Review Summary: I can't say I'm all that impressed.
I get the whole Paramore thing, sure – they’re a pretty pop rock band on a label that seems to specialise in hit-and-miss sparkly rock music. So they’re within comfortable boundaries and they’re marketed well and I’m happy to agree with anyone that says they write decent music in that lovely hit-and-miss kinda way. But my god are they hyped, and my profuse apologies go with me saying that no-one would give a ****ed watermelon about Hayley Williams’ cheerleader voice if she didn’t look like she does.
Pop music follows the “easy to do, hard to do well” rule, and in fairness to Paramore they have the potential to do it very well, and if they keep going then chances are they’ll get better and write an album that isn’t laminated in superficiality. Brand New Eyes is, and despite a couple of nice tracks it’s not such a huge step towards the matured masterpiece that the band and everyone else has seemed to excite themselves over, mainly because the album’s writing is set around a female fronted band that didn’t see the big ****-stained elephant in the rehearsal room telling them that the media might take a special interest in the angsty teenagers’ dream that was singing for them. Maybe Tennessee hasn’t heard of No Doubt.
Despite it’s naïve foundation and safe sponge padding it’s not a failure as an album, because if anything it’s accessible, and there’s a strange feeling of ease you get when listening through it that you don’t tend to find with other pop rock albums; as musicians they know their jobs and the songs are very tidily arranged and produced, but then the smooth sailing is spoiled a little with the token sing-along song “Where the Lines Overlap” and the just oh-so-lovely “The Only Exception”, but it’s not like they can’t get away with those being that a large chunk of Paramore’s audience is made up of 14-year-old girls and their boyfriends, and if they like them then fine.
The albums lyrics aren’t quite as filled with tasteless melodrama as they could be, but how is it fun to listen to a woman in a band as successful as this, who has also won “Sexiest Female” in 2008 and 2009s Kerrang Reader’s poll and 2009s NME awards, sing about how her life is in any way less pleasurable than your average teenager’s.
If this album has been sitting docile on your iPod since it came out, then I’d suggest firing it up when you want something “easy” to listen to. Its melodies will give you the occasional jolt and as long as you don’t play it in front of all your alpha-male friends you could enjoy it, but don’t expect such epic maturity and substance from this band at the moment.