Paramore Returns with a Bang with “This is Why”
The wait is over! You’re not dreaming, Paramore are finally back! Fans of the pop punk band were delivered amazing news last year when the band announced that they would be releasing a new album in 2023. A few singles were released in 2022 and now at long last, the album is here. This is Why is Paramore’s first album in nearly six years, following 2017’s After Laughter.
Paramore are a band that need no introduction, having gained worldwide critical acclaim and one of the strongest followings in pop punk. Following their formation in 2004 in Franklin, Tennessee they have gone on to shape the sound of emo and pop punk in the 2000s. Their songs tackle teenage angst and perfectly describe the growing pains of slowly becoming an adult. They captured the hearts of their fans with songs such as “Ain’t it Fun” and “Misery Business.” Their influence can be felt in many artists of today, including Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo.
The decision to release a new Paramore album began to take root in 2020 around the time that Hayley Williams was promoting her solo project Petals for Armour. The band found themselves listening to a lot of the music they had loved when they were younger and found the urge to delve back into and record a more guitar rock driven record.
“From day one, Bloc Party was the number one reference because there was such an urgency to their sound that was different to the fast punk or the pop-punk or the like, loud wall of sound emo bands that were happening in the early 2000s”
The album kicks off with the titular track “This is Why”. The funky bassline immediately grabs your attention. Soon Hayley Williams vocals comes in and she sings in a soft voice about not wanting to leave the house and certainly not wanting to interact with people. It is a song that introverts and people with social anxiety will immediately gravitate towards.
The second track on the album, “The News” instrumentally sees Paramore return to their roots with punky guitars. It has all the sounds of a classic Paramore track. The lyrics perfectly describe how it feels reacting to the news in this media driven day and age. With so many social media outlets constantly bombarding you with gruesome news from around the world, it is very easy to quickly become overwhelmed. Paramore’s lyrics about this describes these feelings perfectly.
“Running Out of Time” deals with similar feelings of being overwhelmed. On this Hayley Williams sings about all the things that have to be done but the seemingly lack of time to do them. There are career commitments, family and friends to keep in touch with and significant others to please. Doing all of this seems to almost be impossible in the finite time that is allotted to us. Similar to being overwhelmed and oversaturated with news media, we are bombarded with tasks while seemingly having no time at all. Paramore also hint at how all these tasks take away from any free personal time that we would have had, which would have been vital for recovery and recoupment.
“C’est comme ça” has a fun upbeat tempo to it, with Hayley Williams singing in a way where the words effortlessly roll off her tongue. The lyrics however talk about the struggles ever-present in our daily life-anxiety, dependencies and boredom.
“In a single year, I’ve aged one hundred
My social life, a chiropractic appointment
Sit still long enough to listen to yourself
Or maybe just long enough for you to atrophy to hell”
C’est comme ça
“Liar” is slow and soothing. The drums are gentle and Hayley Williams sings as if she is singing a lullaby. The song deals with lying to a partner while being painfully aware that they know the truth behind the deception. Crave features a melancholic instrumental. Similar to “Running out of Time”, it deals with trying to hold on to time. On Crave, Hayley Williams talks about how even as she is experiencing life, life is slipping away. She longs to hold onto it, but the harder she tries, the more it slips away, like sand slipping away from your hands.
After a long hiatus, Paramore come back guns blazing. This is Why is a wonderful album, and yet again Paramore are delivering songs that expertly deal with the angsts and anxieties of life. It is a must listen album. Paramore are currently on tour, and you can find tickets on their website. To help support them, you can follow them on Instagram and Facebook, as well as checking out their music on Spotify and YouTube.