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Paramore - This is Why (Album Review)

Wednesday, 15 February 2023 Written by Emma Wilkes

Everybody, it seems, is a little bit in love with Paramore right now. But that’s almost become the normal state of affairs in their corner of the internet. It’s rare to see interest in a band surge as it has for them in the past couple of years with only the vague promise of new music dangled above fans’ heads. They trend on Twitter at random intervals, with vocalist Hayley Williams seemingly only needing to exhale to have their following in raptures.

The good news is the industrial quantity of hype around ‘This Is Why’ is almost totally justified. The band’s first album in six years contains some of their most ambitious work to date, but it comes across as anything but a voyage into the unknown. Almost everything here, even the LP’s unexpected moments, makes a beautiful sort of sense. 

‘This Is Why’ begins with a golden three-track run: the wry title track is a crowd-pleasing bop made all the more interesting by its simmering feeling of caution, while The News deftly unravels digital age anxiety against caustic slashes of guitar.

Running Out Of Time, meanwhile, makes everyday worries—running late, spilling coffee, the fear of being a “selfish prick”—into a relatable disco-rock anthem with a satisfying groove. 

Things get properly interesting with the jaunty C’est Comme Ca, which flirts with post-punk as Williams muses upon chiropractor appointments and quitting caffeine in a low, performative drawl, yet it never comes across as chasing a trend. 

Later, Figure 8’s clawing guitars and shouty pre-chorus refrain of “I don’t know how to stop” presents Paramore at the most abrasive they’ve ever been, but when it’s offset with a more sugary chorus, it’s made to feel like something this band has always been capable of. It’s only the mid-paced Big Man, Little Dignity that sags a little, coming across as a rudderless offcut from Williams’ flawed 2020 solo record ‘Petals For Armor’. 

Ultimately, ‘This Is Why’ sees Paramore at their most individual, while lyrically they find  potent, insightful and reassuring ways to interrogate routine life stuff. It’s not just the nostalgia of ‘Riot!’ and ‘Brand New Eyes’ that their fans adore them for—it’s their capacity to continue to grow, even 20 years in.

Paramore Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu April 13 2023 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Sat April 15 2023 - CARDIFF Cardiff International Arena
Mon April 17 2023 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Tue April 18 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Thu April 20 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sat April 22 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Sun April 23 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena

Compare & Buy Paramore Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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