Paramore explores new sonic territory

“Caught in the middle” of synth and alternative pop

Fair use from Fueled by Ramen

Maddie Lund

After two and a half years of silence, the band Paramore is back with their experimental new album “After Laughter.”

During their hiatus, the band lost its bassist Jeremy Davis, and gained their former drummer Zac Farro for this new album.

“After Laughter” produced by Taylor York and Justin Meldal-Johnsen, is a synth and alternative pop album dedicated to themes from 1980s, which strays from the band’s typical punk rock and emo genres of their previous albums.

The album’s title name “After Laughter” comes from lead vocalist Hayley Williams’ fascination of the look on someone’s face once they have finished smiling and laughing. According Williams, the album includes themes of depression and anxiety, which contrast its bright synthy production and upbeat tempo.

Many tracks on the album sound very similar, both in production and message, yet there are a few distinct tracks that stand out.

Lead single and opening track “Hard Times” and the tenth track “Idle Worship” contrast one another in terms of melody, guitar and synth. Both include descriptive lyrics and fantastic guitar riffs.

The songs “26” and “Tell Me How” allow the listener to take a step back from the edgy, in-your-face synth sound, and divulge in lighter and smoother ballads. They add a sense of diversity to the album that listeners wouldn’t be able to find on other albums

The song “No Friend” brings the album down due to its lack of melody and creativity. This is the first Paramore song where Williams has not been on vocals. Instead, the song is a spoken word monologue done by Aaron Weiss, the lead vocalist for the American rock band “MewithoutYou.”

As a whole, Paramore experimented with a new sound and were somewhat successful. The album isn’t anything to go running to the masses about, however they put themselves out there. They do a good job of touching on the effects of mental illness and anxiety through their lyrics.

For those interested in listening, “After Laughter” is available to buy on iTunes and to stream on Spotify.

Rate: 3/5

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