thu 29/02/2024

CD: Paramore - Paramore | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Paramore - Paramore

CD: Paramore - Paramore

Hayley Williams and colleagues banish their demons on an eclectic fourth album

Second coming: their self-titled album sees Paramore relaunched as a trio

Paramore’s fourth album picks and chooses from so many genres that, first time around, I thought that I had accidentally begun to play it on shuffle. Its opening two tracks make an incongruous pairing: the seemingly light-hearted “Fast in My Car”, with its “we just want to have fun” refrain, and the gothy first single “Now”, which piles on the war metaphors.

It’s on the second listen that I figure it out, which seems fitting because this self-titled release marks the full-length debut of Paramore the trio, following the departure of Josh and Zac Farro at the end of 2010. The album’s opening couplets attempt to draw a line under the acrimonious split, and accompanying rumours that frontwoman Hayley Williams was being primed to go it alone: “been through the ringer a couple times and came out callous and cruel,” she hisses, “and my two friends know this very well because they went through it too.”

Seventeen tracks and over an hour in length, Paramore the album is a bit of a slog for the uninitiated - but its very length allows plenty of room for some sonic experimentation. “Grow Up” and new single “Still Into You” splice No Doubt-esque verses with melodic pop-punk choruses, while “Part II” and “Anklebiters” carry on the gloomy, gothy theme. Self-styled "interludes", which split the album into rough thirds, feature just Williams and a ukelele; while the gorgeous, balladic “Hate to See Your Heart Break” and power ballad “Last Hope” let her show off her vocal chops. But it’s “Ain’t It Fun”, with its preposterously brilliant gospel choir and “on your own” refrain so infectious you’ll be singing along to it for days, that is the album’s strongest moment.

The album’s incoherent sequencing means that it comes across a little like the work of a band that’s not sure where it’s going next - but on the strength of the individual songs, that “where” can be just about wherever it wants.

Listen to "Still Into You"

Its very length allows plenty of room for some sonic experimentation


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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