Paramore’s Sixth Studio Album – This Is Why
Paramore has always been a staple in the pop-punk/emo community known for their angry, fiery tracks discussing everything from high school love conflicts to divorce and now a topic that many musicians are diving into: the climate of our current world.
But what separates Paramore from other artists like them trying to contextualize these difficult times into modern music is their ability to embrace something completely new while still staying true to their roots-which if you’re an emo music fan, you know how troubling that can be in the wake of more upbeat pop sounds dominating the charts.
Because of the recent events of the last few years, however, trying to gloss over the cataclysmic condition of our world with vibrant energetic rhythms can prove to be thoughtless in the eyes of listeners.
As an example, another major emo band since the early 2000s Panic! At The Disco released Viva Las Vengeance which lead singer Brendon Urie described as a retrospective of his whole career and relationship to Las Vegas.
The album featured 12 pumped-up high-vocalized tracks and was the first Panic! Album in three years to not have the last track in a slower piano style. Fans were outraged by the new album and tour sales significantly decreased for the band. Urie recently released a heartbreaking-yet what some deem necessary-statement dissolving Panic! At The Disco.
Paramore thankfully did not go in the same direction, as guitarist Taylor York claims, he found himself “really craving rock.” A huge departure from the band’s last album After Laughter which did feature a more pop-centric attitude but still was well-received by Paramore fans new and old.
The band’s sixth studio album “This Is Why” is 10 tracks of unadulterated, edgy rock with slight pop influences. The title track “This Is Why” and second single “The News” delve directly into the hellscape of politics and the dangers of the media giving everyone a platform.
“Running Out Of Time” draws attention to a lack of personal responsibility as well as our fast-paced hustle culture causing serious social problems. “C’est Comme Ça” which is French for “it is what it is” provides more depth to the expected chaos in our lives while knowing there’s not much we can do about it.
Each song sounds uniform in sound but plays with riffs and motifs that clearly differentiate the tracks from each other. “Figure 8” starts off with a xylophone effect that melds perfectly with the soft drums and heavier guitar throughout the track.
Singer Hayley Williams isn’t shying away from bringing her all on this record as her sing-scream vocals force listeners to wake up to slower starting tracks as well as to the issues around them. Williams commentated of the utilization of a new sound while still grounding their music in a familiar place,
“We finished the first day in the studio and listened back to the music and we were like, ‘Who is this?’ It simultaneously sounds like everything we’ve ever loved and nothing that we’ve ever done before ourselves.”
“This Is Why” proves there is still so much to be done in the pop-punk field. Listening to the past and bringing what we can of it to the future. Despite what some critics think, pop-punk has not died or fallen off; it has adapted-much like how all of us have had to adapt to the increasingly hostile environments that have overtaken our world and our lives.