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The Not So Biased Paramore Review

If you know me, then you’re already aware. But if you’re just getting aquatinted with the man behind the words, I’ll let you into my world and let you know – I’m a Paramore fan. And a huge one at that. They are, without question in my mind, my favorite band. Want proof? I pre-ordered their newly released album “Brand New Eyes” three months before it came out on September 29th. And I’m not ashamed of letting the world know.

I discovered Paramore’s greatness when I was in my mom’s 2005 Chevy Tahoe on the way home from dinner with my grandma. Not exactly you’re ideal music discovery expedition, but none the less thats where I found them.

When I got back from the expedition I got onto my computer and looked up the song I had heard on the radio, which was “Misery Business.” I found that this Paramore wasn’t half bad so I bought their entire album “Riot!” and listened to it sparingly. But I ended up falling in love with their sound. I learned a few of their songs on my guitar and decided that these guys were the real deal.

Paramore released their first album, “All We Know is Falling” in 2005 and signed with the record label Fueled By Ramen Records. Their sophomore album, “Riot!” came out two years later in 2007 and captured two million hearts around the globe using their inspirational lyrics and highly energetic persona. But “Brand New Eyes” is a smidgen different than all of their two previous records. In “All We Know Is Falling” it was more of a grudge emo, angry sound, with heavy guitar riffs. But this was probably because because the band was going through their teenage angst stage and family problems flowed throughout the band. “Riot!” on the other hand, changed slightly by taking all of that anger and putting it into a positive effect and making lighter sounding progressions.

In “Brand New Eyes,” Paramore seems to take everything down a notch and tends to seek a more acoustic sound that makes this record more theatrical. It’s more chilled and laid back with slower beats and more a relaxed tone. The first time I listened to the entire album I was on the verge of freaking out. I kept thinking, “Where did paramore go?” “Why did they do this?” But the more I listened the more I began to love the album. They take a lot of risks that not a lot of bands usually take. For example, in a few of the songs on this record, they take lead singer, Hayley Williams, and guitarists, Josh Farro and Taylor York, on what sounds like folk acoustic guitars, yet they don’t lose their natural alternative sound.

The reality is, even if you are not a huge Paramore fan you’re going to love this album either way.

For instance, I heard the song “Brick by Boring Brick,” I was in love with it. I was initially drawn to the song through Hayley’s use of straining her voice and softening it at the right moments. The drum beat is insanely catchy. Drummer Zac Farro uses a “Smoke on the Water” approach and basically punks it into the new century.

Another song that I had a great fondness for was “Careful.” This song is the definition of alternative rock. I can picture Paramore rocking their ass’ off when they perform this song. They use stops and the element of pause in this song to build up anticipation for the listener, and then erupt with passion. It’s the complete package. The bass line is very impressive so for all you wanna-be bass players, check this song out. This song also defines everything Paramore has gone through and become in the past four years with an almost band break up, and other well hidden drama.

But a few of the songs in “Brand New Eyes” are a little more sketchy than I’d like. Though I adore all the chorus’ in all of these tracks, the verses in “Misguided Ghosts,” “Where the Lines Overlap,” and “Playing God” I think could have been worked on more. They don’t seem like they we’re the best and final product.

It would be cliche for me to say Paramore is back and better than ever, but thats exactly what’s happening here. Even through two years of basic torture and waiting between “Riot!” and “Brand New Eyes,” it was worth all of the wait. The album brings everything to the plate. Fantastic lyrics, non-stop energy, stupid cool guitar parts, and scary good beats. The problem I have with the record is most of the songs are in the same key. It gets obnoxious but after a few listens you don’t notice it that much. I’m giving this album a 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

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Chris Heady is a senior and the Co-Head Copy Editor on the print Harbinger. He enjoys movie soundtracks and a good pen. Read Full »

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