Paramore – This Is Why (Album Review)

Paramore – This Is Why (Album Review)

Together since way back in 2004, Paramore are one of most beloved bands on the Alternative Rock scene. Led by Vocalist Haley Williams, while they have sustained various lineup changes through the years, the band has managed to continue success with each of their albums; all charting highly and selling a ton of copies. With an ability to change styles – ranging from Pop to Alternative Rock to Synth-pop – Paramore now return in 2023 with their latest album, This Is Why.

Released on February 10th via Atlantic Records, This Is Why marks their first album since 2017’s After Laughter. Nearly six years ago, their prior effort possessed more of a synth sound, while This Is Why sees a return of thick guitar riffs and a more Alternative Rock sound. Featuring Williams, Taylor York (guitars), and Zac Farro (drums), together they have gelled to form a pretty cohesive unit. Affected by the chaos of the past few years, like many others, This Is Why reflects on the current mood and situation of the world.

Featuring ten songs that last just over 36 minutes, lyrically and sonically the band seemingly go for a much more thoughtful approach. Yes, much has happened in the world and obviously that is going to affect everyone differently. That in mind, Paramore harnesses this into in-depth songs that come across as sincere. In fact, they go right for the heart opening with the album title-track expressing frustration with the world’s disarray, the anxiety caused, and general fear of living in a normal way. Then with a speedy arrangement and hectic vocals, “The News” continues to elaborate a variety of emotions while presenting you with an ultimatum – ignore the news or stay in the panic. Again, something everyone can relate to, the topical track explains the exaggerations, bias, and half stories the media puts out there.

Calming down the mood slightly, “Running out of Time ” is much slower, but while having moments of energy in-between. However, again, lyrical Williams and company go for the heart, rapping on the same rushed feeling we all have as we stumble through life. Then “C’est Comme Ca” is another thought-provoking piece about modern society, misplaced priorities, or just plethora of things some people fill their day with in order to fit into a certain image.

From here the album takes a few deeper dives with the mellow, yet melodic begins on “Big Man, Little Dignity,” “Liar,” or “Crave,” but also finds faster tempos as heard on “You First,” as well as “Figure 8.” Finally, it all comes crashing down slowly and gently with the delicate closing of “Thick Skull.”

In the end, Paramore has created an album that mirrors today’s society. Each song touches on one hot topic after another all while giving you some solid arrangements. Enticing you to listen closely and think deeply, Cryptic Rock gives This Is Why 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Paramore – This Is Why (2023) / Atlantic Records

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Nina Mende
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