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Julia Conny 09/30/09 12:56 AM

Paramore - brand new eyes
 
Paramore - brand new eyes
Release Date: Sept. 29, 2009
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen


She’s an enchanting little creature with hair colors most often in the fire hues, and she’s the frontlady for an underground-grown pop-rock band that’s got a major-league teen kingdom. I know, I know - there are other dudes in Paramore too (Josh and Zac Farro, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York, say hello). Yet, what we’ve grown to understand about the band after 2007’s Riot! is that Hayley Williams has the moxie to lead an infantry on her propelled trills alone. Love to hate or not, her snowcapped power vocals are designed to seduce and then score, and that’s what she’s giving another go on brand new eyes.

When the match strikes on the third album by the teenbeat wonder group, the room goes ablaze with more of what Paramore does well. This record is most importantly about momentum. “Careful”, the album opener starts quickly with streamlining from clean guitar lines and accelerated percussion, the sounds of a band that is hot to trot. Williams rings in clear with springboard lines like “the truth will set me free/I did it myself” and the extended wails in chorus line “you’ve got to reach a little more." There’s no lull between those damn hooks on Riot! and the concentration and vigor of brand new eyes. First single “Ignorance” and the concise “Brick By Boring Brick” help rush in the first half. So far so good and snappy, like knocking bullets off a to-do list. It’s not until the acoustic sweetie “The Only Exception” that the album slows to peruse young love and all its hopefulness (“In the morning, when you wake up/Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream”). But we’re back quick enough - “Feeling Sorry” rumbles excitedly with an opening familiar to The Starting Line’s “21”.

Not entirely gone but certainly toned down are the Friday night mall anthems. It may be a stretch to say that Paramore probes dark subject matter on brand new eyes, but they work on fattening their otherwise prototypical pre-adult catalog of lyrics. On the more pop-punk than rock “Looking Up”, Williams very literally expresses her feelings towards the band’s near-brush with a break-up, and it’s an honesty that can be appreciated (“God knows the world doesn’t need another band/But what a waste it would’ve been/I can't believe we almost hung it up”). She continues her gushy sentiments towards the Farro brothers, Davis and York in “Where The Lines Overlap”. Besides a Three Little Pigs reference on “Brick By Boring Brick” and the aforementioned love story of “The Only Exception”, Williams chalks the rest of her muse up to hometown anxieties and the usual self-doubt/personal resolve parallel.

From their first album, All We Know Is Falling, to now, the progression is as obvious as growing up. The band is now a natural at buffing the pop architecture. Williams is dripping with more confidence than ever, and she’s even sneering less to soar higher. Who needs the ‘tude? Come time for a crucial hook and chorus - like on “Playing God” - and the song is immediately a phoenix. But progression can be dirty work. Take ender “All I Wanted” - much more “radio” than anything on brand new eyes, it’s forcefully booming to be epic. Williams alternates between a recluse verse and an awkwardly unmatched chorus. Isn’t this where Avril Lavigne went wrong? Just prior, the second acoustic number on the album, “Misguided Ghosts” is a bit misguided itself. Williams glows next to the raw quirks of the unplugged execution, but the melody is lukewarm in comparison to everything before.

Let’s be honest here. Paramore wouldn’t be, you know - Paramore - if some other chick lent her tubes to the cause. It’s agreed, then? This one’s a keeper. Simultaneously down-to-earth and on top of the world, there is something about this Williams character that makes an album like brand new eyes more than another notch on that slutty pop-rock bedpost. Just imagine what will happen when the band hits their mid-twenties.

Where To GoAP.net Profile | Myspace | $3.99 at Amazon | Last.fm

Julia Conny 09/30/09 12:58 AM

In listening to this album, and then going back to Riot!, I have realized that I truly enjoy Paramore.

I think my world has been turned upside down.

introduction 09/30/09 01:33 AM

impressive vocals, and lyrics are much better than before.

Chris Fallon 09/30/09 02:16 AM

You make some good points -- can't say the album entirely sold me on the band, however it's their first record I don't mind listening to from beginning to end. I think the lyrics and vocals have improved enough where I can take them seriously. If not for Hayley, it wouldn't be much to rave about though.

Paulb-182 09/30/09 02:27 AM

Crappy first single. I'll never bother to listen to this album. Can't say I've liked any of their stuff all but the first couple of singles off the debut though. Boring on the whole

_><_ 09/30/09 03:21 AM

This album is definitely a grower. I didn't like it at first, but now i can honestly say that this one's my favourite by Paramore.

SincerelyMe 09/30/09 03:53 AM

Nice review. This album is really growing on me.

deezee 09/30/09 05:05 AM

Great review Julia!

Gregory Robson 09/30/09 05:08 AM

Another homerun. You never cease to amaze me.

Keagan Ilvonen 09/30/09 05:10 AM

I love you Julia, you hit it on the head once again.

birtcho 09/30/09 05:15 AM

awesome album

Richard Maxim 09/30/09 05:20 AM

Great record and as immature as the lyrics are, her most mature yet. My favorite p-more record to date.

dawn afterglow 09/30/09 05:26 AM

I didn't like the album when I first heard it but it's definitely grown on me a lot since then. Great review, Julia.

thecobrakais 09/30/09 05:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Fallon (Post 54805322)
If not for Hayley, it wouldn't be much to rave about though.


i agree to an extent, but doesn't this ring true for most bands? what would thrice be without dustin? brand new without jesse? jew be without jim?

i do however think that each band member of paramore really adds a lot to the band as a whole. i think j. farro has his own style of writing that is different. maybe not groundbreaking, but you can always tell it's him just by hearing it. they are all extremely talented musicians and have years of growth ahead of them. keep in mind that two of the members are still in their teens.

Akissforher 09/30/09 05:36 AM

admittedly ive only heard the first single and wasnt enamoured with it, and being the closed minded mofo i am i probably wont hear the rest for a long time now.

oncedarkness 09/30/09 06:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thecobrakais (Post 54806902)
i agree to an extent, but doesn't this ring true for most bands? what would thrice be without dustin? brand new without jesse? jew be without jim?

i do however think that each band member of paramore really adds a lot to the band as a whole. i think j. farro has his own style of writing that is different. maybe not groundbreaking, but you can always tell it's him just by hearing it. they are all extremely talented musicians and have years of growth ahead of them. keep in mind that two of the members are still in their teens.

Good points.

I'm going to pick this up today.

zachff 09/30/09 06:20 AM

Not a big fan of this band and unfortunately it doesn't sound like this album is any of a departure from their earlier stuff. Oh well, it's got a place.

ACA 09/30/09 06:22 AM

Riot > BNE > AWKIF

Really good band.

Salamandrax 09/30/09 06:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akissforher (Post 54806992)
admittedly ive only heard the first single and wasnt enamoured with it, and being the closed minded mofo i am i probably wont hear the rest for a long time now.

I didn't like their first single either, but I really love this album as a whole.
Give it a listen - i think you'll be pleasantly surprised :]

ManicanParty49 09/30/09 06:30 AM

Haven't gotten sick of this album yet.

"Playing God", "Brick By Boring Brick" and "Looking Up" are probably my favorite tracks right now.

brenByah 09/30/09 06:35 AM

Careful and Misguided Ghosts are so good. This is easily Hayley's best vocal effort to date.

fadedmemories 09/30/09 06:42 AM

Can't get the hype about this record.

reachforthesun 09/30/09 06:43 AM

i feel like im going nuts when people say they like this band. how can this be?

RoboZombieKitty 09/30/09 06:55 AM

I'm an average Paramore fan and I thought this cd was way way way way way worse than Riot and All We Know.

Sing-The-Sorrow 09/30/09 07:06 AM

This album was a huge let down for me, there were only 4 songs I liked on it. I found most of the album to be about how they almost broke up. I would have personally gave it a 65%.

www.audiocoke.blogspot.com

xjulianx89 09/30/09 07:06 AM

Vocals - 9.75
:thumbup:

Julia Conny 09/30/09 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Fallon (Post 54805322)
You make some good points -- can't say the album entirely sold me on the band, however it's their first record I don't mind listening to from beginning to end. I think the lyrics and vocals have improved enough where I can take them seriously. If not for Hayley, it wouldn't be much to rave about though.


It was the first for me too, to be honest. I never took them seriously before this year.

Julia Conny 09/30/09 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reachforthesun (Post 54808431)
i feel like im going nuts when people say they like this band. how can this be?


For me, I find Hayley captivating as a frontwoman. I can't think of too many girls in the pop genre that know how to bring it, if you will.

suppyguppy 09/30/09 07:23 AM

Never understood the fuss over this band. They sound like everything else being put out right now, only with female vocals. No creativity whatsoever. With that said, there is worse shit out there.

lostfear 09/30/09 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suppyguppy (Post 54809672)
Never understood the fuss over this band. They sound like everything else being put out right now, only with female vocals. No creativity whatsoever. With that said, there is worse shit out there.

my musical elitist senses are going off.

aealeman 09/30/09 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sing-The-Sorrow (Post 54809241)
This album was a huge let down for me, there were only 4 songs I liked on it. I found most of the album to be about how they almost broke up. I would have personally gave it a 65%.

www.audiocoke.blogspot.com

Dead on. Someone also said that the lyrics are immature, and I have to agree. This crap about them "maturing" is a farce. The lyrics are not more mature, they're childish and bitter. I can't relate to their band drama, and I don't want to hear about it in a song. Also, her vocals are not nearly as good as they were on the previous two albums. At this point, she's straining. She often sounds as if she's shouting to hit the notes and during softer parts she sounds awkward. She needs to sing within her range because when she does she's wonderful. Singing improperly is going to wreck her voice for the rest of her life.

Kbm600 09/30/09 07:52 AM

I have truly not enjoyed Paramore this much since All We Know Is Falling. I have to disagree in opinion about "All I Wanted", I feel like that's one of the tracks where Hayley sounds strongest.

Then again, I did enjoy Avril Lavigne for a while when I was younger...:blush:

FRAMEY 09/30/09 07:52 AM

I really enjoy listening to this album at the moment. I also enjoy reading when JC writes reviews.

:-) 09/30/09 07:53 AM

I like the album but Careful, Misguided Ghosts and All I Wanted were really the only tracks that stood out to me :shrug:
Riot! remains one of my favorite albums ever though

superBMRuth 09/30/09 08:06 AM

great review. I only like this album so for. Hayley's voice is great and 90% of the reason I even bother to buy these albums, but she can only carry the band so far. After a few listens you start to realize that the music behind it is just sort of bland, ho-hum pop rock. I know they're still young, but they've been playing for several years now and this is their third album and there's very little progression between them. Am I alone here?

On the other side of the coin, i think the lyrics on BNE are way better. Self-confidence does a lot for the creative process. Some songs seem to be pages ripped out of little Williams diary, and I like when artists step out of their safe zone. On that note, I think Hayley should release at least ONE solo album in the future. There willl still be Paramore, dont' get me wrong. But I'd like to see her do her own thing for a record or two (see Dustin Kensrue and countless other band fronts).

edit: FUCK

Broclee 09/30/09 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paulb-182 (Post 54805411)
Crappy first single. I'll never bother to listen to this album. Can't say I've liked any of their stuff all but the first couple of singles off the debut though. Boring on the whole


How can you call an album you won't listen to boring?

Paulb-182 09/30/09 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Broclee (Post 54811941)
How can you call an album you won't listen to boring?

I was talking about the band

Broclee 09/30/09 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paulb-182 (Post 54812021)
I was talking about the band

Ah. Very well then, continue.

Paulb-182 09/30/09 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Broclee (Post 54812052)
Ah. Very well then, continue.

Thankyou. dooby dooby doo

brenByah 09/30/09 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aealeman (Post 54810501)
Dead on. Someone also said that the lyrics are immature, and I have to agree. This crap about them "maturing" is a farce. The lyrics are not more mature, they're childish and bitter. I can't relate to their band drama, and I don't want to hear about it in a song. Also, her vocals are not nearly as good as they were on the previous two albums. At this point, she's straining. She often sounds as if she's shouting to hit the notes and during softer parts she sounds awkward. She needs to sing within her range because when she does she's wonderful. Singing improperly is going to wreck her voice for the rest of her life.


I don't think we're listening to the same record. These are easily her best vocals. I also don't understand how she sounds "awkward" in softer parts. Misguided Ghost is a very soft and mellow song and her voice sounds beautiful.

aealeman 09/30/09 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brenByah (Post 54812731)
I don't think we're listening to the same record. These are easily her best vocals. I also don't understand how she sounds "awkward" in softer parts. Misguided Ghost is a very soft and mellow song and her voice sounds beautiful.

She does not sound comfortable to me in "Misguided Ghosts." Of course, I hate the song so that doesn't help. Anyway, I'm not trying to convince anyone otherwise, I'm just putting in my two-cents. For the first time her voice feels grating and annoying to me.

Justin052 09/30/09 08:55 AM

I enjoyed the album overall, and I agree with Julia on a lot of her points. Check out my review:
http://throughwindows.wordpress.com/

Johnnydcp 09/30/09 08:55 AM

I disagree on Misguided Ghosts.. I think it's the best song on the album.

brenByah 09/30/09 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aealeman (Post 54813172)
She does not sound comfortable to me in "Misguided Ghosts." Of course, I hate the song so that doesn't help. Anyway, I'm not trying to convince anyone otherwise, I'm just putting in my two-cents. For the first time her voice feels grating and annoying to me.

We can just agree to disagree, my feelings are pretty much the exact opposite, and I've never been a big Paramore fan. I'm very impressed with this release.

the1 09/30/09 09:08 AM

It's their best to date- what RIOT! should have been.

xjulianx89 09/30/09 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the1 (Post 54813872)
It's their best to date- what RIOT! should have been.

This!

ActionActionFan 09/30/09 09:21 AM

I gave this album a listen but just couldn't get into it.

threepunchjim 09/30/09 09:22 AM

best written review in a long time.

Poochemist 09/30/09 09:23 AM

I'm surprised at how much I have grown to enjoy this band.

friskycurtain 09/30/09 09:29 AM

The whole album is underwhelming