Paramore
Riot!


3.5
great

Review

by Lewis P. STAFF
June 12th, 2007 | 101 replies | 13,776 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Paramore might not be tapping into anything new, but it has finally hit its stride, making pop-punk anthems that match the praise it garnered with its average debut.

Somehow, any discussion on Paramore boils down to Hayley Williams. A force to be reckoned with at the petite height of five-foot-one, Hayley carried what is otherwise a lackluster album with All We Know Is Falling, sometimes getting buried under but never forgotten amongst the band’s pop-punk flavoring. The band was striving for a sound it couldn’t quite master yet; this hardly mattered, though, and soon it was cemented in the Fueled by Ramen line-up, sticking out like a well-placed sore thumb. In concert, Paramore’s sound becomes tighter and louder, Hayley controlling the stage like only someone so determined and well handled can.

It’s this showmanship that was sorely lacking in their debut, and what they have finally hit on with Riot!, a spunky, Hayley-driven vehicle that nonetheless proves that Paramore justly deserves whatever critical acclaim it was getting. This point is driven home the second the album starts with ‘For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic,’ where Hayley doesn’t have to scream to be heard over the noisy production, giving her vocals some freedom to change octaves and show she has the chops to make it. The peppy ‘Optimistic’ is just a solid start for the album, giving time to let Hayley move through its quieter verse to its soaring chorus of fluent riffs before giving way to a start-stop mechanic in ‘That’s What You Get.’

Unlike Falling, Riot!’s quieter moments are handled without heavy-handed schmaltz, lending, if not a more subtle then a more experienced hand to its musicianship. ‘We Are Broken,’ while far from a conventional ballad, carves itself in as the slowest track on the album, piano driven and letting Hayley give her vocals some emotional range. Her wavering through the hook towards a labored (but not forced) chorus shows that she can hold her own when it comes time to switch up the tone. She gives Avril Lavigne a run for her money, if that means anything at all. But other than this shining moment for Hayley, Riot! is a pop-punk anthem for girl power, like the riff-heavy ‘Misery Business’ that proves as catchy as it is just plain good. “I’m in the business of misery; let’s take it from the top. She’s got a body like an hour glass; it’s ticking lock a clock,” Hayley bites, speaking out against any girl who would dare try to take a man from her.

But none of it is terribly original, just mastered; with ‘Fences,’ Paramore follows a similar Panic! at the Disco tempo (think ‘But It’s Better If We Do’ without any aping from Gatsby’s mechanics) while ‘Hallelujah’ sounds like a power heavy, all female Fall Out Boy (suspiciously similar to Fall Out Boy’s own ‘Hum Hallelujah,’ but not enough to warrant attention). Hayley is particularly good here, hitting a high note with “Screaming, ‘Halle-lujah!’” that shows how skilled she has become. Still, most of it is too catchy and matured to write off as derivative, with stylish tracks like ‘Let The Flames Begin’ beginning slow and brooding before flying out with a trembling chorus.

Paramore might not be tapping into anything new, but it has finally hit its stride, making pop-punk anthems that match the praise. In the self-conscious and guitar grinding ‘Born For This,’ Hayley sings (with contest winner Mary Bonney), “Right now, you’re the only reason I’m not letting go; time out if everyone’s worth pleasing,” and the band is ready to accept any loss or gain they make with fans. That the band took on a fan to sing with them is a testament to how much they do care what their fans think, but they’re willing to sacrifice some if it means they’re doing what they want to. “We were born for this!” the band group chants before bringing it to the chorus, “Everybody sing like it’s the last song you will ever sing. Tell me, tell me, do you feel the pressure?” As the album's closer, Paramore may still feel uneasy and in need of reassurance. As it stands, Riot! easily proves that Paramore doesn’t need any, and gives the genre the best release this year.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
RandyfromPennywise
June 12th 2007



752 Comments


Female singer aye?

Nice review.

slep
June 12th 2007



1604 Comments


Ace review. Hayley really makes this album great.This Message Edited On 06.12.07

Resonance
June 12th 2007



12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have to say I firmly agree with the summary. My thoughts on the new album are more or less identical, after repeated listens.

I've found myself with quite a few favorites throughout RIOT! In my hesitation with a majority of modern pop rock, Paramore continue to be a constant exception.

Altmer
June 12th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

blegh band but I would tap Hayley anyday

lunchforthesky
June 12th 2007



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Good review which is to be expected but i still dont see how this is any better than average.

Otisbum
June 12th 2007



1912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, but I prefer the singles on ETWKIF to most of the songs on this.

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2007



6073 Comments


Thanks for the praise everybody, even if chan thinks this is gay cause i don't give it a 4. the bastard :upset:

The singles off this are way better than the singles off Falling, and just about everything else off this.

Slaapkamers
June 12th 2007



596 Comments


good.

Otisbum
June 12th 2007



1912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The singles off this are way better than the singles off Falling, and just about everything else off this.
I'll have to give this a few more listens then, a lot of people have been saying that.

The Jungler
June 12th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is good, but I don't know how you can not like the debut.
Good review, deserves the default spot.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2007



17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

you're going to change this to a 4 eventually so hey its all good

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2007



6073 Comments


I've officially overplayed it so it's stuck at "man this is great but i'm getting tired of it."

and thanks jungler ilu

hotpants_67
June 24th 2007



32 Comments


they sound too much like fall out boy on this one methinks. dissapointing..

blackmilk
June 24th 2007



584 Comments


They don't sound like Fall Out Boy.

BallsToTheWall
July 14th 2007



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its basically fallout boy wih a chick singer who sounds like fallout boy. worst band ive heard in awhile.

Confessed2005
July 14th 2007



3314 Comments


They really are rather awful to be fair.

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2007



6073 Comments


They still don't sound anything like Fall Out Boy.This Message Edited On 07.17.07

Ire
July 18th 2007



41456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

its basically fallout boy wih a chick singer who sounds like fallout boy. worst band ive heard in awhile.

That is the dumbest post I've seen all week, They sound nothing like them, and I doubt you've listened to this because it's mainstream pop punk and you're a typical narrow minded metalhead.

metallicaman8
July 18th 2007



4677 Comments


I really don't like this band:/

Review is good though. Voted and such.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2007



16072 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Misery Business is a good single but the rest of this is pretty average.



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