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Album Review

Easily the band's most adventurous, experimental, and accomplished release to date, Paramore's fourth studio album, 2013's eponymously titled Paramore, is a landmark, a genre-breaking masterwork that, like Madonna's Like a Prayer or U2's Achtung Baby, finds Paramore crystallized into the seminal, cogent rock band we always knew they'd grow up to be. For this release, Paramore worked with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, whose previous production credits include artists like Neon Trees and M83. Perhaps not the most obvious choice for a band that developed alongside labelmates like Fall Out Boy, but the first-time pairing explodes with chemistry, coalescing the group's grand emotionality and ridiculously tight hooks with ever new and genius musical avenues, like electronica and even orchestral flourishes. The idea that your songs should only include instrumentation that you can pack into your tour van is a practical limitation that for plenty of bands, especially those of the punk ethos, can become a downright philosophical limitation. But when original guitarist and drummer Zac and Josh Farro left the band in 2010, Paramore were forced to allow vital roles in their sound to be filled with hired professionals rather than actual bandmembers — after all, they needed somebody to play drums. This clearly opened the band up to exploring all other manner of possibilities in the studio that they could not reasonably fit into a van or reproduce in a garage, like a board full of subtly perfect synth intonations or, in the case of one song (the immediate classic "Ain't It Fun"), a gospel choir. The change represents more than just growth; it's transcendence. Paramore have made the album of their career.

The record's collaborative foundation crackles on every track, but Hayley Williams, a ballsy, extroverted frontwoman with a voice big enough to stop time, proves unequivocally to be the cunning talent of the band, no matter how vital York and Davis may be. Whether she is belting out a do-or-die alt-rock anthem like "Now" or cooing coyly on three ukulele-backed "Interludes," Williams imbues each song with a robust charisma and relentlessly positive attitude. While longtime Paramore fans will recognize the driving, no-holds-barred attack of cuts like "Daydreaming," "Anklebiters," and "Part II," the album also soars on the band's newfound use of keyboards, programming, and York's often thickly layered, heavily effected guitar. Without a doubt, even a newcomer to Paramore's music is in rapturous danger of being up all night after listening to this disc, possessed by each track's driving, perfect hook. But knowing about the drama that precipitated the album only adds further dimension, not to mention a sense of vicarious satisfaction for Paramore's glorious triumph over inter-band adversity. After all, the Farros didn't just leave, they also caused a big stink the day after announcing their departure, posting a mean-spirited diatribe about their former bandmates on the Internet. The fact that Paramore went on to not just put themselves back together, but create the best work of their entire musical tenure — a work lyrically inspired by the Farros leaving, and unimaginable as having been stylistically possible with them still in the band — is a revenge fantasy that would seem too sweet to be true if it weren't laid out for us all to hear. Paramore is a veritable pop opera about a band reborn, phoenix-like from the ashes of a broken lineup, better and stronger than any previous incarnation.

Customer Reviews

The Defining Moment of Their Career

This album will break all barriers and become paramore best album. With an amazing producer, Hayley, Taylor & Jeremey will without a doubt come up with an album that is fresh but is still retaining something from the previous 3 albums. I can already feel that tense sound in now. Now is such an amazing song to start off this cycle, I cant wait to hear more. Please support bands like this that dont use autotune, and play 100% live they are the future; not smutty acts that are on the airwaves now! 2013 is paramore's year to conqure the world!


Their music has changed so much since they first started, up until Brand New Eyes I loved all of it but now, in my opinion, its changed for the worse ._. I was so excited for a new album but based on "Now" I don't think I'll be buying :/ it's not them at all <3


I have loved Paramore for so many years. I have been inspired by Hayley Williams and how she never let any person get to her. The last three albums were absolutely amazing. However this one has truly disapointed me. The Record Companies have made their music into mainstream love songs. I was so excited about their new album because of Now. But now that I have heard the rest of their songs I just can't bring myself to buy it. If you know Paramore this is not one of their best albums. I hate to say it about my alltime favourite band. I knew they would become mainstream one day. I just didn't think it would be this soon. I still love the band, but this music just doesn't do it for me.


Formed: 2004 in Franklin, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although their blend of emo-pop and slick, anthemic rock & roll eventually made them stars on both sides of the Atlantic, Paramore began humbly enough in Franklin, Tennessee, where Hayley Williams met brothers Josh and Zac Farro after moving to town from Mississippi. Already a powerhouse vocalist at the age of 13, Williams joined a band that the Farro siblings had formed with local guitarist Taylor York. She left the group soon after, signing with Atlantic Records as a solo artist instead, but clashed...
Full Bio
Paramore, Paramore
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  • $14.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Rock
  • Released: 05 April 2013

Customer Ratings