Review: Paramore’s self-titled album shows band’s growth

Ryan Morris

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Formerly angsty teenagers rejoice – Paramore just released their first album since 2009’s “Brand New Eyes.”   

The band released the self-titled album this month and this time around, the band, still led by front woman Haley Williams, has grown up vocally, musically and lyrically.

Instead of trying to attract the newest crop of teenagers, Paramore appeals to their now-grown-up fans who fell in love with the band in their start-up days, back when they were cast alongside the likes of Fall Out Boy and Boys Like Girls.

The self-titled album still contains tracks with some of the bands old angst and dramatic belching songs by Williams, but the lyrics have more meaning and the musical accompaniment is more than just loud drums and whining electric guitar.  

Tracks like “Now” and “Daydreaming” especially fit the bill of their early music; “Now” was the first single to be released from “Paramore,” and it definitely earns the description of “rock anthem.”  

Dancey tracks like the opener, “Fast in My Car,” are reminiscent of bands like M83 and the Naked and Famous.    

A few tracks on the album showcase Williams’ voice purely, with minimal instrumental interruption. “I’m Not Angry Anymore” and “Moving On” are two of these – “Moving On” even sounds a little bit country at times.  

It is difficult to pick a standout track on this album, which says a lot for the band’s lyrical and musical maturity.  

But, some notable songs include “One Of Those Crazy Girls,” a great track in its own right that is also sort of an ironic nod to the emotionally tormented girls that make up a large part of the old-school Paramore audience. The song, unlike its implied subject, is lyrically mature, and Williams’ voice soars.

“Paramore” definitely has its flaws, though.

The downside to the album is that in its effort to grow up, it comes out a little choppy.  The slow songs can sound forced and the rock anthems that were so characteristic of the 2007 Paramore seem a little too tapered at times.

Tracks like “I Don’t Want My Heart To Break” veer off into the whiny teenager area as well, so it’s clear the band hasn’t completed the maturing process.

Overall, though, the good shines through, and “Paramore” puts the band back on the radar.  

They’re not up there with the indie powerhouses like MGMT and Phoenix, but  with this new album, they’re not stuck on the Warped Tour set list with Fall Out Boy anymore, either.

Rating: Three out of four stars.

Story: EMMA SPECKMAN, A&E Reporter