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  • Writer's pictureOrla Joyce

Paramore, This is Why.

Album Review: Paramore, This is Why.

Paramore returned to our earholes in September 2022, with the title track and debut single from their new album This is Why. Riff Yard Media were lucky enough to attend one of the global listening events allowing music fans to hear the album in full before its global release on Friday, February 10th.

The album opens with ‘This is Why’, a song instantly recognisable as a Paramore song but with clear inspiration taken from the bass driven sounds of the 60s. Paramore are not a band known for creating the same album twice but this debut single had fans wondering, could this be the theme for the latest addition to their discography?

It has been almost 6 years since the release of Paramore's last album After Laughter. During this time lead singer Hayley Williams has released two solo albums and drummer Zac Farro has also released two albums with his project HalfNoise. Though third core member Taylor York (guitarist) hasn’t released material of his own it is evident he too has been honing his craft. Each musician is given a chance to show off their abilities on this album without one outshining the other. Like After Laughter taking inspiration from the 80s, This is Why steps further back in time to the 60s. The funky sounds and styles can be heard through the track but lyrically it radiates the 2020s. The first two singles released contain lines such as “This is why I don’t leave the house” and “Shut your eyes but it won’t go away. Turn on, Turn off the news”. Perhaps a touch too relatable?

Paramore, 2022 (Picture: Zachary Gray / Press)

There are already fan favourites off the back of these listening events. There was an outpouring of support for ‘Running out of Time’ after its debut live performance in Nashville. Other standouts from the album are ‘Figure 8’ and ‘You First’. ‘Figure 8’ demonstrates Hayley's vocal range and follows a similar sound to ‘This is Why’. This song is guaranteed to bring the house down live, offering an opportunity to both dance and scream your head off.

A song on the softer side is ‘Liar’, similar to William's solo material. This song takes the listener on a journey of the mixed emotions a person goes through when finding love after love and adresses the apprehension, confusion and notions of shame and weakness that can come with falling in love again. The album finished on two bangers; ‘Crave’, a song with a slow start that ramps up to an energetic penultimate song and ‘Thick Skull’, a mellow song that builds up in a way reminiscent of how Brand New Eyes closed with ‘All I Wanted’.

Paramore’s Taylor York, Hayley Williams, and Zac Farro, photo by Zachary Gray

The album is 10 tracks in total and has songs the listener can get up and dance, rage out or cry to in a corner. Each song broaches a new topic from love and heartbreak, to frustration at the world around us. It is easily Paramore’s most mature album to date as confidence in each musician’s skills shines through. Hayley demonstrates her vocal range and ability to belt out notes on almost every track, as opposed to once or twice as seen on previous albums. This album cycle is also the first one in which the lineup remains the same as the previous cycle, and relationships seem strong within the band. However, it wouldn’t be a new Paramore era without a caveat; this album marks the final album Williams was contractually obliged to produce with Atlantic records. It will be interesting to see where the band go next on their journey with their new-found label freedom.

Paramore’s This is Why is available to stream worldwide and from participating music retailers from Friday, February 10th.

By Orla Joyce

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