Album Reviews | Paramore – Paramore (2013)

Paramore - crushcrushcrush (Reduced)I vaguely recall coming across an old Paramore song (“crushcrushcrush”) during one of my late-night Rock Band sessions when I was in college, but I had forgotten all about it until last week, when I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Paramore‘s new album was receiving rave reviews. A self-titled album signifies one of two things: a debut or an attempt at a rebirth. In Paramore‘s case, it’s the latter — two of the band’s founding members departed the band rather acrimoniously a few years back. The remaining members — vocalist Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis — opted to continue as a trio with a session drummer. It’s a development that appears to have yielded some handsome results; the struggle has produced easily the most acclaimed album in the emo canon.

That isn’t saying a whole lot — Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard aren’t exactly critics’ darlings — and indeed, as of right now, I am only willing to grant a solidly good, but less-than-excellent 4-star score to Paramore. I have a feeling Paramore will continue to grow on me as the year progresses, since the production is suitably beefed up and the ambitions are admirable. It’s definitely worth a listen if you’re into modern rock or abandoned the alternative scene in frustration years ago, as I once did.

Summary
Paramore not just survives the desertion of two founding members, but thrives as a newly revamped trio with their self-titled latest.
Good
  • Sleek, polished production gives the tracks plenty of meat
  • Songwriting is pretty good for an emo record; the album's long duration indicates there was an overflow of good musical ideas
Bad
  • The seams show; the album feels more like a Hayley Williams solo record than the work of a band
  • Very heavy dynamic range compression; some tracks have no breathing room at all
7.5
Good
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