(Fueled By Ramen)
This is the first full-length album from Paramore since parting ways with drummer and guitarist, Zach and Josh Farro. I hoped the band had enough time to reshape themselves into a metamorphosed sound, but unfortunately their new self-titled album showed they are still searching for who they want to be and what type of music they want to produce as a three piece. Although all songs are well written and as singles could be received well, altogether they left me a bit confused.
Songs like “Fast In My Car” and “Now” sound vaguely reminiscent of Riot with a Gwen Stafani/No Doubt twist, while “Ain’t It Fun” has a 80s synth and choral arrangement, giving it a Michael Jackson anthem feel. Then “I’m Not One Of Those Crazy Girls” has a 1950s Grease feel, while “Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore” and “Interlude: Moving On” have a Hawaiian ukulele feel. Listeners are left without a cohesive feel or sound. Even down to subtle contradictions, in lyrics and productions. In “Future,” they start off with the sound quality of a small, home recording studio and finish the song with heavily produced drums and fade outs. Lyrics, “I’m not angry anymore, well sometimes I am” sum up the desire and passion these musicians have to move forward as a band, but they still feel the internal struggle as it continues to rear its head subconsciously throughout their work.
Paramore seem to be facing a musical menopause, and I embrace their desire to want to change and find a new sound. Songs like “Future” and “Part II” give me hope that not only are they fully capable of redefining themselves, but they are very close to doing so. These songs, as well as “Now,” “Fast In My Car” and “Still Into You” sound like an evolved, more mature Paramore with a new face. With time, they will finish shaping their sound and image. Paramore is a step in the process, just not all the way there yet. (Bethea Alden)