Paramore – After Laughter – 12/05/17
There has certainly not been much to laugh about for Paramore over the past couple of years, however after pulling through one of their most difficult times as a band filled with uncertainty and hurt, Paramore are as strong as ever. After the departure of Bassist Jeremy Davis, Zac Farro substitutes back into the band for his second spell with Paramore to help create their fifth studio album ‘After Laughter’.
Granted with Paramore, they always deliver, but you never quite know what to expect. With every album changing in direction, growing with maturity and new experiences, ‘After Laughter’ was always going to bring another new stepping stone to the Paramore catalogue. So as expected their fifth studio album is certainly something very unique and exceptional.
It is clear throughout this album that ‘After Laughter’ was very much about Hayley & Taylor finding themselves and rebuilding the bridges they needed to cross. ‘Hard Times’, the lead single of the album and opening track, is exceedingly catchy and upbeat, making light of the difficult times the band have had recently. The dancy summery sound creates one of the most fun tracks on the album ironically from the darkest of places.
‘Rose-Colored Boy’ follows up with its cheerleader chanting 80’s pop vibes for another outstanding track, which is surely set to be another single in time to come. ‘Told You So’ follows suit already released as one of the singles, and it strongly represents the movement of the album and band leading their way into the new chapter.
Other tacks on the album such as ‘Forgiveness’ are much slower, and ring hints of the likes of The 1975 musically with clean, intricate and smooth sound. ‘26’ also is much calmer and reserved, once again displaying Hayley’s stunning vocals for another moving track to join the catalogue with the likes of ‘The Only Exception’, destined to be another emotional track performed live.
‘Fake Happy’ mixes elements of everything above. From it’s reserved introduction, to it’s steady verse, and powerful chorus, it picks us up with the albums signature sound to exactly where we want to be when listening to a Paramore album. ‘Caught In The Middle’ challenges ‘Fake Happy’ to having arguably the best chorus on the album. It is infectious, distinctive, creative and quite unique, and not for the first time plays on the irony of the ‘best of a bad situation’ mix of difficult lyrics and quirky upbeat sound.
It is clear listening to ‘After Laughter’ that Taylor and Zac have had a heavy influence on the music style of this record. For example ‘Idle Worships’ would not look out of place on one of Zac Farro’s albums from his side project Halfnoise, with it’s unusual synth chilled magic.
With every track on the album as strong as the other, it’s difficult to pick faults with ‘After Laughter’ having such depth in sound from start to finish, layered up to create some fantastically beautiful music. Overall it feels very refreshing, creative and solid for a band that the seams where at one point wearing thin. It has and undoubtedly will continue to pick Paramore up from their struggles and lead them into much more success, and most importantly the happiness the trio have been searching for in recent times, leaving smiles on both the band, and their proud fans seeing the band back to where they belong.
Review: Danny Peart