Paramore review by Paramore

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  • Released: Apr 9, 2013
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 6.7 (165 votes)
Paramore: Paramore

Sound — 7
Paramore started in 2003 after Hayley Williams had been grabbed by Atlantic Records, allegedly for the purpose of turning her into a Top 40 pop singer. Hayley Williams resisted this push by Atlantic, and managed to show the value of letting her and bandmates continue to write and record songs as a band. They were moved to a subsidiary label of Atlantic Records called Fueled by Ramen in order to have more "street cred" and to look more like an indie rock band. Since that time there has been a lot of focus on Hayley as the focal point of the band, creatively, which has caused strife within the ranks. Hayley Williams, according to interviews and such, has defied this perspective stating that the band as a whole is the creative force and that the band is not her solo project. Regardless of Hayley's feelings on the subject, original members and brothers Josh Farro and Zac Farro had had enough by December in 2010 and left the band. Josh Farro posted on his Blogger account afterwards that Paramore was a manufactured band and the product of Atlantic Records, and that Hayley Williams was the only member signed on the record deal. It has been confirmed that Hayley Williams has indeed been the only member signed to the record deal, and with Josh and Zac Farro choosing to leave it did mean that Paramore was at least partially manufactured by Atlantic (as they helped provide replacements for Josh and Zac Farro). I just keep going back to this was originally a band of friends who basically grew up together. Hayley Williams was signed to a record deal and found a way to bring her friends with her and to play the music they had been writing together. The conflict seems to have all been created by the record label being focused on Hayley Williams as a product, over the band as a whole. This self-titled release is Paramore's fourth studio release, and the first release without Zac and Josh Farro. The remaining founding members are Hayley Williams and Jeremy Davis. There are seventeen tracks on the album with a total runtime of just under 64 minutes. Two singles have been released before the album release. The first single "Now" was released on January 22nd, and the second single "Still Into You" was released on March 14th. Drums on the album were covered by Ilan Rubin (Angels & Airwaves and previously NIN), and Taylor York being the sole guitarist (who is also credited with some of the drums from the new album). The little bit of piano played on the album is credited to Hayley Williams. Honestly, I've probably enjoyed the album more than their previous releases. There is something about the album that comes across as more vital than their previous two albums. The kind of energy you could hear in their initial release is back. I can't say that the guitar work or the drums are exceptional, but they are both very solid and serve the songs. The album is very well produced (thanks to Justin Meldal-Johnsen) without sounding overly polished.

Lyrics — 7
Hayley Williams is probably one of the more exceptional female vocalists in modern rock currently, and she has continued to grow as an artist. Her vocal performance on the album is almost flawless. I've wondered if she is using any kind of auto-tune, but if she is they did it pretty tastefully because I can't listen to the album and point it out. You have to give Hayley credit she knows what she is doing with vocals. I don't know if the lyrics are now written by her alone or shared within the band, but the lyrics are solid (with the exception of the songs going too far into the realm of pop for my personal taste).

Overall Impression — 7
I can't imagine how Zac and Josh Farro felt, being founding members of Paramore but not even being considered part of the band to the record label. I'm sure that it would be frustrating. Even trying to release new music or solo projects on the side they would be seen as "those guys from Paramore". I haven't been in the room to know exactly how much influence the record label has over Paramore's sound, or how Zac and Josh were treated. I know from the interviews that I've read that they decided to leave and weren't pushed out, and that says something as well. My favorite song on the album is probably "I'm Not Angry Anymore", which ironically is less than a minute long and is just Hayley Williams and a ukelele. My second favorite song is probably "Future", which is almost eight minutes long. I also enjoyed the tracks "Now" and "Anklebiters". Just to be bluntly honest, some of the songs on the album are extremely pop more than any of their previous songs but there are some really sincere tracks on the album as well. It is a mixed bag with a tendency towards pop music. The energy is good throughout the album, and even when the songs go far into the realm of pop it is at least more cerebral pop than you hear on the radio most of the time.

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65 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This album, for me, seemed really experimental and pretty damn lengthy. Some songs clicked with me, others bored me to death, but since the album's 17 songs long I'm ok with that since I'm left with about an album's worth of songs that I did like. Hopefully they found themselves making the record and the next one is a bit more focussed!
    As a pretty big Paramore fan, my favorite part was the Farro brothers' sound. Especially Zac's ridiculously good drumming for a band of this style. Without them, Paramore just doesn't seem to pack anywhere near the same punch. The album is good, yes. But not great. There are a few particularly good tracks - and the interludes are all very nice - but overall the album does not stick with me very much.
    Honestly this album feels pretty damn shallow to me and largely unmemorable. The song Ain't It Fun was indeed pretty fun, but other than that I wasn't too impressed. Zac (the drummer) started a new duo act(HalfNoise) and they put out a debut EP last year which I found a lot more interesting than this album.
    wow..... everybody in UG hate fall out boy, but when it comes to Paramore everyone is so objective..... wtf?.... if i had to compare it, FOB is better, better sound and at least trying to be different..... this is still just strumming power chords over and over again
    Not that I'm a huge Paramore fan, but how in the world is Fall Out Boy trying to be different? Oh, bringing in a crappy rapper to sing on their new single... Yep, quite refreshing.
    No rapper, crappy or otherwise, has sung and/or rapped on any of FOB's current singles for SRAR. Is it too much to ask that people actually listen to music before criticizing it?
    Agreed. I don't understand why FOB get so much shit. The only down side to them for me is Pete Wentz... He's a douchebag. As a band, however, I think they're one of the better groups of the past decade.
    I knew this band was done when the Farro brother's left. This album confirmed that belief for me. RIP Paramore.
    I like experimentation, and in fairness, I haven't heard the whole album because the first few songs & singles really put me off. It's a good album, but the Farro brothers were the music behind Paramore. Josh's eclectic chord voicings and distinctive tone and Zac's tom-fill-heavy drumming were a sticking point in my head. I have lost respect for Hayley, what with her pulling an Axl Rose and treating an immensely decent band as her property. Nonetheless, the music is still decent. It just isn't really Paramore.
    Not overly keen on the album having been a fan for a long time now. I agree with you about the Farros especially Josh. For me the music was all about Josh's guitar, being a guitar myself obviously. I think the only reason the band wasn't dropped or dissolved is because Hayley can genuinely sing and a lot of people are crazy about just her personally and they can still make a lot of money out of them.
    Wow I had no idea the story behind the Faro brothers. That being said, I think they were trying Too hard to be Garbage or No Doubt on this.
    Checked out 'Still Into You' and both me and my girlfriend said that it sounds like a bad Courtney Love song and the chorus just sounds like a Rebecca Black song except that Hayley can sing in tune... It is clear Hayley Williams is a sell-out.
    I don't see a Courtney Love comparison really. I personally think Still Into You is a brilliant pop song, and as far as "selling out", the lyrics are actually genuinely about the subject matter as opposed to the usual clichs of "there's nobody else like you", "you make my heart skip a beat" and all that. It sounds like a song Kelly Clarkson or Katy Perry would sing but I don't really mind cos they have some great songwriters working for them, and if the band wrote this themselves then it shows their credentials as songwriters without the Farros there.
    Still into you is a prime example of a 'Courtney Love' like sound. Or another comparison would be that Orianthi song which has her on her bed as part of the music video. It's cheap, predictable, over-used song writing technique. The lyrics I felt had no magic to them. It was almost like they were present but nothing really grabbed my attention in the melody, phrasing, or lyrical content. Even as a Pop influenced song it should have something catchy that gets me singing even after the song. I agree on the Katy Perry influence too. That is clearly apparent. Maybe same co-writers. My biggest disappointment is down to how I love diversity in a genre. Paramore's early stuff I mostly loved. It was unique yet still definable in its genre which is how I feel music should be since it encourages evolution. The newer album seems to have lost its sense of uniqueness due to the creative direction seemingly moving towards replicating current successful artists. It is by far no means a progression of the band. The mainstream has become too samey samey and as a result is becoming stale for my tastes. It seems nowadays if anything gains popularity all the sell-outs jump on the wagon and saturate it. It's worse than the 80's with glam metal where every band's album had to have a unoriginal ballad.
    Using the term "Sell-Out" immediately nullifies any musical opinions you've previously stated
    Your argument contains many valid points so I must therefore consider what you have said with a intellectual and open-mind.
    it's funny, Still Into You was the only one i liked in the whole album. Granted that it's poppy and utterly bland lyric-wise, i use it as a warm-up song just before i practice on my guitar. It's pretty clear why Paramore isnt taken seriously, but they have a couple of fun songs and at the end of the day it's not like it'll rot our musical tastes when we are exposed to it. I'm primarily a DMB and Coheed and Cambria fan, but it's fun to listen to stupid shit from time to time. peace, man.
    She so purrrdy
    Part II is the best song on this album.. the rest i havent really gotten into massively.
    This album is pure $hit. I've seen Paramore live and own all their other albums. This is the worst one - 3/10 imo.
    Ridiculously poppy.
    Paramore has always been poppy, and they've always been really good at it. Having said that, this is a different Paramore than before, you really have to try to not compare the two. It's like looking at P!atD's last album; both bands lost major creative forces. So far I don't care much for this new sound, as it's lost the pit of punk that Paramore had which was what I really liked about them. The guitars are very heavy and the rhythms are tending to be slower. Hayley has a great voice, but so far I'll prefer throwing Riot! on before this.
    I was really amazed when I first heard this album. Yes, I'll admit that it's different but, it's a new side of Paramore. Looking at their mini-album "Singles" or even, "Brand New Eyes", you can see the change and progression from each album to the next. I love this album and I think Paramore did a fantastic job with putting who they are into each song. There might be some songs that you may or may not like but, that's apart of life; not every thing is likable.
    I was quite cynical before I heard this album, was expecting a lot of super-generic material but when I heard it was extremely surprised and (in most cases) impressed by how much ground they managed to cover. Riot is still their best imo but this comes a close second.
    They grow up, they mature, they change their music but they are still the best for me. I love all the songs. I love Paramore.
    Well, out of their first CD's I like about enough songs to make one album. They're a pretty good band. Anyway, this is pop garbage. Bad to the point I couldn't get halfway through either song. Very, very obvious one or more of the people they fired were the main songwriter(s). They sound like a totally other band. Like Atlantic Records got what they originally wanted. Pop Haley. And I used to think she was pretty hot too. She somehow turned quite meh. And wtf, is she even 21 yet? She looks extra dick-limping in that first video. Yuck.
    The Farro brothers were staple to their sound, now they're gone I totally agree with your observation. Haley looks manky as now, she should actually give up. Paramore should have mutinied against Haley and replaced her. THAT's a record I'd like to hear.
    This review was really repetitive and cluttered. Honestly, the more I read, the more curious I am about the UG Team's apparently low standards for hired writers.
    shut up kuntz. no hatingz herez/ dis is the br00tal metalz we are talking aboutz
    I was actually really pleasantly surprised with this album. Since the Farros left the band they've sort of been mulling about the music scene, releasing boring singles that didn't make any waves. Now is a rubbish song, whichever way you look at it. Then Still Into You came out and I had hope. It's pop but it's great pop. The rest of the album fits in nicely with that theme, with some more progressive stuff and some simple catchy sh*t. In comparison to the other recent pop punk release, Fall Out Boy's new album, it is a much more mature and competent record and shows that the band can do things as a trio. A real pleasant surprise if you like pop music.
    I have no issue with the Farros 'not achieving very much' in your opinion, because they have done things, just nothing that has made it into the mainstream forum. I don't think you have any concept of how difficult it would be to leave a million selling band, go home, decide whether music is even what you want to do anymore, write some songs, find a band that you like, practice up songs, try and get gigs for a band that nobody hears or knows of, get into the studio, and record whilst trying to avoid being attached to Paramore, musically, personally or otherwise.
    I don't think you read my comment properly, or got confused by the wording, because I never once talked about what the Farros have been doing since leaving Paramore. I did, however, talk about how Paramore were fairly dormant, touring with hardly any new material for about 3 years.
    Tbf spiff-corgi, your bad use of 'they' after referring to the brothers, changes the meaning to the Farro brothers "mulling" and not Paramore.
    True, bad use of "they", but it was followed by analysing Paramore's last 2 singles so one could put two and two together.
    I'll have to check out the other songs because the 2 that are posted here didn't appeal to me at all.
    Ok. To me, this album is amazing. I don't get why people need to hate on it because they are trying new sounds. Paramore is still a band.
    Gerard Way Jr
    " I just keep going back to this was originally a band of friends who basically grew up together." Personal pronoun Did a 12 year old write this? Who cares Is it good or is it not That's all No retarded opinion on the backstory
    i think this album is their best. 2nd would be brand new eyes. i dont see why everybody hates on a band just cause theyre trying different sounds. "f*** the past. think about now, and think about the future." - billie joe armstrong
    billie joe armstrong? really dude?
    Don't get me wrong, I love Green Day, but this idiot is simply what everybody hates about some GD fans. They listen to shitty music (Paramore, probably All time low...), they don't know shit about music or life in general. Billie did say that in Cuatro, but you have to be ****ing stupid to post that as a quote.
    Dude, I know you're post was probably serious with utmost sincerity but I laughed way too hard at it... like out loud and everything.
    Honestly, this album sucked ass. When the Farro brothers left, so did this bands' creativity. Nothing about this release was original, nor was it something that hasn't been done a millions times in the last few years.
    Stop everyone..Seriously..Bashing Paramore for trying so hard to make a new album?For all of the time they actually put in this?Would you like being criticized for something that you worked hard making?The Farro's haven't even tried anything new (only Zac's EPs which weren't that good)so don't hurry to praise them when they don't even know where they stand!If Paramore had broken up years ago we wouldn't even have this album..And to people who say that they are Pop..It is not like they were Metallica before..
    The last track on this was awesome. It's got an almost post-rock crescendo feel to it, I thought. Actually got this album and gave the whole thing a listen, and as someone who isn't a fan didn't mind it. It was everything it ever would have been, and exactly what it needed to be.
    From the bit of the one song I just heard it sounds like a weaker, wannabe Yeah Yeah Yeah's
    well i really like the singles, i'm not even a paramore fan so i think i'll check the full album.
    This album has maybe a handful of decent songs. Part II is like a continuation of Let the Flames Begin from Riot. Even some of the same words are used. I Hate to See Your Heart Break is okay, but is definitely not usual Paramore style. Ain't It Fun is my favorite. This is definitely not as good as any of their other albums, though. I wasn't a big fan of Brand New Eyes, but I would probably listen to it over this album any day. Riot! was their best by far.
    Have to say that although there are alot of songs that i LOVE on this album but a few seemed extremely samey to me... I think in their next album paramore need to decide on the sound they want and maybe change it up a bit from time to time.