American rock band Paramore have released their fifth album After Laughter introducing a fresh, new sound.
By Jane Howkins.
Paramore are back with their long awaited fifth album, and it’s certainly a game changer. They changed their sound slightly to a more alternative rock/new wave style on their fourth self-titled album, and things have changed even more here, with After Laughter shaping up to be very controversial for fans.
The pop-punk element of the band that seemed to define them has completely gone, with the songs on After Laughter drifting further towards pop territory. There are no heavy riffs, with summery beats and shimmering guitar notes being the name of the game this time around. Fans wanting the band’s old sound will be disappointed – let’s make no bare bones about it – and the stylistic changes are extremely different from before. Whereas Paramore managed to keep some of their rocky influences and combine them with poppier aspects on their last record, it’s seemingly all pop here, in more of an 80s vein.
However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The songs on After Laughter are still very good, and they’re obviously a talented bunch, with a wide range of musical influences. There were many critics that used to think Paramore were a one trick pony, and in some ways they were, but hearing them branch out and change themselves in such a distinctive way is actually rather gratifying at times. There is meat on these bones after all, and there is something else lying beneath what once appeared to be simply surface matter. There will be some people that just cannot stand the new songs, and we completely understand that, as they are very different to what came before, but we really recommend having a go at listening to the album – who knows, you might find that you like it, and you might end up broadening your music taste a little.
After Laughter shows that Paramore are no longer a pop band playing at being a punk band. Their new sound shows a pop band making great pop music – and with the return of the Farro brothers, it seems they’re finally at peace with who they are.