Paramore surprises fans with new sound

Payton Reid, Editorial Board

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From becoming one of the most influential bands from the early 2000’s in the pop-punk and emo scene with their first album, All We Know is Falling, to years on hiatus, Paramore has released yet another studio album that has set them apart from not only similar bands, but everything they built themselves to be in the past.


Previously known for the teenage rock anthem Misery Business from the 2007 album Riot!, the trio reinvented their sound for the 2017 album After Laughter. Being their fifth studio album, a new approach to their music was to be expected. The single Hard Times surprised fans with its 80’s influence and the neon and pastel inspired music video directed by drummer Zac Farro. Tracks following Hard Times look into past struggles the band has had with previous members, as well as Williams recent marriage.


After the release of Brand New Eyes (2010) guitarist Josh Farro left the band due to personal conflicts with the other members, and his brother, Zac Farro, quickly followed. This past year, bassist Jeremy Davis decided to call it quits with his career in Paramore after the birth of his daughter, but later claimed he was not being paid enough for his contribution on Paramore’s self titled album in 2013 according to


The Tennessee based band has held on to frontwoman Hayley Williams and guitarist Taylor York through the years, but recently announced Zac Farro has returned to Paramore for After Laughter and has been contributing his creative energy both in the music and the band’s newly found aesthetic.


The upbeat, positive attitude this album emits is quickly broken when the sadness of the lyrics hits. The disco-feel, funk-pop is paired with themes of hopelessness, losing friends, and forgiveness. The song 26, the age Williams was while writing this album, contains some of the heaviest lyrics emotionally. This track breaks up the fast paced songs and leaves a melancholy taste in the mouth of listeners, but is followed but the subtly more upbeat track titled Pools, which imitates the sound of gentle pop bands like Flor, who are also signed to the label Fueled by Ramen.


Over the past 13 years as a band, despite losing and gaining members along the way, the current trio has made the best of their struggles and loss with After Laughter. In a YouTube interview with Behind the Brand with Brian Elliot, known for speaking with entrepreneurs, Williams stresses that giving up was always an option for Paramore, but that their persistence has paid off. Fans must agree because After Laughter has received a 5 star customer rating on iTunes and continues to rise on the charts globally, sitting at #7 as of mid May according to


Though After Laughter does not contain the same edge their previous albums may have had, harsh lyrics matched with heavy guitar and drums from their rock influence, it offers something else entirely. Becoming genre-neutral and leaving behind the heavily defining angst behind was a very wise choice for the trio and has allowed them to expand in every direction. Offering a Spotify playlist with the music the band listened to in the process of writing and recording also allowed insight for fans on the creative influence, possibly even allowing for those not quite sold by the new sound to understand Paramore’s growth.


The change was not drastic, but something that has been growing over the years, and can be seen over the course of past singles and the 2013 self-titled album. Though it may not land them in the successfully growing pop-punk genre they previously paved their way through, Paramore is as admirable and fortunate as ever.


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