Months after her solo debut of Petals for Armor, Hayley Williams returns with a more somber sound and story to tell with Flowers for Vases/descansos. The album, referred to in the meaning of descansos, is about the silent reminders of tragedies and accidents in our journey of life.

While her solo debut album was very upbeat in terms of instrumentals, Flowers for Vases/descansos features more depressing instrumentals, such as an acoustic guitar and quiet drums, accompanied by her voice, mourning the loss of love.

The album is denominated by songs that feature very few instruments, such as only using an acoustic guitar, drums, and her backing tracks. This is perfect since the album is supposed to focus on her serious and heartfelt words. This album is a step-by-step process of how she goes through this particular heartbreak. I will highlight some of the “steps” of the process.

The first song “First Thing to Go” starts with Williams reminiscing how the heartbreak started. She speaks about how the first thing that left was the sound of her lover’s voice and how she misses him though their relationship was not healthy. Williams then goes into the next step of heartbreak; cutting them off with “My Limb”. Williams begins to reminisce on how almost all of her relationships were toxic no matter how much “love” from the other person she received in “Trigger” and “Good Grief”.

The album takes a turn during the song “Wait On” when she realizes that life can go, even if she is no longer with this man. She takes even more baby steps in “KYRH” as she starts to build boundaries with the former lover. In “Inordianary” and “HYD”, Williams seems to do a side-by-side comparison between her divorced parents’ toxic love life and hers with her former lover.

This all makes a full circle in “No Use I Just Do”. In this song, she explains that she doesn’t love her ex because she just doesn’t want to be alone; she still loves him because he’s him. She lets her loved ones, especially her ex, know that “as long as I’m loving you, you will never be alone”.

With Williams announcing in Petals for Armor of her new relationship, the final song on this album “Just a Lover” speaks about how she is afraid of ruined relationships because they have almost ruined her music career. She references her outro song of Petals for Armor “Crystal Clear” in this song about how she won’t give in to the fear of failure within romance and how she will continue her career, no matter what happens in her love life.

This album is a complete masterpiece. I have been a huge Paramore fan since the “Ain’t it Fun” era and my heart broke for Hayley during the chaos of her last marriage. The vulnerability and somberness make the album feel like a heart-to-heart with Hayley. This album would be perfect on a rainy day or after a breakup. Though I like the upbeat instrumental tone from Paramore’s After Laughter and Petals for Armor more, I can still say I really enjoyed this record.

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