Sound — 8
My first insight into this album was "Ignorance", which I heard on the radio while on holiday in the summer of 09. Instantly, I knew it was Paramore from William's distinct vocals and the ripping guitar riffs. Quite developed from their debut album "All We Know is Falling" and more interesting and thought-out song structures than "Riot!". We all heard about Paramore on the brink of breaking up (it later transpired Williams and Farro had broken up in 2007 and this had caused friction within the band) and it appears that the old attitude that desperation breeds creativity is true. The emotion and maturity in the sound of the album is all too clear and it is a musical innovation for Paramore; by far their best work yet. It moves between their drum-based tracks and heavy guitar and bass riffs like "Brick By Boring Brick" to slower more exposed tracks like "Misguided Ghosts" (which is by far the best thing on Brand New Eyes). It makes me anticipate the future and if they cotinue in this driven and innovative (although not overly-experimental) way then I believe they will continue to have success.
Lyrics — 9
With familiar elements of love and friendship and the struggle between people and relationship seems fresh and personal in songs like "The Only Exception" and "All I Wanted" that show fragile characters whereas "Brick By Boring Brick" is a storylined track about reality and growing up and "Feeling Sorry" harks back to a "All We Know Is Falling" sound. "Ignorance" and "Careful" are sardonic and bitter, 'in your face' whereas it mellows more with "Turn It Off" and "Playing God" have faith and doubt elements - an introverted look at the world around oneself. "Where the Lines Overlap" and "Looking Up" are personal storys and almost chants for the band that seem to be for, and would go down well with, die-hard fans. Williams as always demonstrates a wonderful range and vocal dynamic. Farro and Williams together work very well as a writing team yet again and it is difficult to tell which tracks include whose lyrics and music (seeing as they often both dabble in the composing and the lyricism).
Overall Impression — 8
We were all highly anticipating this album, especially after such a massive break-through as "Riot!" and Paramore delivered under a lot of pressure. The songs are contrasting and innovative without losing their signature sound. I would like to see more experimentation from Paramore on their next album as the gem "Misguided Ghosts" shows us they are capable of something different and I would have liked more of that on this album. I love it because it is consistently powerful and well exectued however one of the songs that I thought was difficult in parts was "All I Wanted". Hayley's powerful vocals break through in an emotional outpouring halfway through, although it reminds me a little of Avril Lavigne, I hate to say. Others like "Feeling Sorry", "The Only Exception" and "Looking Up" also are very disinteresting on first listen, although tended to grow on me. If it were lost or stolen I probably would buy it again although the bonus tracks are just acoustics and good ones at that, but not worth buying possibly. However, the "Ignorance" video that comes with it is interesting and as always, Paramore's "Beyond the Video"es makes me like them as a band even more. Check out: "Misguided Ghosts" (quiet and intense emotional acoustic), "Ignorance" (a catchy 'stick it to the man' battlemarch), "Turn It Off" (William's personal faith journey and some beautiful imagery) and "Playing God" (For Williams and Farro's harmonies).