Paramore – “Paramore”
The revamped Paramore still carries those quality traces of emo, pop and rock ‘n roll, but the band’s first album since the big shakeup is frustratingly inconsistent.
The trio tries its hand at standard fare of various genres—upbeat puppy love pop (“Still Into You”), windows down ‘90s alternative emo (“Fast In My Car”), a pop punk fist pumper (“Anklebiters”), a bit of atmospheric post-rock (“Future”) and even confounding country pop (“Hate To See Your Heartbreak”). The self-titled album is 17 tracks and 64 minutes, which is five tracks and 20 minutes too long.
The tracklisting is also unfortunate. The shouted punk flavor of “Now” and the carefree fun of “Fast In My Car” would serve much better flipped, and the interludes are unnecessary. Great track gives way for misfire and vice versa.
Mixed feelings aside, “Paramore” is ambitious and exciting, even if it’s overstuffed with a few misfires. Paramore the band, when it often nails its multi-genred note, is joyful and irresistibly infectious. “Anklebiters” will be a favorite of Paramore’s older fans, an immediate pick-up after the oddly vacuous hit single “Still Into You.”
“Part II” is a booming rock anthem not to be trifled with, and “Future” is a wonderful surprise as an intimate, off-brand closer—a gentle haymaker that grows to Mogwai levels of bombast and finality.
“Paramore” the album is far from perfect, but it exemplifies the idea of “when it’s good, it’s great.” Hayley Williams has the voice and confidence of ten band frontmen, carrying every track to a higher level—even the ones that don’t work. It’s a new day for Paramore, and as they continue to find their sound, it’s brighter than ever.