whoa! the new Paramore is a long way from 'Falling'

/ 19 April 2013 /
Ever noticed how these days, our favorite rock bands are dishing out albums that are lighter, perkier, even… pop-ier? Examples: Incubus came out with the lush If Not Now, When?, then Coldplay warmed up (pardon the pun) with their Mylo Xyloto. Now, it sounds like Paramore is getting their feet wet in the evolution pool as well. And with surprisingly good results.

Actually, it’s only surprising when you compare their latest self-titled album to their first, All We Know is Falling. While Falling was emotional, raw, and mostly darkly poignant, Paramore (the 2013 album) is more mature and learned. Not much lament anymore over self-discovery issues, no more bittersweet submission, no more Josh Farro growling (sob!).

Paramore is definitely a long way from being the CD you used to play as a teenager while you cried yourself to sleep in your poster-covered room.

But as with most of today’s enduring artists, Paramore’s crossover to the light side has been gradual. We heard a new twist with each album they put out, whether that twist was more cheerful beats or a shameless love ballad.

Still, this latest album catches you off-guard many times. There should even be a pre-listening notice that says “Word of caution: Far from the Paramore you had expected.”

The word is experimental. Think a pop-rock canvas filled with splashes of other genres. The tracks “Fast In My Car” and “Now” boast of synthetic elements that spell indie/dance-rock. “Still Into You” and “Hate To See Your Heart Break” are just two of the several love-themed pieces included, with the latter having all the makings of a proper love song: soft vocals, violins, the works. The beautiful “Future” is a lovely post-rock sample reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You  (personal request: please, Paramore, if you’re going to evolve more, evolve this way!). "Anklebiters" channels punk sounds. And – whoa – is that a gospel choir we’re hearing on “Ain’t It Fun”?! (Yes, it actually is!)

So this album is surprising (and by surprising, I mean astounding). But good ol’ Paramore, they still pay tribute to their old tunes. If “Escape Route” doesn’t remind you of their Brand New Eyes sound, “Part II” will definitely bring you back to Riot. That’s because the track is actually a sequel to one of Riot’s best pieces, “Let the Flames Begin”.

As a whole, Paramore is the kind of album that casual listeners will find fun, and loyal fans may not have anticipated but should really listen to. It's a good growing up. We were teenagers when the band was still pleading “Please don’t go now, please don’t fade away…” But now, it’s time to get out of those poster-covered walls, pick up from our mistakes, and face the bigger world that awaits. And for that, this album is perfect.

PS. So Paramore just landed number 1 on the Billboard 200. No better musical validation than that!

PSS. Thank you, my awesome Tyril and Daian, for letting me experience the album! :)


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