AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Paramore - Paramore Album Cover

Paramore - Paramore

Reviewed by
8.0
ParamoreParamore
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen
We didn't know what to expect from a new Paramore record. Frankly, Paramore may not have known what to expect from a new Paramore record - with adversity overcome, members lost, relationships gained, and three years since Brand New Eyes, circumstantial variables could have taken new material any which way. So that's exactly what Three-Piece, Twenty Thirteen Paramore did, exploring their every sonic whim in the creation of their fourth full-length. Instead of pursuing all things epic or intentionally moving to a specific sound, the band had a blast pursuing every genre under the sun, creating a damn good album in the process.

Even before its release, the record's 17-track, 64-minute marathon made listeners weary. Consider those concerns validated, as Paramore is anything but a concise album. Self-titled plays genre hop-scotch every few tracks with varying consistency, displaying an almost childlike attention span; but leave it to Paramore to somehow make an unfocused record endearing in its youthful approach. Despite some warranted fatigue, listeners will find themselves rooting for the band's playfulness, less worried about flow and more curious what could come next. You never know whether a throwback, pop hit, ukulele interlude or country jam will appear, which is half the fun. Chances are you won't dedicate undivided attention to Paramore, but you'll regularly queue the whole record, go about your day and sing along as your favorites pop up.

And everyone will have their own favorites. The faithful should find solace in "Proof," "Be Alone," and "Last Hope," serving as the best bridges between Brand New Eyes and the updated sound. Though it initially received mixed reviews, "Now" should have grown on you (especially as it's the closest you'll get to the tension from "Monster" or "Careful"). Up the learning curve a tad to enjoy the slightly electronic "Fast In My Car" and "Grow Up," the album's best rockers. It'd be surprising if these two didn't earn regular spots on live sets, as both balance the different sounds of Paramore nicely.

Those seeking new territory have a few options. "Daydreaming" feels out of place after the first three poppers, but channels The Smashing Pumpkins at their prettiest in a cool way. Following that with the first of three ukulele interludes is equally odd, but adorable in that lo-fi, cheery melody, Blue-Valentine-Ryan-Gosling way. I don't know what to reference for "Anklebiters" - just know it's one of my favorites, reminds me of the closing number from Grease, and makes me go jazz hands. There's even a circa-2010 Taylor Swift vibe running through "Hate To See Your Heart Break" and "(One Of Those) Crazy Girls" - both are well done, but a bit sleepy back-to-back in the #13 and #14 slots. Chances are slim that you'll enjoy all of these, but high that a few will be on constant rotation.

But the real gems are in the album's pop/hybrids. "Ain't It Fun" absolutely steals the show - a perfect blend of funk, early '90s pop and swing team with an insanely catchy melody, awesome scat section and pristine production to create one of the year's best songs. Maybe that track'll get you over all the butterflies, since "Still Into You" stays as great and sugary hundreds of spins later. We'll always want Paramore to utilize rock elements, but these pop tunes beg the band to further explore the area.

By now, the competency of three-piece Paramore should be well-documented. My hat's off to guitarist Taylor York, bassist Jeremy Davis and producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen - the tracks comprising self-titled are well-written and expertly recorded, proving that great songwriting and high-level rock production are not only available, but still successful. Hayley Williams deserves special praise, as the beloved vocalist has taken another step towards iconic status - never have her melodies and lyrics appeared so gorgeous, simultaneously feeling natural, unique, and effortless. As someone who suspected previous members would be missed, I'm pleased to prefer the band's current configuration in the foreseeable future.

All that said, a few of these should have stayed B-side. I get that "Part II" is a direct response to Riot!'s "Let The Flames Begin," but the verse lyrics and melodies are so similar to its predecessor that the track feels unnecessary - a shame, since it may have the record's best chorus. "Future" does its best Anberlin closer impersonation, but would have benefited from a big Hayley send-off rather than five minutes of post-rock instrumentals. The other 15 tracks may not have universal appeal, but certainly have their own audiences, while these two don't feel up to snuff. Some will argue that the interludes could have been axed - but they're well-done, so why bother?

As a full record, Paramore certainly isn't for everyone - but there's certainly something for everyone. If you're not having fun at some point of the album, you're probably not trying.

8/10
This review is a user submitted review from Jack Appleby. You can see all of Jack Appleby's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 313
05:51 AM on 04/03/13
#2
Dre Okorley
Offline
User Info.
Dre Okorley's Avatar
Cool review, Jack. 80%-85% is exactly where I would've pegged it.

My thoughts:
"Part II". So good. The chorus actually reminded me of "Let The Flames Begin". I prefer "Still Into You" to "Now" - it fits the quirky style of the record. Anyway, I LOVE this album. The strongest thing about it is how creative it is. I can't really pinpoint who Paramore sound like anymore. It's clear they've drawn inspiration from a diverse list of artists like the Smiths, Justice, Garbage, 90s funk, 80s retro melodic pop, folk, etc… there's just a lot to take in. You'll catch something new every time you hear the record.

My only issues:
"Proof" is a decent song but the chorus seems a bit out of place to me…anyone else?
I loved the ukelele track the first time I heard it, but repeating it throughout the album is…a bit much.

What I've learned from the reactions to this: people feel threatened by the word "pop", being openminded is asking a lot, and that some who listen to it will immediately run to the Farro brothers. But everyone in the band is just doing their thing, and it feels like their least stressful album yet where they don't want to fit into any particular mold. They just let their hair down completely and went loose.
05:52 AM on 04/03/13
#3
Jack Appleby
___
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I'm going back to reviewing EPs - SEVENTEEN SONGS IS HARD.
05:58 AM on 04/03/13
#4
casinocolumbus
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
casinocolumbus's Avatar
Good review but the album is only a 5/10 for me. Most of the tracks are ok but forgettable. My favorites (Daydreaming, Part II, Be Alone, and Future) seem to be the tracks that most people seem to not enjoy as much. I prefer a darker paramore to a poppy paramore.
06:02 AM on 04/03/13
#5
dangerofthought
An Uneducated Opinion
Offline
User Info.
dangerofthought's Avatar
Great review Joe. Explained the album really well I think. I've only heard bits and pieces of the album but I've got it preordered, looking forward to hearing the full thing now even more.
06:02 AM on 04/03/13
#6
VeryWittyName
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
VeryWittyName's Avatar
Good review, but I absolutely disagree that Part II is unnecessary. I reckon it's the best song on the album, other than maybe Ain't It Fun. Seriously, so so good.
06:03 AM on 04/03/13
#7
Dre Okorley
Offline
User Info.
Dre Okorley's Avatar
Great review Joe. Explained the album really well I think. I've only heard bits and pieces of the album but I've got it preordered, looking forward to hearing the full thing now even more.
Jack ;)
06:05 AM on 04/03/13
#8
Jack Appleby
___
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Good review, but I absolutely disagree that Part II is unnecessary. I reckon it's the best song on the album, other than maybe Ain't It Fun. Seriously, so so good.
Like I said, I think the chorus is fantastic - but the rest of the song is just SO close to "Let The Flames Begin" that it either makes the original or this song a little irrelevant. There's no way I'd listen to both songs in the same playlist.

anapplegod.
06:06 AM on 04/03/13
#9
Dre Okorley
Offline
User Info.
06:12 AM on 04/03/13
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
Offline
User Info.
Dustin Harkins's Avatar
#GFYJA
06:13 AM on 04/03/13
therookielot
the shape of punk just came
Offline
User Info.
therookielot's Avatar
Good review Jason.
06:13 AM on 04/03/13
Avalanche1
Keep running, keep shining on
Offline
User Info.
Avalanche1's Avatar
Didn't really like this album at all.
06:13 AM on 04/03/13
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
Offline
User Info.
Dustin Harkins's Avatar
I'ma give this album a shot. I haven't listened to Paramore in forever, maybe I'll enjoy it.
06:13 AM on 04/03/13
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
Offline
User Info.
06:14 AM on 04/03/13
Dre Okorley
Offline
User Info.
Dre Okorley's Avatar
Like I said, I think the chorus is fantastic - but the rest of the song is just SO close to "Let The Flames Begin" that it either makes the original or this song a little irrelevant. There's no way I'd listen to both songs in the same playlist.


anapplegod.
Wait, you thought the verses and melodies had a "Let the Flames Begin" sound? I read that wrong. I'd say that about the chorus...

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate