Paramore, Tennessee based pop punk band, released their album ‘Brand New Eyes’ in 2009, and it was not without great success. Of course, Paramore was already used to success, as their 2007 release ‘Riot!’ got them to where they are today and it is the album when they received recognition and skyrocketed to fame.
It’s because of this fame that I believe this album isn’t as good as their previous ones. Paramore used to make music because they enjoyed it, and now on ‘Brand New Eyes’, it just feels like they’re trying to re-create all their old hits to try and make some money (I mean, singing songs like ‘Decode’ for Twilight?!). It also seems like it’s too much about Hayley Williams (vocals) and not enough about the rest of the band. If you take a look at the video for ‘Brick by Boring Brick’, you’ll see how much footage there is of Williams as opposed to the rest of the band.
Initially, I felt there’s the Paramore ‘edge’ that’s lacking on this album. Whereas the previous two albums, ‘Riot!’ and ‘All We Know Is Falling’, didn’t have Williams’ extremely high range of vocals on songs such as ‘All I Wanted’, they were still much better musically and with meaning. I find that they delved deeper within the morbid aspect of love, and on this new album, it just seems to be a mish-mash of different emotions that don’t work together very well. Songs like ‘Looking Up’ and ‘All I Wanted’ act as an oxymoron. You can’t say that you’re happy with life, and then literally yell out ‘All I wanted was you’. Personally, it just doesn’t work.
No doubt that as a standalone album, it is very good and has many different aesthetics and sounds which sound well together – but when comparing it with their older albums, ‘Brand New Eyes’ is nothing. Like many bands, they seem to be repeating themselves in terms of themes. It seems to be all about lost love with this band. Yes, this is an interesting concept to write about, I just wish they would learn to experiment with different themes more.
However, I do believe it is a good album as it is more of a refined Paramore. I do love their first single from the album, ‘Ignorance’, as it’s a complete teenage angst song, and who doesn’t love that?! (Apart from grumpy old men, of course.) Also, I believe that the lyrics for this song are really effective. Lyrics such as “where’s your gavel? Your Jury? What’s my offence this time? You’re not a Judge, but if you’re gonna judge me, well sentence me to another life”. They’re really catchy and have some sort substance. The hook is repeated about a dozen times, it’s hard not to get it in your head! I must admit, in all honesty, Williams’ song writing is much more better on this album than on their older material.
In terms of the music, it is pretty decent, but nothing special. Like I said previously, it’s been done before. By themselves!
So, for the above reasons, I believe the album to get a 4/5 stars. Paramore do have a very addictive sound, but they just need to broaden their horizons more and just get a little knock back down to Earth. I recently heard a story from a close friend of mine – her brother had the chance to meet Williams’ and apparently she came across as quite rude and uppity, which I didn’t seem to like at all. Looks to me as if the fame really has gone to their heads.
Music Bloggery Recommends: ‘Ignorance’, ‘Brick By Boring Brick’, ‘Where The Lines Overlap’, ‘All I Wanted’ and ‘Misguided Ghosts’