In sports we always talk about elite athletes. Those who have intangibles that make them a commodity, the epitome of the cream of the crop. The music world isn’t so different, besides the fact that the statistics to base a statement on are a tad bit more subjective. Some bands, some individuals and some voices are just simply special to a generation, Paramore is without a doubt one of those bands and Hayley Williams is one of those voices.
Even with that elite ranking, it isn’t always easy to maintain consistency throughout your career, so with After Laughter being Paramore‘s fifth studio album, I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to be a little worried about the quality of the final product. We’ve all seen it happen to our favorite bands, right? Suddenly they hit a point where the inspiration is lacking. Leave it to Paramore to make me feel stupid for worrying.
After Laughter features a fresh new sound with a bit of a nod to the 80s. Don’t let the lighter percussion and subtle synth fool you into this being a happy post-marriage lovefest for Williams though. In fact the track “Fake Happy”, where Williams asks, “If I smile with my teeth/bet you’ll believe me/if I smile with my teeth/bet I’ll believe me”, is a good way to describe the album. The melodies are – for the most part – upbeat and catchy, but the lyrics are deeper and are still filled with the same raw, honest emotion that makes Paramore what they are.
We’ve already been treated to “Hard Times” for a few weeks now, but the album is full of so many more treats. “Rose Colored Boy”, “Pool” and “Caught in the Middle” keep the tempo high, while “26” settles things down with a vibe that might as well be Williams’ autograph. Her voice is unmistakable and the quality of the music is as good as ever. After Laughter is yet another example of why Paramore is an elite band. Bravo.
Pick up the new album, After Laughter by Paramore, on iTunes now! And check out the video for “Hard Times” below.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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