Paramore is an alternative American rock band that was formed in 2004. As of now, the band is composed of lead singer Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro. The band recently put out an album titled “This Is Why”; this is the band’s sixth album and one to cause much debate, as it is different from their usual pop-punk sound. Nevertheless, there is a different vision of sound the band brings to the table with “This Is Why” and I believe it’s going to set up the prime of Paramore.
The album starts off with the track, centered around the album name, “This Is Why” and it is surrounded with an anxious energy following the likes of COVID-19, active protesting, etc. The instruments of the track featuring guitar, drums and bass start the song with an uneasy guitar line. Then, it tightens up to bring the song to ease. Williams sings very softly in the first verse, “If you have an opinion/ maybe you should shove it/or maybe you should scream it/might be best to keep it/to yourself,” before jumping into the chorus with the explosive background of guitar and drums.
Williams talks about the track in an interview saying, “It summarizes the plethora of ridiculous emotions, the rollercoaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last three or four years. You’d think after a global pandemic…and the impending doom of a dying planet, that humans would have found it deep within themselves to be kinder or more empathetic or something.”
I think this track is a great start to the album. When I first heard it, I wasn’t so sure if I liked it or not. It wasn’t the usual Paramore sound I was used to. After listening to it over and over again, I realized that it is truly a great song. It focuses on the problems of the past world when times were hard and we quite literally did not want to leave the house. It speaks truth on what revolved around the world during the pandemic. This song lays the foundation for the rest of the album.
The seventh track on the album titled “You First,” gives off the emotions of anger and desperation. While York starts the song with a guitar riff that creates the mood of what’s to experience in this song, Farro keeps the drums moving as he rolls off the emotions of Williams. This song’s focal point is the idea of being both the hero and the villain. A verse that specifically points this out is, “Turns out I’m living in a horror film/Where I’m both the killer and the final girl.” Williams speaks about this topic during an interview, “…I think that’s just the paradoxical nature of being human. I got mad at kids for fighting at a Paramore show and then I got mad at myself backstage because I was like, ‘As if I don’t get angry…’ Who knows what they’re struggling with, or if the world is a horrific place to live in for them?” “You First” is energetic and anger driven, and I believe it is one of Paramore’s best songs to date.
The ninth track on the album is titled “Crave.” This is personally my favorite Paramore song of all time. It has great instrumentation from Farro and York which is accompanied by the fantastic vocal strength of Williams. The track focuses on longing to relive the best memories of life over and over again. In particular, Williams sings about the nostalgic past of Paramore and how she craves to live in those moments again. Williams says, “We don’t like to give too much credit to nostalgia, we like to move forward. But with music, you couldn’t escape that feeling. I was just thinking about why I always miss the moment that I’m in because I’m too worried about when it’s going to be over.” “Crave” is a beautifully written song that signifies how nostalgia can affect a person’s ability to live in the moment.
Paramore gives a whole new take on their music with “This Is Why.” While I only covered three songs, the whole album shows how much Paramore has grown musically. I would give this album a 9/10. I’ve listened to every single one of their albums, but this album is so much different. Since Paramore released this album, I’ve started to believe that this era of their music is going to be their prime, and I can’t wait to support them through it as they continue making music.