"It’s only in the last few years that people have stopped viewing the notion of a female onstage in a rock band as some sort of novelty."
There’s a whole new side of the band on display here...
It’s well documented that Paramore have been through the wars (see last month’s cover feature), so their third album was always going to be the decider. Would they manage to patch up their differences and come out all-guns-blazing or would their new record see them crash and burn? Luckily, it’s the former.
Musically, ‘Brand New Eyes’ both succeeds and recurs the former sounds of Paramore’s 05 debut ‘All We Know Is Falling’ and 07s follow-up ‘Riot!’, but there’s a whole new side of the band on display here too.
Showcasing a trademark sound that hones a penchant for fist-pumping punk, the difference this time lies in the band taking a giant leap out of their comfort zone with an album that’s unafraid to take risks.
Opening tracks ‘Careful’ and the single ‘Ignorance’ are Paramore of old – bold, solid tracks that set a frenetic pace from the off.
While critics may feel Paramore don’t always front original sounds, they’d be hard pushed not to admit that their frustrations are communicated in a frenzied and enjoyable way. No more obvious is this than on ‘Looking Up’, where the lyrics “I can’t believe we almost hung it up, when we’re just getting started!” relinquish past struggles of the band in favour of optimism.
The album’s big surprise comes in the form of the stripped-down closing tracks ‘Misguided Ghosts’ and ‘All I Wanted’, which see the fragility of Hayley’s vocals laid against sparse instrumentation with truly immaculate results.
Paramore are a young band growing up in the public glare, and although that would send many to the funny farm, it’s made this quintet even stronger and ‘Brand New Eyes’ is by far their best record yet.
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