Review Summary: It felt like almost every song in this album is a slap on the Farro brothers’ faces.
Unlike their conceptual album covers before, the fact that the album cover features the three surviving members of Paramore emphasizes something that could very well be the statement “This is us, the real Paramore.” The fact that their fourth studio album is entitled Paramore could mean the almost tragic story that the band has suffered due to the departure of the Farro brothers, or a very angry comeback from the trio.
Of course, fans would expect something quite different, especially with the over-all sound, but this album offers more than that. The band experimented with genres, throwing in some gospel and country influences in this 17-track album. The length is definitely a problem, although they obviously didn’t overlook it. Well, no one could blame them from straying from tradition pretty much because, according to Hayley Williams herself, “It felt like we’re a new band.”
And that’s it. It felt like almost every song in this album is a slap on the Farro brothers’ faces. Songs like “Now”, “Moving On”, “I’m Not Angry Anymore”, “Grow Up” and “Anklebiters” all contain that anger, sarcasm, and bitterness that dominates the entirety of the record. However, their biggest revenge comes in the form of the “Ain’t It Fun”, a song with a gospel vibe which is almost like a call to the Farro brothers not only in terms of the lyrical content, but with the music itself. Some songs are obvious stand-outs, while others felt like they are dragging the album backwards. “Future”, the last track, has this absurd instrumental at the end; "(One of Those) Crazy Girls" is just not my liking; and the ballad "Hate to See Your Heart Break" could be very boring at the first listen.
Of course, the highlight of the album is Hayley’s voice, as always. Her talent not only reflects on the vocals, but also on the lyrics. As a lyricist, there’s no doubt that Hayley is clever and altogether witty. “Part II” is a proof, filled with imagery that is rewarding for a rock song. It’s also commendable that the band is taking risks, and the execution of it all is rather graceful yet firm. Listening to it in one sitting could be a bit painful, but it is definitely worth it if you listen to the whole album.
But is it their best album? I would say that I found Brand New Eyes to be stronger and more effective. The songs in here are catchy but less memorable, but it is still an excellent album. The music is different yet it is the same (know what I mean?), and it is lacking that extra something that their previous offers magically contain. Is it the Farro brothers? I don’t know.