While their first album was released in 2005, Paramore's second, Riot! (2007), has definantly put this band on the map.
I'm actually quite impressed with this group, and their newest album. I had never heard of them until Riot! started becoming so popular, and that's when I decided to check them out. I was instantly surprised that the frontman was not a man at all, but a young woman; how stereotypical of me. I truely am ashamed. But really, it seems there are no mainstream groups out there with female vocals leading the songs; almost all the groups in the punk-rock scene are made up of all guys, and any of the girls in this genre seem to record as an individual artist. After the initial shock wore off, I was quite pleased to see a woman heading an alternative group. Good for Hayley Williams!
And boy, once I started listening, I was also impressed by her voice. Hayley sings with a lot of heart, and that shines through in both Paramore's recorded tracks and live shows. Hayley's vocals paired with the rest of the band's talents on guitar and drums make for a really pleasing sound. Put that together with the kind of lyrics this group has come up with, and you've got yourself one heck of an album; and Riot! has proved to be just that, bringing Paramore into the mainstream spotlight and even landing them a 2008 Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist.
Grammy Update, February 13th 2008: Paramore fans will be disapointed to hear that they did not win the Grammy for Best New Artist at the awards on February 10th. Amy Winehouse fans, however, will be delighted to hear that she took the award instead.
Paramore - Riot!
1. For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic - A catchy track; a good start to the album. I don't find anything about this track that especially stands out. I think this song gives you a good idea as of what's to come in the album, and the bridge especially gives you a taste for Hayley's vocal talents.
2. That's What You Get - A touch more "pop"-y than the previous track, it's also a more appealing track overall. The lyrics in this one probably mean more to this group's target audience (asking the question, "why do we like to hurt so much?"), and the beat, especially the chorus, is addicting.
3. Hallelujah - A wonderful track. The lyrics to this song are very deep and thoughtful, and the vocals are pure; it seems every note is hit effortlessly. Slightly softer in the beginning, the song picks up a bit after the first chorus and it just grows from there. Whether it has a religious significance to you or not, many people should be able to appreciate this track.
4. Misery Business - The song which may be this group's most popular to date. Probably the most original in sound on the album, this track has you hooked from the opening melody and the driving beat keeps you listening all the way through. The vocals are full of raw emotion, and you feel this song rather than hearing it in most parts.
5. When It Rains - The lyrics to this song absolutely blow me away and make this track one of my favorites on the album. The drum beat and bass line keep this song moving along at a steady pace, and the fading guitar chords add a nice touch. Just a great song overall; softer than the other tracks without sacrificing any of the quality.
6. Let The Flames Begin - Another good, strong track. While the first verse seems soft and you expect another softer track, the chorus proves you wrong. The lyrics in this song are fabulous and are presented with exceptional talent.
7. Miracle! - This song is strong from the opening melody, but if the melody isn't enough to get you hooked, the lyrics will do the trick. Again, these powerful lyrics are presented with enough emotion to really help the listner feel the meaning behind the song. A little different than the others on the album, I really like this track; another of my favorites.
8. Crushcrushcrush - Maybe Paramore's second most popular to date, after Misery Business. The driving beat just makes you want to dance; again, a strong bass and drum line. The chorus is catchy, and I'm in love with the bridge. A track to play nice and loud.
9. We Are Broken - A lovely ballad to quiet things down after the ending of the previous track. The keyboard makes a significant apperance for the first time on the album, and it works wonders for the mood of the track. Throughout the whole first verse, it's as if you're waiting for the song to really begin; but with the first lines of the chorus ... those chords give you chills. Hayley's vocals add a painfully beautiful element that really make this song what it is.
10. Fences - This track picks things up again after We Are Broken. The swing style beat is impossible to ignore; definantly a toe-tapping song. Again, the lyrics are presented exceptionally well, especially at the end of the chorus (this is your night / so smile / 'cause you'll go out in style). This is a fun song to listen to and is another one of my favorites; it gets stuck in my head all the time!
11. Born For This - The echo on the vocals give this track a completelly different feel than the rest of the songs on the album; you can tell the group just had a blast recording this song. Besides the awesome melody and vocals, the lyrics are outstanding as well. A great close to the album.
Paramore sound like a good group? I encourage you to check them out for yourself.
The lyrics for all the songs on the Riot! album as well as Paramore's first album, All We Know Is Falling (2005), plus lyrics for their B-side tracks and more can be found on this website.
And here's the music video for Crushcrushcrush, so you can get a feel for what some of thier songs sound like. Enjoy!
Paramore - Crushcrushcrush Music Video