March 20, 2023
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Life & Culture

Review: Paramore is back and better than ever

This Is Why


Six years after Paramore’s last album, “After Laughter,” the American rock band released its sixth studio album, “This Is Why.”

Since the 2005 release of its debut album “All We Know Is Falling,” Paramore has had a strong presence in the music industry with edgy and upbeat songs like “Misery Business” in 2007 and “Ain’t It Fun” in 2013. Both songs peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 charts upon their initial release.

In “This Is Why,” the group reflects on the current state of the world after the COVID-19 pandemic and expresses frustration in the lyrics. Lead singer Hayley Williams, along with guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro, put together an album that shows maturity and understanding of life.

The opening title track, “This Is Why,” starts the album with a strong message of self-control in regards to someone inserting their opinion. The lyrics, “If you have an opinion / Maybe you should shove it / Or maybe you could scream it / Might be best to keep it / To yourself,” can cause the listener to question whether they should speak up or stay silent. The rush of the guitar is sure to pump up the listener for the rest of the album.

“This Is Why” continues with the second track, “The News,” which is reminiscent of the band’s early 2000s punk rock sound. Williams’ voice matches the intensity of York’s guitar and Farro’s drum. In this song, Paramore references the Russia-Ukraine war, which started in 2022. The lyrics, “Every second our collective heart breaks / All together, every single head shakes / Shut your eyes, but it won’t go away,” can allow the listener to relate to how difficult it is to hear news sometimes; especially if it is something that continues to go on.

One of the highlights of the album is “C’est Comme Ça” because of how Paramore is able to play with language. C’est comme ça is French for “it is what it is.” Incorporating another language into a song can be risky, but can be successful if done correctly. The song has a fun, catchy beat and part of that is the repetition of “C’est Comme Ça” in the chorus.

The second half of “This Is Why” has a calmer vibe than the first half. Songs like “Big Man, Little Dignity” and “Figure 8” are influenced by the genre yacht rock, which can take the listeners back to the 70s and 80s. This part of the album also shows Williams’ vocals off extremely well as she allows herself to sing more, as opposed to singing more aggressively.

“Liar” is a song that can catch the attention of the listener with the sweet, melodic sound of Williams’ voice, along with the softer-sounding guitars and drums. In “Liar,” Williams opens up about her dishonesty in a past relationship. The lyrics, “Oh my love / I lied to you / But you always knew the truth,” and “Love is not an easy thing to admit / But I’m not ashamed of it,” shows how mature Williams is by coming to terms with her mistake.

“Crave” is a nice follow-up to “Liar,” as Wiliams expresses her passion for love. The slow and relaxed vibe of the song can allow the listener to immerse themselves into the track.

The album ends off strong with “Thick Skull,” which has a very cinematic feel to it. The slow and emotional song allows each member of Paramore to shine bright as they put their all into this final song. “Thick Skull” starts small but becomes more intense as the song continues. The lyrics, “I am a magnet for broken pieces / I am attracted to broken people / I pick em up, and now my fingers are bleeding,” gives the listener an even deeper look into Williams as a person who is nothing but resilient.

Overall, “This Is Why” still has Paramore’s punk rock vibe from the 2000s but with a more mature view on many aspects of life, like love, conflict and pain. Many longtime fans of Paramore are grown up and now have an album that matches the place they are in their lives.

Jadyn Davis can be reached at