Review: Paramore – This Is Why

What do you do when the world around you gets a little strange? Paramore seem to embrace the weird on This Is Why, their quirky sixth studio album that largely relies on post-punk chord progressions, Bloc Party influences worn proudly on their sleeves, all mixed in a blender on the highest speed to see what concoction comes out in the end. In the interviews leading up to the release of this record, the band seemed to be getting more comfortable in their collective skin. They mentioned that the songs they were crafting for the follow up to After Laughter were more “guitar-driven” and the band found themselves “listening to a lot of older music” that inspired them to make a career in music in the first place. Whereas After Laughter was originally seen as fairly dramatic departure from the punk-tinged sound the band had cut their teeth to early on, the same could easily be said about this next dramatic leap of faith on This Is Why. Paramore has always been a band that has challenged the artistic norms of what is expected of them, and have grown accustomed to their audience wanting a certain “version” of themselves. In what may be their most polarizing record to date, Paramore continue to push the envelope of creativity in dramatic ways, and find their band going through yet another reinvention. The metamorphosis of this trio may just be complete.

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Review: Paramore – After Laughter

Paramore - After Laughter

It’s hard to overstate just how tumultuous the past decade of Paramore’s career has been. Since before the recording of Brand New Eyes the band has been regularly rocked by near career-ending shifts. While some bands are lucky enough to go through no lineup changes throughout their career, or when lineup changes do happen the splits are often amicable, Paramore has had no such luck. I don’t need to rehash any of the details of this unrest except to say this: While the turmoil would crush almost any other band, the members that have remained, or returned, to Paramore have fought through all adversity to arrive at After Laughter, the crowning achievement of their career so far.

At once a deeply wistful look back at the past decade-plus of the band’s history and a clear eyed assessment of the future, After Laughter is a record about the moments between total heartbreak and absolute elation. These in-between moments allow us to pick up the pieces broken during the former and come down from the euphoric high of the latter, and reassess what our purpose is here on this floating rock. These moments make up the vast totality of our time on Earth, but for some reason they don’t often feel as romantic.

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Review: Paramore – Riot!

Paramore - Riot!

Oh, how I wanted to hate this album.

After the release of their debut, All We Know is Falling, I sat back and watched this band become the talk of our little website. I guess when you have a large enough group of pubescent boys together, any female immediately becomes a discussion topic. This phenomenon has led to countless threads discussing the lead singer of this band (a girl for those not in the know) and her dating habits, relative “hotness,” fashion sense, and just about any other topic not related to her band’s music. So when this album arrived in my mailbox, I was, to put it mildly, not in the mood to give it the time of day. So I did the rational thing: I ignored it. I hid it on my shelf and pretended it never arrived. Didn’t even open the CD case once. Mature? I know.

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