3 years ago, things seemed bleak for Paramore, Josh and Zac Farro had just walked out on the band amidst a hail of mud slinging, and bad press. The band retreated inside themselves and tried to ride out the storm, now the 3 remaining members are back with a brand new number one album and things are looking up.
Yes, you read that right, Paramore currently have the number one album in the UK, and I think several other countries, not bad for a band many were prepared to write off as dead and buried. Although a number one album doesn’t always dictate quality, I mean that’s how I try to justify the success of Justin Bieber anyway. So the main question is, is the new Paramore album actually any good?
The answer is a resounding I’m not sure. There are moments on it which are very good but they are largely outweighed by experimentation and too may sly in digs at the bands former members. Take the three interludes which are all ukulele based songs that are there just to take aim at the bands missing members, which come across as childish and bring the tempo of the album down.
There are fun Paramore type moments to be found here, ‘Still Into You’, ‘Now’, ‘Fast In My Car’, and ‘Part II’ are also Paramore happy go lucky classics, but the rest of the album falls a bit flat. The lyrics seem clumsy and in some cases they come across a bit cliché, and there seems to be too much emphasis on the past and moving on, instead of just allowing the music to do the talking. The band really seems to want to drive the point home that they are still here and moving on with or without the other members.
I’ve heard a lot of people saying a lot of things about Paramore, and this album in particular, lots of good things have been said about it, but for me it doesn’t feel like the band I know, and it was the comeback I was hoping for. I’m all for band experimention and trying new things, but for me it feels uneven and a lot of it is entirely unmemorable. I commend the band for wanting to return and working hard to get back, but I feel like Paramore still has something else to offer beyond this, and as much of a misfire as ‘Paramore‘ is I think that the bands next album will be their real return to form.