Review: Paramore, “Brand New Eyes”
Two years ago, a little band called Paramore took the airwaves and teenagers’ iPods by storm with their second album, the breakout hit Riot!. After the immense success died down, they released a live record to the ever-eager fans, who of course bought it up and brought back the success even more. Now, through rough member disputes and a near break up towards the end of the tour last year, the band is ready to release their new album, Brand New Eyes. The new album is a compilation of all the arguments, fights, and hatred that was going within the band, put into 11 songs fresh off the production board. An interesting idea, and a good way to come up with material.
Strict fans of Riot! won’t find as many songs to die for here. That isn’t to say the album isn’t good. While the band’s second album was chock full of super-girl anthems and guitar riffs that would make any 14 year old swoon, Brand New Eyes takes more of melodic approach, and tends to sound much more like the band’s now gold-certified debut recording, All We Know Is Falling. Many of the tracks are just as catchy, like the album’s first single, “Ignorance”. It’s basically “Misery Business” part 2, even having a similar melody as the aforementioned track. “Careful”, the album’s intro, is another catchy and guitar driven song, and showcases some of Hayley Williams’ best vocals ever. It seems like Williams really focused on her vocals this time around, and it works to her advantage. “Playing God” shows a lot of emotion, with a chorus of “You don’t have to believe me / but the way I, way I see it / next time you point a finger / I might have to bend it back or break it, break it off”. The album of course contains crowd friendly tracks, as well, like the sing-song “Brick By Boring Brick” and the impressive “Turn It Off”, in which Williams really pushes herself vocally, and keeps composure at the same time.
Heading into the end of the album, the Twilight soundtrack single “Decode” is tacked on as an extra, while “All I Wanted” acts like the finale on All We Know Is Falling, “My Heart”. Starting with a slow, acoustic intro, the band comes in to make a very powerful statement and an even more impressive song. It’s good to see a band like Paramore stretching themselves on their third record already. They could have easily made another copy of Riot!-esque tracks and it would have sold like no one’s business. But instead, they take a different turn, returning to their roots. It works on many levels, and makes for a very personal and revealing recording. While the ballads seem excessive, it will be interesting to see how fans react to this new album. I expect mixed results, but any Paramore fan will find plenty to like here. After all, the stories in this album are all real stories from the band.
Star Rating: 4 out of 5