Paramore, PARAMORE

Paramore is back!  The indy trio of singer Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York, and bassist Jeremy Davies return to the world of alternative power pop with their latest album Paramore.

"If there's a future, we want it" the band sings on "Now," and that mix of optimism and uncertainty is present throughout the album.  Paramore deals with the ups and downs of romance (including the comically obsessive "(One of Those) Crazy Girls"), mixing societal responsibility with wanting to party ("we've got our riot gear on but we just want to have fun"), attacking haters ("Anklebiters") and struggling to stay optimistic ("Last Hope").  This album also reflects the band's growing sense of maturity and responsibility as well: "Ain't It Fun" is an ironically-titled song about living in the real world, while "Grow Up" balanced becoming mature with leaving others behind.

Paramore has the band's usual hard-rocking vocals and guitar: nothing new, but still exciting.  ("The Future," the album's closing track, is a new and meandering disappointment.")  There are plenty of pulse-pounding and sensitive songs here -- I wish "Daydreaming" could become this generation's version of Blondie's "Dreaming " -- and Paramore is pretty enjoyable.

Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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