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Paramore albumReleased: 2013

The departure of two members is never going to be easy on any band’s future, and many have doubted that Paramore would survive this blow. Despite this, Hayley, Taylor and Jeremy are back, and they are definitely fighting.

With Paramore’s turbulent past, it’s a surprise that they’ve written another album at all. In 2010, brothers Zac and Josh Farro left the band with a bang: Josh posted a blog revealing that the band was “all about Hayley” and that the rest of the band were treated as “less important than Hayley”. He also claimed that the band were a “manufactured product of a major label” whilst he was at it. Ouch!

Nevertheless, feisty front-woman Hayley wasn’t going down without putting up a bloody good fight. The Tennessee trio’s eponymous comeback album clearly demonstrates that they have the ability to combat their problems as a band to carry on producing great music.

Paramore is in some ways innovative and in others continuous of their usual pop-infused rock. For the first time, they have divided their album into three chapters and have included interlude tracks, Moving On, Holiday, and I’m Not Angry Anymore, all of which involve Hayley singing along to a ukulele, a unique twist on their established sound. The interlude tracks may sound balmy and flowery, but they are among some of the most lyrically biting tracks on the album; some of the pithy, cutting lyrics appear to be directed at Zac and Josh.

Summery, catchy anthems like Still into You, Be Alone and Fast in my Car reinforce the band’s adaptability and show that they can still produce music which will be accepted and enjoyed by a mainstream audience. True to their pop-punk roots, Paramore also provide a plethora of sturdy rock songs in which their mature side is put on display. Part Two delivers a melancholy, haunting sound, and Future, the concluding track, includes a stormy five-minute-long instrumental, which encapsulates all of the band’s recent struggles but yet manages to end on a positive high.

It may look like the band is still all about Hayley, but it is evident that their journey is not over just yet.

★★★★★

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