Back when we spoke to Hayley Williams in 2005, we couldn’t possibly imagine the massive scope in which her band’s music now encompasses. It never hurts publicity to be on the soundtrack to a hit cultural phenomenon, and it only bolsters your credibility when your tours and records are both received with much affection. Yet Paramore, and Williams in particular, never seemed to let go of their humble selves- whether it is during MTV interviews, in front of thousands of people, or plastered across the internet- it all comes across with a genuine tether.
I was rather middle ground with Riot!, but if anything, their latest form of maturation without becoming passe has done plenty to win over even the most cynical of critics. It’s all very neatly done of course, “Ignorance” is run-of-the-mill, while “Brick By Boring Brick” lives up to its namesake, but when they venture off into acoustic territory (simple but stated “Misguided Ghosts”) and slightly more angular rock (“Playing God” and “Where The Lines Overlap”) that they well and truly shine. And like I said, it’s all very genuine and pretension-free. Capped off by the stunningly impressive ballad “All I Wanted”, brand new eyes is perfect fodder for the Twilight generation, and one that cements Paramore (and most notably their frontwoman) as significant tastemakers for years to come.
(Fueled By Ramen / Atlantic Records)