As a keen, avid long term Paramore fan, the dreaded wait for the April release of their new self-titled album after nearly a 4 year break, was painstaking to say the least. Fans were torn from the very beginning over what to expect, being the band’s first album since the acrimonious departure of the Farro brothers, Josh and Zac, back in December 2010. Admittedly, the album has thrown some fans with it’s stark contrast to previous Paramore albums, but it does poignantly reflect the growth of both the band and its members and crucially, it was definitely worth the wait. Despite the mixed reviews from and responses, it’s arguably one of their best, most ambitious albums yet, surpassing all expectations – leaving Paramore in the strongest position they’ve ever been in.
The band released Now followed by Still Into You as two singles leading up to the album release date. As two incredibly addictive songs, they confidently gave fans their very first taste of what the new album had in store for them. It was clear that they’d bravely decided to leap out of their comfort zones and venture across a broad spectrum of musical genres, producing personally what I think the band have always intended to create, nothing short of a masterpiece. Most noticeably, Paramore contrasts vastly to the coarse angry tone of the bands previous album Brand New Eyes (2009).
Self-titling this album has allowed them a fresh start in order to ‘reintroduce their band to the world and to themselves’, whilst at the same time ensure fans that they’re still the same band they’ve always been. The incredibly vigorous success of the album can be attributed to the bands decision to challenge themselves and make new daring and adventurous choices that they had previously been too afraid to make.
The band worked alongside producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen to create an ambitious 17 track album, containing three unique ukulele based interludes. Rest assured, the album is still jam packed with the traditional pop-punk Paramore style, illustrated through dynamic tracks like Daydreaming, Part II and Anklebiters. This is a genre-breaking album for the band, allowing them to push the boundaries and explore new styles, surrounding ‘traditional Paramore’ sounding songs with new edgy and experimental material. They have incorporated keyboards, and most importantly the use of Taylor York’s culmination of searing heavy effect and thickly layered guitar riffs. An immediate classic from the album entitled Ain’t it Fun incorporates an audacious gospel choir, a mammoth chorus and an impressive upbeat bass guitar solo from Jeremy Davis – risks and technical flourishes which certainly paid off as along side Now and Still Into You it’s one of the most prevalent songs on the entire album. If Paramore had a huge following before the new album launched, then the self titled life is going to propel them ferociously into the hands of an unimaginable, much wider audience.
There was nothing predictable about this album and that’s exactly what makes it, and the band exceptional.