In Review: Paramore's "This is Why"
The rock band, Paramore consists of three members, Hayley Williams, Taylor York, and Zac Farro. They recently released their newest record, “This is Why”, on February 10th, 2023, fulfilling the wishes of many adoring fans. The band has been popular since the early 2000s and have grown tremendously since they first came onto the scene. This album explores that growth along with Hayley's perspective on how fame changes a person as they grow older.
The album starts with the single “This is Why”. This track brings intense energy, drawing listeners back into the world of Paramore. It holds the band's classic sound with fast drum fills and Hayley William’s beautiful voice. “Running out of Time” brings a surprising change to this original sound, as it starts extremely mellow. The group does not stray too far from their usual sound on this track though, as it quickly picks up the energy with a guitar riff so fast that it almost acts as a percussive element. This track is super groovy and Hayley's voice has a wide range, going from very low, to an impressive belt. “Big Man, Little Dignity” is an interesting addition to the album, as the band experiments with instruments that are not traditionally used in rock music. The track includes beautiful flute sounds and an 80’s inspired synth, mixing these sounds with their usual high-energy rock sounds. They also do this on the track, “Figure 8”. This track is bursting with energy and unique melodies. This song is a perfect example of how in tune all three members are with one another. They mix their sounds so enthusiastically that the listener has no choice but to be compelled to sing with Hayley. The following track, “Liar” is the softest on the entire project. Hayley's falsetto is perfect and is complimented by slight ambient frequencies in the background. The last track, “Thick Skull” is the most enchanting. Hayley's voice stands out, even over the technically impressive drum fills, creating a perfect ending for the album.
Although Hayley rarely does harmonies on this project, her voice is powerful enough to fill out the sound, making everything feel complete. Every member is the group is a master at their instrument, making it interesting to see what they do with this talent. With every project, Paramore does nothing but continue to solidify their sound, stepping a little out of their comfort zone each time. It is very evident why they continue to have such a loyal fan base. The group gains a 9/10 for their sound on the Intersect Rating Scale.
“This is Why” reveals to listeners the true meaning of the entire album. Hayley sings, “if you have an opinion maybe you should shove it”, expressing that the judgment she constantly faces from everyone is tiring. Therefore she coins the phrase, “This is why I don't leave the house” in her chorus. Her only solution is to isolate herself from all of the noise and opinions. She transitions from this topic on, “The News” and goes on to speak about how she is negatively impacted and overwhelmed by the problems of the entire world. She grapples with herself saying, “turn on, turn off the news” and, “I feel useless behind this computer”. She wants to make a bigger change, but it is difficult when she feels powerless. These thoughts switch on “C'est Comme Ca”, as she reflects on the pain that comes with growing older. She sings, “I know that regression is rarely rewarded, I still need a certain degree of disorder”. She craves the chaos of youth but knows she needs to slow down as she gets older. On the next two tracks, ‘Big Man, Little Dignity”, and “You First”, Hayley shows her true anger with the world, expressing her inner turmoil. She has doubts about her self-image, singing, “everyone is a bad guy”, including herself. The atmosphere switches for the song, “Liar”. She sings about how she denied her feelings for her lover saying, “Why should I deny at once what's so clear”. This message is short-lived though as we converge into the last song, “Thick Skull”. She sings, “I am attracted to broken people”. She reflects on all of her faults in her lifetime. She is most vulnerable on this track, expressing her issues of self-blame. The lyrics on this album expose Hayley’s true feelings and anger toward herself and the way she has lived her life. The truth in their lyrics grants the group a 9/10 on the Intersect Rating Scale.
ART BEHIND THE ALBUM
The group first announced the album earlier in the year, quickly gaining traction from fans. They released music videos for, “The News”, “This is Why”, “C'est Comme Ca”, and “Running out of Time”. They also announced a 2023 tour and were featured on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. The band spoke out in a raw interview with Zane Lowe where they were very vulnerable with one another, speaking about mental health, relationships, and their album process. Their activeness and attention to fans get them a 9/10 on the Intersect Rating Scale for their art.
Even though the group has been around for many years, they continue to prove their growth with each project they release, making it worthy for fans to check out.
They have earned a total score of 9/10 on the Intersect Rating Scale.
Stream the album below.