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.