On Thursday, Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore, posted photos on Twitter of her and her bandmates in a recording studio, teasing fans with the potential release of a fifth album.
In keeping with A&E’s punk theme, this week’s Love | Hate discusses the merits and faults of the pop punk band Paramore. Will their new album be a nostalgic harkening back to hits like “Decode” and “Misery Business,” or will it more closely resemble their signature unjustified whining?
There probably aren’t many people who can name five songs by Paramore. Having said that, there also aren’t many young people who haven’t heard of Paramore, or don’t regard them as a modern-day punk band.
The band had several singles like “Misery Business” and “crushcrushcrush” which charted in the Billboard Hot 100, even before Robert Pattinson’s good looks graced the music video of the band’s most popular 2008 track, “Decode.”
Whether you were a “Twilight” lover or hater, a pre-teen, teen or tween, “Decode” was everyone’s bathroom anthem, the song everyone sang in the shower in middle school. It has since ascended to become a modern classic of the pop punk genre.
Paramore brought a refreshing change, with Hayley Williams at the head of an otherwise all-boy band. Female representation in the punk genre is surprisingly low. Although Paramore is not a band I look up to for the best song composition or lyrics, the band stands out because of Williams’ brilliant vocals. Her vocal range, along with her vibrato, makes her a captivating lead singer.
It doesn’t really matter if their verses tend to be more catchy than the chorus or if they sing about something I can’t relate to anymore: People outgrow emo punk at some point. But we always remember how those songs made us feel when they resonated with our emotions.
So I’ll take off my adult’s hat and check out Paramore’s new album, which they recently started writing. I’m particularly looking forward to more up-tempo, pop punk tracks similar to “Misery Business,” “Monster” and of course, “Decode.” I can’t wait.
- Sadia Khalid
Paramore’s song “Decode” from the “Twilight” movie soundtrack played on repeat on my pink iPod nano when I was 11 years old. The brooding lyrics and pounding drums made me feel like I was one of the angsty preteens they talk about on TV.
However, Paramore has now retired to the depths of my emo punk iTunes playlist. Well I don’t actually have an emo punk playlist, but I don’t enjoy it when 20-somethings going through the motions of cookie-cutter rebellion cry into my ear about how the world is mean.
Paramore’s 2005 debut album is called “All We Know Is Falling,” a title chosen solely for melodrama. They followed it in 2007 with “Riot!”, complete with cover art featuring one version of the word “riot” in red, scribbled among several black versions; how original! And in 2008 they released a live album called “The Final Riot!” because one riot was apparently not enough.
When our radio stations were blessed with Paramore’s most recent popular song, “Ain’t It Fun,” lead singer Hayley Williams ridiculed privileged children who will inevitably crack under the pressures of the brutal real world and warned them not to cry to their moms.
Hayley, I understand that you have multicolored hair and you’ve made a career out of whining into a microphone, but what exactly are you rebelling against here?
Adults? You are one. Authority? Tell that to your record label. The mainstream? Radio Disney plays your music.
What I see in Paramore’s music is not punk, but a hop onto the emo pop bandwagon in the wake of singers like Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani in her early career. Their logic is if they wear enough eyeliner and dye part of their hair a neon color, the youths will associate them with edginess and flock to their rebel camp. There is nothing of substance here. I don’t think anyone has ever been moved to the point of riot by a pop song about stealing a guy from another girl.
According to Williams’ Twitter, Paramore has not accepted that it has been irrelevant for several years as it is currently working on a new album. I would say I won’t listen to it, but I probably won’t have a choice, seeing as the band’s tortured screeching and excessive use of cymbals will probably be obnoxious enough to escape radio waves and crawl into my soul. I can’t wait.
- Gabriella Kamran