Paramore - Paramore (Album Review)

I'll start off the review simply saying I'm not the world's largest Paramore fan. I've thought some of their songs have been good and others have been less than impressive. However, over the course of their still young careers they have made their place well known in the alternative rock world.

I went into the new album not knowing what to expect. It took the band a long time to write the album. On first impression the album art didn’t really appeal to me. The loss of two core members of the group also left a big question mark on what Paramore would become. On the self-titled album the trio did a good job of creating music and filling in the gaps the older members once filled so well. The guitar tones and style are definitely different on this album. Some of the trademark Paramore sound has been altered quite a bit. However, vocalist Hayley Williams still provides a solid vocal performance and is a good driving force for the album. She mostly has her own voice, but it's hard not to notice a few songs where she sounds a little like Gwen Stefani in my opinion.

This album is lengthy at seventeen tracks long (not including the bonus tracks). It's a mish mash of a lot of different sounds. You can hear punk, rock, pop, electronic elements, etc... It sounds mostly cohesive but there are transitioning moments that feel odd. The first four tracks start the album off nicely. Opening track "Fast In My Car" is probably one of the better songs musically on the album, but lyrically it is not the strongest. The album flows decently well until after track four. When "Daydreaming" ends and the interlude "Moving On" begins it just doesn't sit well with me as a listener. "Moving On" sounds like a Best Coast b-side at best and I'm not fond of it or its placement on the album. At seventeen songs I could see this album being trimmed down by 3-4 songs causing it be a lot more cohesive and actually being a better album. With this much material it's almost impossible not to have a few things that would have been better left on the cutting room floor.

With that being said Paramore come off fairly impressive on this new album. They continue to be one of the more impressive female fronted bands. This album may define the group and in all fairness may be the best album they've written. I don't think it will be a fan favorite over Riot. I don't mind the line-up change for the album. In a lot of ways I think I mostly prefer the song writing on this album to other Paramore releases. It sounds more modern and has more of a raw rock vibe. Ilan Rubin sounds great. His performance on drums provides some heavy hitting sounds which add a lot to the feel and vibe of the songs. The sound of the drums and overall performance is one of my favorite things about the album.

Paramore has achieved what so few bands can. That is longevity. They've also done what a lot of bands can't do. They've overcome some pretty drastic member losses. At the end of the day you get a new album simply titled Paramore. It's different from a lot of the band's previous material. It has its strengths and weaknesses. Overall it's gets the job done. I think if you've always disliked Paramore this album could change your mind about the group. On the other hand some long time fans may miss certain aspects of the group that old members brought to the table a little too much to enjoy the album. I'd say give this one a solid chance. There are a few misses but a whole lot of hits.

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