Paramore moves into a new dimension with their pop oriented return and knocks it out the park, Pip Johnson has the review.
Anyone who was expecting Paramore’s fifth album to sound anything like 2007’s Riot will surely be disappointed with After Laughter and have clearly missed out on 2013’s self titled album, but those who loved their self titled pop-rock sound will surely love After Laughter.
With bassist Jeremy Davis leaving in 2015 for the second time (the first being in 2004 before the release of their first album) and original drummer Zac Farro re-joining the band in late 2016 a lot of fans were on edge to see what was next for the Tennessee pop-punkers. The lead single “Hard Times” gave us the first taste of what the new album would sound like and it most certainly did not disappoint, nor does the entire album.
Upon first listen you wouldn’t recognise this was Paramore hadn’t it not being for Hayley Williams voice, it sounds like entirely new band and I’m completely digging it. That doesn’t mean the band has entirely forgotten their routes, the song “Caught in the Middle” has a ska sound to it and reminds me of early No Doubt.
The overall upbeat pastel like sound of the album does a good job at disguising the fact that many of the songs have dark lyrics to them (nothing new to long time fans) this is especially prominent on the two singles from the album “Hard Times” and “Told You So” and songs like “No Friend”, even the videos for the two lead singles hide the dark lyrics to them with lots of bright pastel colours and give of a positive vibe. The dark lyrics were however to be expected after Davis’ very public and departure from the band. However not all the songs on the album are dark and gloomy with many songs which make you want to dance including the addictive power pop ballad “Pool”.
After Laughter is definitely a triumphant return for the band after quiet a few messy years, it shows that no matter what happens, Paramore will always get through it and come back better than ever. After Laughter has to be one of if not their best albums to date.