In the early 2000s and 2010s, everyone may not have known the band Paramore by name, but they certainly had heard their music. Their songs “Misery Business” and “Still into You” dominated that era and are still played frequently today. Since 2017, however, Paramore themselves have faded into the background, going silent after releasing their fifth studio album, After Laughter.
Like every good punk band, this disappearance was mainly caused by inner turmoil within the group causing several members to leave over time. All of that seems to be over now though with the band coming back together after six years for the release of their new album, This Is Why.
Paramore’s new album had a strong debut, instantly topping charts, but is this because it is a great album or because in their hiatus fans have become nostalgic and excited for any type of content? It helps that while they were gone, many of their songs experienced a resurgence of popularity on TikTok. This served to introduce their music to a new generation that was not around for their late 2000s peak.
Fans looking for nostalgia are going to be disappointed, however. In an attempt to step it up for their comeback, Paramore has matured their themes. Vastly different from their previous songs targeting a teen audience, the album starts with the titular song “This Is Why,” in which lead singer Haley Williams sings about anxiety and agoraphobia.
This new edge is seen particularly in slower punk songs like “Running Out Of Time,” “Figure 8,” “Thick Skull,” and “Liar.” “Figure 8” is also one of the best songs on the album with it being the only one that achieved a successful blend of Paramore’s old sound with something fresh. Overall, the album is reminiscent to listening to a Twilight soundtrack.
Despite their best attempts, many songs on the album fall flat. They rely heavily on repetition and even though the lyrics cover more adult topics, they are still juvenile in terms of actual lyricism. For example, they include a song attempting to criticize corporate men that take advantage of their power. This is one of the few songs where they include explicit words in the lyrics, but the song turns basic and childlike with Williams just singing the words “Big man, (ooh) little dignity,” over and over again.
The biggest news surrounding the album seems to be a possible lawsuit. Many fans of the band Hard-Fi are pointing out the similarities between their 2004 song “Hard To Beat” and Paramore’s “C’est Comme Ça.” This potential lawsuit is the most exciting thing the album has to offer.
The most that can be said for this album is that some of the songs are still fun to listen to, which is what their music was about before their break. In trying to escape their past sound, Paramore has lost sight of this. Their audience may have grown up, but that does not mean they are expecting the band to try their hand at social commentary. Most fans of Paramore are just listening for a fun throwback into the 2000s pop-punk, and that is what the band should have stuck to instead of creating an awkward combination of adult topics with juvenile lyrics.