As I write this I’m blasting the new Paramore album out today- After Laughter. When I was growing up I was a massive fan. I have very clear memories of doing my paper round with Riot! on a constant loop. But I won’t lie, I’d forgotten about them and wasn’t anticipating any new music… and then they dropped Hard Times.
I’m not one of these people who yearns for bands to never change; in fact I love change and artists heading in new directions excites me. So as soon as I heard Hard Times I thought it was incredible. It’s poppy and upbeat and incredibly catchy. But the lyrics aren’t, and this juxtaposition is quite smart and adds a bit of depth. It’s also pretty prevalent and ever-present throughout the new album. Just look at some of the track names on this pop album- Fake Happy, Grudges, Caught In The Middle, Hard Times etc!
When they announced a European tour I didn’t even plan to try and get tickets. But then I saw loads of people complaining that the tickets for London sold out in seconds and curiosity got the better of me, so I looked up the Dutch date, in Tilburg. I saw that the venue was pretty small, only 2000 or so people, and that sounds very special. Ticketmaster still had tickets, so I quickly grabbed one, and I sat feeling very smug for a long time. I still feel quite smug about it now, because it has since sold out.
I watched the interview with Zane Lowe on YouTube where they said they listened to loads of Tame Impala and tried to rip them off, but I sense a lot more of a 1975 vibe. A kind of poppy 80s vibe. I like it a lot- they’ve managed to stay relevant, stay fresh and fun, but also stay Paramore.
I’m not writing a love letter to Paramore, and I’m not invested enough to care all that much about how they say they were so close to splitting and stuff, but I guess I have to acknowledge that so here goes- I’m not a teen fan who lives for celebs; they can do as they please, but they chose to release music, so that’s great.
I’d say listen to Hard Times, Fake Happy and Idle Worship and if you like them, the whole album is probably for you! Also Caught In The Middle sounds kind of like old Paramore if you are one of those people pining for the past!
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