Sunday, October 21

Love | Hate: Is Paramore a relic of the last decade or is the band still relevant?


Hayley Williams, the lead singer of the punk band Paramore, released photos on her Twitter on May 5 of the band recording their fifth album. (Creative Commons Photo by Sven-Sebastian Sajak via Wikimedia)

Hayley Williams, the lead singer of the punk band Paramore, released photos on her Twitter on May 5 of the band recording their fifth album. (Creative Commons Photo by Sven-Sebastian Sajak via Wikimedia)


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?

Love

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

Hate

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

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  • Siegel – New York

    funny how the Love and Hate basically came to the same result…i.e. we’ve outgrown Paramore, don’t know any songs since 2008 and I’ll listen to it when it comes out.

  • Doug Smith

    That was way too cynical for “love.” I’m waiting for and have high hopes for whatever Hayley and Taylor are creating now. But I hold a much higher opinion of Paramore than lover Sadia.

  • Diego

    I don’t think the “Love” portion of this was well written. It contained far too much criticism in it to be the positive view. Anyone who can only focus on the hits of a band probably shouldn’t be writing on their relevence, especially in the “Love” column. Paramore’s self titiled album wasn’t mentioned anywhere here and a song on it even won a Grammy.
    I don’t believe it was fair to write about a band both authors are unfamiliar with and lable it Love/Hate. A male-fronted pop-punk band would never have had these things said about it. The lack of female-fronted bands was mentioned and then the rest of the article demeaned possibly one of the biggest today. I think this article was unfair and sexist.

  • http://brighterthanathousandsuns.com Randy Roswell

    They stood for so much for so many people in their first few years, but lately I’ve felt like they don’t mean nearly as much to the same group of people. Innovators in their day, Haley paved the way for female empowerment in the music industry for a short while, but threw it all away with the boobies photograph. The original drummer and guitarist leaving marked a significant change in the band that I personally never recovered from. It’s too bad, because I was looking forward to more. Nevertheless, I was always heavily influenced by “Decode”, as this cover demonstrates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdAtTQBxfp0

  • Cheezel LOPP

    Last time i listened to paramore was 10 minutes ago lol

  • RainyAutumnTwilight

    The title “All We Know is Falling” wasn’t chosen for “melodrama” as the author of this article writes. It referred to bassist Jeremy leaving the band (the first time). Even the red sofa on the cover was there to symbolize his absence.

    Maybe the authors of this article just don’t follow Paramore very deeply? I can name over sixty songs by them. And what I found notable is that the authors don’t seem to be familiar with what these songs are about and so they dismiss them as “emo” and faux teenage rebellion. I think people who are have followed the trajectory of the band with its personal relationships (their closeness as well as the lineup changes) would understand where these songs are coming from. You can even listen to their songs and see Hayley’s personal growth through them as “Misery Business” is touched upon and followed by “Tell Me It’s Okay.” Granted, you’d only know that song, though, if you listened to music beyond the radio singles.

    I personally don’t care if the authors like or dislike Paramore. To each their own. But question why how love and hate both blended together to become one downright disdainful article. Especially when there are people out there who are still rooting for Hayley Williams and Taylor York, for whom Paramore is not irrelevant.

  • Pedro

    Is Paramore a relic of the last decade or is the band still relevant?

    What is it to be relevant when making music? Sales? Billboard Top 40? PR? Huge shows? Expensive music videos? Did Paramore come straight out of Compton to rebuke societal norms? No they make sick tunes that go beyond the scope of their earlier work. When they persevere no matter the flak they take for growing in their sound, maturing in the public eye or never giving up and chasing a dream.

    If by “relevant” do you mean, do people still listen to the music? Old and new? Do people still pay whatever it cost is for a ticket? Do people still love and scream “WE ARE PARAMORE!” with Haley at the concerts. The answer SADIA KHALID AND GABRIELLA KAMRAN is yes.

    Your welcome.

  • Alex

    This is the most stupid and shallow comment I’ve ever read. You shoud be well informed before putting words without content out of your mouths. Just give a look to some other articles about Paramore on really important magazines. You don’t know anything about Paramore, it’s just what you think, do research first.

  • Nashriq

    Both Sadia and Gabriella are dumb writers. Pretty sure they wrote this just to get some publicity on this website and most probably expects this sorta comments. So might as well give one.

    Y’all are dumb writers with no sense or appreciation towards the art of music. Not every music is meant for everyone. For that sole reason is enough to make your article invalid. There are millions of paramore fans from all around the world for over 10 years. As a fan, they make amazing music and they keep us on our toes waiting for the next album. So both of you are better off finding more valid content to write about.

    Adios.