Oh, Paramore, you have returned. The band today release their new album, After Laughter. A change of direction for sure compared to their self titled album, Paramore have released two tracks from the album, Hard Times (If you don’t know that, where have you been?!) And Told You So. You can listen to the whole album now on Spotify here.
A bunch of influences pool on this album and they use them well. There is certainly Reggae vibes and Retro influences reminiscent of my mum’s music collection (80’s kid) when it comes to the Electronica beats on this album, particularly on tracks such as Told You So. Tracks such as Fake Happy and 26 may give you the impression of something that relates to previous records, but this album feels like a new era.
Williams has always had such a quality to her writing. This album still has that, with huge hooks yes, on tracks such as Hard Times and Rose Coloured Boy that is definitely clear. But what is brilliant with After Laughter is the honesty of the lyrics throughout this album. Songs such as 26 and Fake Happy are brilliant storytelling lyrically – Paramore’s sound can change but their rawness to the lyricism, just doesn’t, Williams captures emotion and makes it infectious and that is incredibly rarely done well.
After Laughter is certainly an apt name for an album that has been preceded by upheaval and change for the band, and they return with some great melodies and infectious choruses that are so real, they just need to be heard – the hook of Caught In The Middle is ‘I don’t need your help, I can sabotage myself’ is a great example of this need. Highlights for me are definitely Hard Times, but tracks such as Grudges and 26 stand out on this album.