Blondie at the time, and it shows in the best ways.
I'm sure I'll adopt new favorite tracks as I keep listening to this record, but my first-impression favorite is "Ain't It Fun" - both for its punchy, relatable lyrics and for the gospel choir that joins in about halfway through. How can you not love a pop/punk/rock band that incorporates a gospel choir?? The ukelele interludes made me laugh (especially "I'm Not Angry Anymore"), "Last Hope" almost left me in tears on the elliptical, and "Part II" blew me away artistically. It's a wiser, minor-key reprise of their most zealous anthem, "Let The Flames Begin" from Riot! I find it extremely cool and brave when artists revisit their old work and basically say, "Here's what has stood the test of time, and here's where I've changed my mind."
If you already love Paramore, you'll be thrilled by this album. If you've been wanting to check them out, "Now" is the time (see what I did there?) because this is their best work yet! ♥
PS - I've always admired Hayley's bold haircolor choices, but I am not loving the microbangs. Though if anyone can pull them off, it's her.