by Ainon Hia Kazol ’18
Paramore is making a comeback this year with old faces and new music. This album has been long anticipated since it was announced that drummer, Zac Farro joined the band again to create music with lead guitarist, Taylor York and lead vocalist, Hayley Williams.
The members announced their 2017 album, After Laughter to be released on May 12. Before the album comes out, they chose to release two of their songs along with music videos.
On April 19, Paramore presented their fans with the song Hard Times, teasing the devotees to be excited for the album to come out. Opening the song with bongos and marimbas, the musicians surprise their fans with a sound unlike anything they’ve heard from them before. Moving on from their usual pop-punk sound, the band takes a turn to pop genre with this song.
Stella Guan ‘18 said, “I was waiting for their old punk rock sound and for it to be more harsh like they originally were, but after a second listen and focusing on the more funky guitar riffs there were, I grew to love it.”
When I first gave the track a listen, I took a step back and thought to myself, “Woah. This is a lot different from their old stuff.” According to many people in the comment section for the song’s music video on YouTube, this was a common reaction among the fans.
I was really enjoying the new song and found myself listening to it on loop for the rest of the day. The music video is very entertaining as well, including special effects and vibrant colors. The video opens with Williams walking out of a car that has crashed through a wall into a room that leads to the other members playing their instruments. Throughout the music video, Williams, York, and Farro are found dancing to their own music in primary colored jumpsuits.
“I thought that the bright colors and the overall components of the video really complemented the more 80’s funky style of the song,” Guan said.
On May 3, just days before the full album is available to the world, Paramore released another song by the title of Told You So. This song, as well as the music video, gives off an 80s pop vibe, which is a lot different from what they produced back in 2005 with their album All We Know Is Falling, which portrayed pop-punk and rock.
Jeanelle Louie ‘19 gave her opinion on Told You So and said, “A little 80s inspired, and the bass is excellent. Overall, it sounds mature.”
This song took me by no surprise because I already had the idea of what genre of music Paramore is aiming towards and working with after listening to Hard Times.
Louie also adds, “I know people miss their old sound, but I’m very pleased at the way their music has evolved over the years.”
The track starts with Williams singing, and the bass guitar jumps in, starting the groove with York’s guitar and Farro’s drums.
Throughout the music video, the band members are driving around in a car, with York strumming his guitar in the backseat, Farro playing the tambourine in the driver’s seat, and Williams singing in the passenger’s seat. Also, there are shots of Williams singing this funky song alone in a dark room.
Paramore has been at it for over a decade, first forming in 2004. They have a history of breakups where members would exit the band, whether it would be because of a lawsuit or not feeling important enough. Although Farro was an original member, he quit the band along with his brother, Josh Farro in 2010, but is back this year. Former bassist, Jeremy Davis left the band in 2015, filing a lawsuit against the band. York joined the band in 2007 and has been a member since. Williams is the only original member that has stuck with Paramore from the start.
Although, I’ve loved Paramore for their style of rock and punk rock, I’m glad they’re taking this direction with their music. I’m looking forward to seeing Williams, York, and Farro’s future in Paramore.