Paramore Show Their Staying Power With "This Is Why"
With their sixth studio album This Is Why, Paramore have solidified themselves as a pop-punk generation-defining band. In a time where musicians come and go, lose creative direction, and have fans outgrow certain music, Paramore seems to have the cheat sheet on how to keep audiences captivated over their 20-year career.
Starting in the early 2000s, Paramore came onto the scene with many other well-known pop-punk bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and All Time Low.
They found themselves one of the only major bands of this genre and era that had a woman fronting the band, potentially one of the reasons that set them apart in addition to their sonic and lyrical abilities. Standout Singer-songwriter Haley Williams' precise, awe-inspiring vocals coupled with boisterous percussion and thumping bass lines made people pay attention.
As the first decade of the 2000s came to a close, Paramore’s album Brand New Eyes milked the last drops of early 2000 pop-punk sound and left it all on the table. This album was their last full album until 2013, leaving the artists the opportunities to do their own things creatively as well as leaving fans anxious for Paramore’s return.
With the new decade came a new sound for many of the pop-punk bands that found themselves beloved by angsty youth everywhere. However, sometimes these new auditory adventures found these once-great bands slipping into second-rate projects. Most notably, this is seen with Panic! at the Disco as members came and went and the band’s original sound and lineup changed drastically.
Paramore’s second full-length LP since their return in 2013, This is Why clocks a 36-minute runtime with 10 sonically diverse tracks. The second song, “The News” is reminiscent of their origins with the perspective of someone who has a little more life story to tell. The steady, passionate, and percussive rhythm section keeps this piece tight and succinct. French titled “C’est comme ça” showcases angry spoken-word poetry verses and biting refrain, making anger and frustration tangible. Closing out the collection of anthems, “Liar” finds the trio’s soft side with idyllic finger-plucking guitars that complements the rest of the upbeat songs of the album without dragging it down.
The band’s latest installment solidifies their already historical reputation with an album that builds on itself, starting hot and heavy and ending on a momentous power ballad. The unique sounds of the album don’t take away from its cohesion, a difficult feat for some to achieve.
This is Why is a perfect example to other pop-punk bands of the early 2000s that despite band disagreements and a need to evolve as artists, a new sound can be achieved while still paying homage to your roots. Panic! at the Disco came to an untimely ending. Fall Out Boy announced another album, hopefully returning to a more typical Fall Out Boy sound. In comparison to other early 2000 pop-punk bands who have strayed from notable projects, Paramore still shines like the beacon it is, a reminder that some things do age better with time. As the genre continues to grow and change, Paramore will still be sitting at the head of the table, leading the others that follow into the next 20 years.