Album Review

Paramore - This is Why

Their most ambitious album yet.

Paramore - This is Why

Paramore are no strangers to evolution. While the first half of their career so far was built on a foundation of punky pop-imbued anthems, with their fourth, self-titled album they began to push against the boundaries and labels once placed upon them. The sprawling seventeen-track record would mark the first chapter in their metamorphosis - and win them a GRAMMY in the process - before 2017’s ‘After Laughter’ saw them shape-shift yet further, refining their funky prowess into one of the year’s best albums. And so, for anyone who thought that Paramore would confine themselves to that same space on their sixth, it’s time to think again. ‘This Is Why’ boasts another bold and brilliant transformation for the trio.

Marking their first music together after an extended break, there’s a real sense of self-assuredness to the record. Channeling deep into the more quote-unquote indie side of their tastes - Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Rapture and Foals all get a look in - ‘This Is Why’ is a blistering melding pot of artistry: from the angular dance-punk of its opening title track, through to the creeping grandeur of closing number ‘Thick Skull’, it’s an invigorating and breathtaking lesson in rewriting the rulebook. Granted, the odd moment - such as ‘C’est Comme Ça’, with its post-punk-indebted speak-singing verses - might feel a little alienating for fans more used to the likes of ‘Still Into You’, but in the context of the album, it makes perfect sense.

Further highlights come in ‘Big Man, Little Dignity’, and the soothing lullaby of Hayley Williams’ vocals, working to mask the vengeful message lying beneath, while ‘Figure 8’ is a gorgeous, swirling offering that feels like an empowered sequel to ‘After Laughter’’s ‘Pool’. It’s ‘Thick Skull’, however, that provides the ultimate stand-out moment; its crashing crescendo a powerful and poignant conclusion to both the album itself, and Paramore’s most ambitious record yet.

Tags: Paramore, Reviews, Album Reviews

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