Paramore – ‘After Laughter’ (Fueled By Ramen) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David O'Neill   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 04:00

Paramore - After LaughterParamore are one of the bands I have heard of, and the albums ‘Riot’ and ‘Brand New Eyes’ I like. Songs such as ‘Brick By Boring Brick’, ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Misguided Ghosts’ having defined their previous style for me. Whilst their previous offerings have been described as pop punk, this is quite a departure from that genre, with more of a leaning towards pop.

 

I was quite unprepared for the obvious departure to pop by the opening of ‘Hard Times’, ‘Rose Coloured Boy’ and ‘Told You So’, which are so obviously aimed at the pop potential download mass market. With all the tracks running at three to four minutes, it seems that this move is aimed at air play.

 

The guitar riff on ‘Forgiveness’ has a bit of a leaning towards George Benson style, which I quite like. After this, the dark side of Hayley Williams’ psyche comes across in ‘Fake Happy’, which toys with the front that many artists and people in general put on in public. However, despite this the music is quite light and upbeat so in character with the meaning of the song.

 

 

‘26’ is akin to ‘Misguided Ghosts’, and follows the emotion of ‘Fake Happy’. It shows the cleanliness and purity of Williams’ voice over an acoustic guitar and an orchestral arrangement. Once again a band gets me with an acoustic guitar. ‘Pool’, again, is quite upbeat but is about a troubled relationship, disguising its meaning in the beat of the music. ‘Grudges’ keeps this theme going in the lyrics and musical style, but seems to be about reconciliation.

 

‘Caught In The Middle’ has a reggae feel to the beat - again not quite what I would have associated with Paramore. ‘Idle Worship’ is aimed at the tendency for people in the public eye to be idolised by the public: this is again more pop than punk, despite the meaning in the lyrics. ‘No Friend’ has an Eminem/rap feel to it, but the music drowns the vocals so at points, even with headphones on, it is hard to discern what is being said (maybe that’s the intention?) until the very end.

 

 

The final track, ‘Tell Me How’, is a piano based track, which is again about troubled relationships, which again shows Hayley Williams’ range and becomes quite light musically despite the intention in the lyrics.

 

Overall, ‘After Laughter’ is a huge departure from their previous style. One of my friends said on hearing the album, “Some of it’s OK, the rest is a bit meh!”.   Being a good bit older than him, I quite like the majority of the album, and can rapidly see it being played occasionally on a sunny day when the meaning in the lyrics won’t drag you down. Some of their original fans may not like this, but there may be a whole new audience that the band are aiming for who will love it, particularly those who like more pop style of music. I’m a bit like one of the tracks… caught in the middle. But, then, ‘Hard Times’ - the first track released off the album - has hit 27 million plays on Spotify: so somebody likes it - a lot.

 

‘After Laughter’ is out now.

 

Paramore play the following dates later this month:

 

Thursday 15 June – Dublin, Olympia Theatre

Friday 16 June – Belfast, Waterfront

Sunday 18 June – Manchester, O2 Apollo

Monday 19 June – London, Royal Albert Hall

Wednesday 21 June – Bristol, Colston Hall

Thursday 22 June – Edimburgh, Usher Hall

 

www.facebook.com/paramore/

 

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