Review Summary: Over ambition.
Paramore could not have picked a better time to release a self titled album. They lost two of their founding members, the confident Hayley Williams' breasts were leaked to the internet, and the goody two shoe band image has been shed off with the departure of Pope Josh Farro and his brother. Perfect time to be "us against the world" right?
What we have here on this eponymous release Paramore
is pretty much every sub-genre of alternative music that has existed in the past twenty years. All of which equates to seventeen total tracks. This is rather ambitious of a band in 2013. Basically ambition is what this album symbolizes when you first hold the jewel case of Paramore
in your hands.
Or is it over ambition...
At times it can be a little too over-ambitious, this doesn't necessarily always translate bad music. "Part II" is the sequel to "Let The Flames Begin" off platinum selling release Riot!
and it's lyrics continue to tell the story. Hayley proclaims that her band mates and herself remained "such fragile broken things", but they're still dancing. Any long time Paramore fan will enjoy this song at first listen, and maybe even listen to Part I, and "Part II" in succession. "Ain't It Fun" turns from an electro-pop ditty, to a choral gospel ensemble. At first listen you may need to rewind, wondering what the hell you just heard. However Hayley's vocals sound more confident than ever before. Albeit it's lyrical simplicity it's still enjoyable for listeners.
Sometimes the group's over-ambition translates to some of the worst songs the band has ever crafted. "Anklebiters" sounds like an aborted Rage Against the Machine song, or at least it wishes it was such. "Fast In My Car" sounds too much like Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" to take seriously. "Future" is the song where you must notice guest drummer Ilan Rubin (NIN, Angels & Airwaves), and he does an excellent job. However the band does him absolutely no justice on the supposed "epic" closer. They repeat the same rhythmic over, and over, and over again. Plus they stop the song, and start it back again to the same thing. No changes made. They just turned the volume down, and turned it back up. What the hell? Maybe "All I Wanted" off Paramore's last record Brand New Eyes
was really that good.
On this record, Paramore prove once again that they are at their best when the elements are stripped away. All the interludes are stripped down to a ukulele and Hayley's beautiful voice. These interludes remind you of the pure vocal talent this front woman Hayley Williams really does have. The classic "Paramore" style can still be found on this record as well. Stand out tracks "Daydreaming" and "Be Alone" retain their pop punk sensibilities, while adding additional depth to their traditional sound.
This is one of those rare albums that as a whole, it is hard to judge. You need to go track by track and decide if you like or dislike certain tracks. Because these recordings are not cohesive together in the least. But the record does have something for everyone. Paramore on their self titled release want to be known for their versatility, rather than doing what they've been known for on their past three releases. Simply some tracks are stellar, and some tracks just aren't. If this is the beginning of a downward spiral it would not surprise anyone. Paramore
is a symbol of a band hitting their creative peak, but it shouldn't be considered their defining work.