Review: Paramore Debuts A New A Sound With The Album 'After Laughter'

It has been four years since Paramore's self-titled album came out in 2013. The 2013 release featured a more indie-rock sound compared to their more punk-rock roots in earlier albums. The band took a four-year break and are now back with their new album called "After Laughter". It goes without saying that this new album has the most pop-rock sound compared to their previous efforts.

The most upbeat songs in Paramore's "After Laughter" are the first three tracks on the album. This includes the new singles of 'Hard Times' and 'Told You So'. Many fans will have heard of these songs before as the band released them on YouTube. These songs have a new wave '80s sound not too dissimilar to the tracks you may have heard in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. These two songs are some of the best songs in the entire album.

The other '80s style pop song is 'Rose-Colored Boy'. Surprisingly, the rest of the album has a more softer rock sound. It's not quite the rock ballads we heard in the 2009 album "Brand New Eyes", but the rest of the album is far different to the first three tracks.

Overall though, this new album has more in common with their 2013 sound compared to their older albums. If you thought Paramore were going back to their old punk rocks roots, you might be disappointed because they are going all-in on their new musical style.

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The new upbeat sound kind of shows how much Hayley Williams is looking forward to the future of the band. The past four years have not been easy on her with certain band members leaving the band. Luckily she has managed to convince a few of them to come back and they are now at a better stage in their lives.

Lyrically, I can tell that Hayley Williams is writing about the past four years of her own life. 'Grudges' has a line where she says "we can't keep holding onto grudges". This might be signaling her past band members and that they shouldn't feel bitter about the past. Other song titles that may elude to her past band members include the songs of 'Forgiveness' and 'Caught in the Middle'.

The album itself is kind of short only lasting around 42 minutes in total. There are 12 tracks in total with half the album being upbeat, while the rest of it are full of slower ballads. Hayley Williams sings in 11 songs though because the track 'No Friend' sounds more like an interlude.

In my opinion, 'No Friend' is easily the worst song in the entire album and I'm not sure why they bothered to put it in there. People on Reddit say it's Aaron Weiss from MewithoutYou singing in the background. In either case, this song sounds more like spoken poetry and you cannot really hear what Weiss has to say in it as his words are drowned out by the music.

In terms of my favorite tracks, 'Grudges', 'Caught in the Middle', 'Told You So, ' Pool' and 'Hard Times' are the standouts. If I had to pick one favorite song, it has to be 'Grudges' since the lyrics are meaningful and it reminded me a little bit of the old Paramore.

Anyway, "After Laughter" is a great effort from Paramore as the band aren't scared of experimenting with new sounds. This album has essences of the 2013 self-titled album plus small glimpses of "Brand New Eyes" too. Sadly, the punk rock Paramore sound is no longer alive though. Fans are still going to like this new album, but just skip 'No Friend' as that song is redundant...

Verdict: 3.5/5

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