Paramore have just released their self-titled fourth album. After several years of uncertainty in the band, with two members leaving and not being sure of the group’s path, Paramore is back with an album which fully embraces their new lineup and outlook on the future. The first album without founding members and brothers guitarist and drummer Josh and Zac Farro, Paramore has now whittled down to three members, with Ilan Rubin filling in the for the band on drums. Hayley Williams on vocals, Taylor York on guitar, and Jeremy Davis on bass have experimented with ukulele’s, gospel choirs, glockenspiel’s, and good pop songs to make this album their most positive to date. The album is an over an hour long, making it the band’s longest release, and due to its timing, the band wants to express their joy and have the audience feel it, and feel it you do.
The album’s opening song “Fast In My Car”, is an in your face tune that speaks of the band going “through the wringer a couple of times”, and embracing the group’s new lineup with hope and positivity that hasn’t been before. As an opening number, the track is the first mid tempo song that has opened a Paramore album, which is a welcome change from the usual fast punk beats that make up Paramore’s catalogue. “Ain’t It Fun” brings in a gospel choir and horns, another first, but it works out perfectly. The tune’s euphoric vibe invites listeners to sing along and enfold all that is good with the bands future. The choir is also a highlight which adds to the songs lively feel.
While the record is full of mid tempo tunes, the band heads back to their roots, by throwing in “Anklebiters” a fast paced song that has distortion, a bright guitar riff, and shouts of “anklebiters” throughout the song, as well as a few laughs from the band once it ends. While it is not nearly as memorable as the other tracks, it breaks up the musical feel of the record and brings in some familiarity. “Still Into You” is the album’s second single and is a straight forward love song about loving someone in the worst of times. The song is bouncy with a guitar part that carries the song and supports the drums and vocals with great fluidity. While Paramore won’t please the band’s critics, their fans will love it as they finally have a record from a band that is no longer broken, but a band that has emerged from their soap opera intact.