Release Date: September 29th, 2009
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen Records
All things considered, Paramore set the bar fairly high with their break out album “Riot!” Sure it wasn’t the most original or matured sound that you had ever heard, but the album’s recognition and sales both sky-rocketed. It might of had something to do with the singing talent and all-around-cuteness of Hayley Williams, who helped them become a staple upcoming act, and not just the newest girl band. Now, tons of radio hits and a platinum record later, Paramore have teamed with producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Goo Goo Dolls) to focus on their third record “Brand New Eyes.”
As of writing this review, Paramore‘s newest album has already done extremely well (sales wise) in several countries. But I wanted to find out if it was because Hayley and the guys were able to age their sound into something more than simply a guilty pleasure, or if it was people having no clue and just picking up the record (the ol’ reoccurring bandwagon effect that record labels count on). Luckily for us, it turns out that “Brand New Eyes” is in the former category. Its subject matter still revolves around relationships and its attitude is still spunky, but the delivery has been altered. No longer are we handed continuous radio hits that get old eventually, and instead we are supplied energetic and catchy songs that don’t outstay their welcome, like the many singles from “Riot!” did. Of course almost everyone track sounds radio friendly, but the key difference is that it doesn’t feel as if Paramore made them for that reason.
Hayley’s body voice has filled out nicely, and her vocals are what truly help “Brand New Eyes” make the leap from their simplistic pop-rock past into a growing and maturing rock outfit. Her range and signature vocals breathe sustainable life in Paramore, and a combination of a more focused voice and close-to-home lyrics that most can relate to, is what really grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. The groups guitarists Josh and Taylor have taken a more active role in this record, not only playing melodic fretwork on some of the more energetic songs (“Careful” and “Looking Up”), but also playing calmer and harmonious sections of guitar on the albums gentle interludes (“The Only Exception,” “Misguided Ghosts,” and “All I Wanted”).
Maturity is a wonderful thing. Young and playful things are set aside so that people may truly express how you feel about something. Paramore have done just that with “Brand New Eyes.” This album shouldn’t alienate any fans of their old material (too much), as there are still a lot of songs to amp you up (probably about 70%) — but realize these kids are starting to grow up and slower, more personal tracks are simply part of the maturation process. Honestly, Paramore seems to be taking the same route as another punk-rock pioneer, New Found Glory. A few tracks of the album could even pass for something off of “Catalyst.” I guess it doesn’t help with you’re dating Chad from NFG — maybe they are making sweet music together. Hah. Either way, “Brand New Eyes” is loaded with catchy and personal songs that are waiting for you to let them in. ~Staff
3. Playing God
4. Brick By Boring Brick
5. Turn It Off
6. The Only Exception
7. Feeling Sorry
8. Looking Up
9. Where The Lines Overlap
10. Misguided Ghosts
11. All I Wanted
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