Paramore have without a doubt been one of the biggest bands of the last twenty years. They have a devoted fanbase who have grown up with the band and have had such an impact on the world. Yet they are a band who I have not given much time towards discovering. That is all changing now with the release of This Is Why, the bands first release in five years. Looking through this weeks new releases I thought I would give this a listen and I have not stopped since. On doing so I was reminded of the importance of being open minded at all times when it comes to music and life in general. It does not matter when you discover a band, whether you were there from the early days or came late to the party, if you like a band you like a song, an album, an artist that’s really all that matters.
After several listens to This Is Why the thing that really hits home with me is this is a collection of songs that are relatable to every one of us sharing this planet in 2023. The band are clearly angry at the state of the world right now as are so many of us and that comes across throughout the album. This is evidenced perfectly in the title track which opens the album and sums up how so many of us felt coming out of the pandemic “This is why I don’t leave the house / You say the coast is clear / But you won’t catch me out”.
The News is another great song that captures how hard it is now to watch and keep on top of the news. How we want to do what we can to help and make the world a better place, but we are so limited in what we can do. “But I worry and I give money / And I feel useless behind this computer / And that’s just barely scratched the surface of my mind”. Those are feelings that so many of us have lived with over the last few years. To hear this captured in this brilliant song full of energy and passion should be enough to unite us all to get out there, challenge the institutions that are meant to protect us and make the world a better place.
As the album unfurls it is evident that This Is Why is an album from a band who are on top of their game right now. I have nothing to compare this to as I have not listened to any of their previous albums but listening to This Is Why I am constantly hearing a band who love nothing more than writing and recording songs together. It sounds like a very collective record where each member of the band has an equal part to pay in the brilliance of this album.
There is a lot of dry humour in this album which is something that certainly appeals to me C’est Comme Ça deals with the topic of ageing and how our social life changes in a way that will bring a smile to the faces of many “In a single year, I’ve aged one hundred / My social life a chiropractic appointment”.
The album has some fantastic pop moments. You First is one of them with melodies, hooks and a chorus that will see this become a firm favourite amongst fans new and old. Liar is also a beautiful heart-warming anthemic pop song that will bring even the loudest of rooms to a quiet standstill. This song deservers nothing but your silence and respect whilst you let the gentle melodies and vocals soothe your soul.
Like with many of the songs on this album there is a lot of honesty and pain in the lyrics Big Man, Little Dignity is written with from a very emotional place “I should look away because I know you are never going to change / I keep thinking this time it will be different / But it isn’t". Thick Skull which ends the album is another one of those tender and emotional songs that are clearly so personal to the songwriter whilst at the same time containing lyrics that will be familiar to everyone. We have all had times in life where we reflect on our own personal failings and try to move on from them “Only I know where all the bodies are buried / Thought by now I’d find them less scary / Might get easier, but you don’t get used to it / Keep on autopilot”.
I did not start 2023 thinking I would fall in love with a Paramore album, this has come as a big surprise to me and has without a doubt already made this year a great one for me. Music comes in all shapes and surprises, be prepared to be surprised. If you are like me and up until now have yet to let Paramore into your lives please don’t waste a second longer. Listen to This Is Why it is such an accomplished album from a band who wear their hearts on their sleeves and in so doing have given us an album that can be loved and enjoyed by all.