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Album review: New Paramore album shows Hayley Williams’ anger toward band’s lineup change

The Farro brothers’ ears should be burning, because Hayley Williams has clearly been talking about them. Her entire album talks about them actually. After Zac and Josh Farro left Paramore in late 2010 under seemingly less-than-amicable terms, Williams and the remaining band members announced Paramore would not be breaking up. 

After that announcement, the band released several singles, one of which, “Monster,” made it into the “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” soundtrack. Later the band announced an entire album would be released in 2013, and its members slowly put songs out to the public on Paramore.net in four different, consecutive days, with each day showing a different side of the album. 

Williams is angry, and as the writer of most of the songs on the new self-titled album, it shows. Even the self-titled album name is a punch to the former band members. Williams is what makes Paramore Paramore, and by titling the album with just the band name, she has essentially re-branded the band, as just her, bassist Jeremy Davis and guitarist Taylor York.

Lyrically, the album takes listeners through Williams’ journey post-Farro brothers departure, from initial betrayal to anger to finally letting go of the broken and changed band.  

Better yet, she did it with class. 

The newest album kept the roots at punk-pop, but doesn’t stop there. Paramore pushed all its limits with this album, shoving its way into pop, harder rock and acoustic music. 

The album opens with “Fast in My Car,” which has a heavy drum opening and a more pop-esque chorus than what is usually expected of Williams. 

It isn’t until “Now” that she really stretches her vocal range. The song is essentially a “not giving up” theme.

“There is a time and place to die, but this ain’t it,” Williams sings. 

“Grow Up” is a slap in the face to the Farro brothers. There are more synth beats in the track, as Williams belts out lyrics about moving on.

“If I have to I’m gonna leave you behind / Some of us have to grow up sometimes,” and the song then closes out with a synthesized section. 

Interestingly, there are three interludes in the album: “Interlude: Moving On,” “Interlude: Holiday” and “Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore.” Each interlude is relatively short, all clocking in at well under two minutes. Every interlude is an acoustic track with just Williams’ vocals and a ukulele or acoustic guitar. 

“Part II” was one of the better tracks, and sounded like the classic Paramore style fans know, similar to “Decode.” A heavier guitar riff came in for “Proof,” giving it a bit of a hard-core edge. 

The greatest part of the album was the full circle journey it took listeners on. The entire album sounded like William’s emotional cycle and experience after two of her band members left. 

 

Grade: A-

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