It’s been four years since the release of Paramore‘s last album. As of today, they are back and better than ever with a brand new album, After Laughter. The new record is tastefully ironic: the lyrics dive into rather dark topics such as self-doubt, depression, and overall rough situations in life; while the music is upbeat, fun, and happy sounding (for the most part). The band is tight, the production is cutting edge, and the vocals are the best they’ve ever been. Hayley Williams, Taylor York, and Zac Farro have absolutely outdone themselves.
The first five tracks on After Laugher kick off the album in a big way. “Hard Times,” “Rose Colored Boy,” and “Told You So” make you want to dance around while coming to the realization of the reality around you. “Forgiveness” is the perfect change of pace and a great set of lyrics that reflect their title. “Fake Happy” is such a dynamic tune- opening with an acoustic section that suddenly switches back into synthesizers and pop beats, then bursts into a rocking chorus that makes you want to sing along.
“Grudges” is a totally acoustic tune, complete with a string orchestra- which sits underneath a theme of holding on to AND losing hope. The pace picks right back up as Paramore erupt into the next three tracks. “Pool” and “Caught in the Middle” talk of self-sabotage while they feel instrumentally like the earlier half of the record. “Grudges” covers reconciliation and letting go, so it’s brilliantly fitting that Zac Farro lends his vocals on this one.
After Laughter is capped off by three very diverse songs. “Idle Worship” is dark, Williams discusses the stress of being put on a pedestal/putting others on a pedestal despite no one being worthy when she states: ‘Your savior doesn’t look a thing like me’. As a pleasant surprise, Aaron Weiss of mewithoutYou offers his voice on “No Friend”. He combines lyrics and themes from earlier in this record while delivering intense and emotional spoken word. “Tell Me How” is also an incredibly emotional song. Rich lyrics sit over a chill but well-composed piece of music. This song was the perfect way to end this record.
Paramore – After Laughter
Release: May 12, 2017 – Fueled By Ramen
Replay Worthy: The whole album. Your ears will be so happy.
Stream, Buy, or Download?: Buy it.