6 years after their last release, American pop-punk band Paramore release their sixth album “This Is Why”, a politically charged and musically mature work. Fans all across the world have been patiently waiting for this release for quite some time now and it’s safe to say, Paramore did not disappoint.
With a career spanning 20 odd years, frontwoman Hayley Williams continues to stay relevant in the industry with contemporary tongue-in-cheek lyrics and impassioned vocals. As a pro-choice activist and a vegan spokesperson, it comes as no surprise that her lyrics are robust and politically aimed.
The band hit its peak riding the emo wave of the early 2000s, with hits like “Misery Business” and “Still Into You” forever holding a special place in the hearts of once angsty teens across generations. Through iconic moody drum fills and punk-rock riffs, the band secured their spot in the emo hall of fame. However, their latest record attempts to veer away from that genre and showcase the band’s newfound musical maturity.
Williams recently stated Paramore “didn’t want to be a nostalgia band” so, listeners, be prepared for a different sound.
“This Is Why” opens with the it’s titular song, an anthem of rebellion and rejection in a reality where people are not encouraged to have opinions. The lyrics describe the relatable feeling of anxiety and isolation, transitioning to an angrier defiant tone. The instrumental composition is that of a soft rock revival that sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Emos, do not despair, if you are seeking that signature Paramore anthem that got you through high school, then track 6 “You First” is the one for you: guitarist Taylor York has brought back some of the band’s iconic pop-rock strummings alongside Zac Farro’s head-banging drum fills. This self reflective track sees Williams admit to being “petty” when it comes to people that do not deserve her time.
“C’est Comme ça” is certainly the track making the most waves amongst critics and listeners, contrasting much of the band’s previous discography by attempting to emulate current formulas that are most often associated with online virality. Featuring a catchy and repetitive, K-pop-esque chorus, juxtaposed by punchy spoken word verses, this may be the ‘odd song out’ of the album, musically, but one you are likely to be hearing as a TikTok audio in a week’s time.
The song “Liar” brings us a revival of 90s experimental soft rock sounds, peppered with a slight influence reminiscent of Bowie’s final work “Blackstar”. A repetitive drum line brings Farro to the forefront of this track, setting the stage for hard-hitting lyrics written by a recently divorced Williams.
“Crave” is another track that reflects the band’s growth, showcasing the plethora of influences that created the album. Whilst many hear a resemblance to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Crave remains as a pure Paramore triumph featuring unique high notes and musical idiosyncrasies that Williams is best known for.
“This Is Why” is Paramore’s successful attempt at making a political piece that, although not specifically centred upon a particular issue, is still relatable and applicable to the tumultuous times faced by the current audience. It’s safe to say their, once, teenage angst has matured into … adult angst, alongside a musical evolution that shows external inspiration whilst remaining faithful to the band’s core.
Featured Image Credit: Zachary Gray
You must log in to post a comment.