Twilight darlings Paramore sing something ‘Brand New’
With Paramore’s recent explosion onto the entertainment scene due to the massive success of “Decode,” the single used endlessly in “Twilight” promotions, the band has made wide strides to meet the challenge of living up to their success with the release of their third full-length album, “Brand New Eyes.”
Now connected to the series, Paramore takes a step away from the teenaged vampire angst of “Twilight,” instead choosing to write about what they consider more mature matters.
Interestingly, the band chose not to contribute songs to the “New Moon” soundtrack for fear that they would become irrevocably tied to the craze.
The group does not abandon their discussion of love, but instead looks at the subject, most fittingly, with brand new eyes.
“Careful” is a commanding opener to the record, and is a good indication of the impending journey. It leads into “Ignorance,” the first single, which showcases the convictions of vocalist Hayley Williams. The album’s tempo is slowed slightly with “Playing God,” a deceptively poppy attack on religious hypocrites.
Steam picks back up with “Brick By Boring Brick,” a standout track featuring formerly-sparse elements like handclaps and gang vocals. A rough-cutting end slows back down into the reflective “Turn It Off,” and even further into “The Only Exception,” a sweet slow sing-along with an elegant orchestrated ending that one can imagine being sung around a campfire.
Despite its melancholy title, “Feeling Sorry,” a song reminiscent of the trademark pop of The Starting Line, is about picking up and moving on.
“Looking Up,” highlighted by its stellar bridge and obvious harder rock influences, picks up the album’s love theme, reminding listeners how quickly things can change. Including a nod to “My Heart,” a song off of Paramore’s first record “All We Know Is Falling,” “Where the Lines Overlap” pulls the theme to a close when Williams declares that she’s “never been happier.”
Closing out the album are “Misguided Ghosts,” a haunting song about revelation and acceptance, and “All I Wanted,” a heart-wrencher showcasing Williams’ vocal chops.
On the surface, “Brand New Eyes” will seem like the same Paramore you’ve heard in the past, with song after song driven by the surprisingly big voice of a punky front-woman but a deeper look yields the understanding that this is Paramore all grown-up.
This is no place for Tommy Pickles; the majority of the band moved out of their teenage years between the recording of “Riot!” and “Brand New Eyes,” and their progression and budding urge to look to a better future is certainly evident. The record weaves through life’s confusions and leads to the road of self-realization.
While there is nothing ground-breaking here (as true originality in music has become an elusive feat), Paramore begins to break the surface with improved lyrical content and more creative musical inclusions. “Brand New Eyes” is an undeniably catchy album with good replay value, and the most cohesive release from Paramore to date.
Embarking on a long-awaited tour of small clubs, Paramore will play three sold-out shows in the area in mid-October at Montclair’s Wellmont Theatre, Philadelphia’s Electric Factory, and New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom before heading off on a European tour.
Bonnie Falconer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.