Overall Score: 10/10 Lyrics and vocals : 10/10 Instrumentals : 10/10 Repeatability : 10/10 Pros: The album has come at a perfect time and features no tracks you'd want to skip Cons: 5.5 wait (But worth it)
Since the release of After Laughter in 2017, its been an incredibly long 5 and a half years without music from all time legends, Paramore. With such a long hiatus between releases, and such a high bar set, the pressure has been on. If anyone would be up to such a challenge it would be Hayley Williams, Zac Farro, and Taylor York.
Title track and opening song, This Is Why, gave us the first glimpse of the sound we could expect from Paramore’s revival. Even with a new sound all through the album are sparse notes of prior album After Laughter trickled through giving off a seamless transition. If anything is a guarantee, This Is Why will be a phenomenal experience live.
For an album exploring simply being in survival mode, it’s not just the lyrics that deliver these unsettling themes. Throughout many tracks there are messy guitars, especially throughout The News which give off an unsettling aura that really pulls you into what Hayley, Taylor, and Zac have been feeling. Matched with a perfect video to fully deliver such a creepy, trapped feeling it’s certainly an album highlight.
What stands out instantly about this album is how the singles released aren’t necessarily the strongest tracks. With a change in sound, theres always a risk that not everyone will fully give a new album a chance. For those who decided to give up on Paramore after the singles are truly missing out. Running Out Of Time is an instant favourite. Starting with calm and collected vocals while gradually getting a bit more chaotic, theres such a powerful sense about the song.
Returning to C’est Comme Ça since first hearing it as a single, it’s remained a bop. It’s short, sweet, and punchy while getting you completely pumped up. With such satirical and sarcastic lyrics, it once again demonstrates such a survival mode we have all been in. With lyrics such as “I run on spite and sweet revenge” and “I hate to admit getting better is boring” this is the ultimate relatable track.
Big Man, Little Dignity is easily one of the best tracks on the album. From gorgeous vocals, to instrumentals that get so instantly stuck in your head. It’s damn near impossible not to tap along or dance to this track. With moments of a more funky and psychedelic sound, this is a strong moment where the After Laughter influences are still alive and well. If music was hitting a scratch you’ve not been able to reach, this track would resolve that.
Drawing the album to a close comes Thick Skull, another track that is such a strong stand out. With such calm and delicate vocals throughout and almost theatrical sounding instrumentals, it’s a flawless track to end on. Fully showing off Hayley Williams range in vocals, Zac’s drums, and Taylor’s guitar skills.
Just pushing over the half hour mark with its run time, This Is Why simultaneously leaves you totally satisfied that it’s the perfect length, while also hungry for more of this addictive new sound. Seeing the evolution of Paramore with each album cycle truly feels like a privilege.
For an album exploring feeling so trapped and stuck in the same endless cycles, listening through you’re feeling lighter with a weight lifted from your shoulders. Having been stuck in a massive survival mode and so many of us finally facing up to the reality of the last few years, this album has come at the perfect time. It could be the huge excitement of finally having new Paramore music back in our lives, or just the experience of knowing we’re all surviving this together.
This Is Why is out now. Buy the album and other Paramore merch at their official UK webstore.