With the release of their new album “This is Why” in mid-February, Paramore ended their four-year hiatus from music. The new album is around 36 minutes long and consists of 10 songs, three of these 10, however, were released prior to the album as singles.
“This is Why” is clearly a Paramore album with many of the songs having the same style and feeling as prior songs released by the band. When looking at their last release “After Laughter,” the newest album is more of a punk, emo and rock album, rather than pop-punk or pop-rock that can be found in most of their discography.
With heavier reliance on drums, profound lyrics and emotion in the vocals, the album reveals the connections between songs and a clear tone that allows for a very cohesive album. The flow of the entire album is important considering how short listening time it has, and the band did an outstanding job at using every single second. Paramore did an excellent job of keeping the audience engaged and making it easy to listen to the album straight through, rather than focusing on one song.
The first song on the album shares the same name, “This is Why.” When first listening to the song, the intro is interesting to say the least, with no vocals entering in until 30 seconds have gone by. The opening drums, electric guitar and bass are reminiscent of psychedelic rock in the electronic and altered sounds. When the vocals start from lead singer Hayley Williams, she starts off in a softer tone and takes her time with a slow and soothing voice. When the chorus starts, however, we see the nature of rock that Paramore is used to. Williams’s voice raises, and she puts much needed emotion into as the instruments pick up the pace and volume.
“Running Out Of Time,” appears just one song after “This is Why” and has a remarkably similar feel to the latter. The track starts with Williams singing in a monotone manner as the instruments stay simple and quiet. As the track progresses, so do Williams and her bandmates. The buildup that Paramore shows in this song, as well as many of their others, is an aspect of the album that really stuck out to me. I enjoy that the songs do not try to start super big and loud, but rather, they find value in getting the listener’s attention and then bringing up the energy.
If you listen to the album passively, without looking at song titles or lyrics, the fourth song “C’est Comme Ça” can easily pass you by. When first listening, I thought Williams had adopted a British accent and was repeating the phrase “Say good sir.” However, after looking into the song I was able to recognize that she was saying “C’est comme ça” which is French for “It is what it is.” The song is easy and fun to sing along with due to the repetition of the title phrase, and like many of the songs on the album, it can hold a deeper meaning when looking at Williams’s personal life. The song is an examination into Williams’s mental health, and if it is worth taking the “dull or quite path” to mental health healing or continue in her “thrilling and chaotic life” and reap the consequences later.
The album is easy to sit down and listen to while driving or doing homework, but it can just as easily be a song to scream and dance to depending on what mood you are in. After several times listening through, I have no hesitation in saying that Paramore’s return to the music world is a triumphant one. Williams and her bandmates do an excellent job at finding the balance between their tracks being loud high- paced rock anthems and slow heartfelt lyrical ballads. If you used to be a fan a Paramore, are currently a fan of them or even if you have never heard of them, I would highly recommend checking out “This Is Why.”