Paramore’s New Sound

Staff Writer: Orian Johnson

Cover Art for After Laughter

First off, I love Paramore’s new sound just as much as how they’ve sounded in the past, but this article won’t be me trying to convince anybody they’re wrong. That being said, let’s start at the beginning in 2005 when Warped Tour was the tour in terms of concerts. 2005 featured their first major studio album, All We Know Is Falling. For people around my age(18) take a mental trip back to the middle school and junior high when I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Sugar We’re Goin Down, and any other “scene” music you can think of at that time hit its popularity stride. Warped Tour was the tour, and “emo” was one of if not the most popular trend, style, buzz-word, etc. This attitude of feeling like nobody understood our anger or sadness was perfect for us back then, and Paramore’s first album dealt with those emotions in a way that earned them a place in everyone’s playlists. Now Hayley Williams, the lead singer, was fourteen during the process of making the tracks along with the other members of the band. That’s awfully young for somebody to be working with a record label, and the second track on the album is called Pressure, which is one example of how she must have been feeling during the making of the album. To add even more to how the band must have been feeling, their guitarist Jeremy Davis had left the band, and they felt like they were missing something. Their first album embodies a rather “we’re not happy” feeling. Their second and arguably most known album, Riot! involved a more confrontational style of thinking with lyrics like “We want the airwaves back” from Born For This and song the entirety of Misery Business. Hayley reached out to fans for confessions of sorts as to what they were most ashamed of, and the album as a whole felt much more assertive than the last. Third came Brand New Eyes, which served as the band members’ issues within themselves, a kind of therapeutic album for them. The lyrics in almost every song are written as if Hayley(or whoever else wrote it) is speaking directly to somebody by having “you” as the focus of a lot of the tracks. A whole four years later comes the album Paramore, the point where many fans flocked to the internet to complain about the new sound, as it leaned much more to the “pop” side of pop-punk. Hayley stated in an interview with Rolling Stone that after a “dark season” the band just “really wanted to enjoy the process of making an album,” and that attitude is easily found in the many songs of the album. There isn’t so much emotion as there is pure enjoyment in the sound of the album, like the band was smiling all the while during each track, save for a few. This album is the crux of the whole “I miss the old Paramore” argument that’s still around since they haven’t abandoned that style in their most recent album, After Laughter. The lyrics in a lot of the songs contradict the upbeat and joyful tones, but regardless of the new pop sound, they’re still Paramore. They grew up, and their sound reflected that. I have nothing against anybody who dislikes the new direction they’ve gone in, and I for one still love their old songs. However, I do encourage anyone reading this to keep an open mind and give the new sound a chance, as you might be surprised at how well you resonate with what you hear after all this time.