Paramore makes a statement and their This Is Why album — no exception. With Hayley Williams as lead vocalist, Paramore’s 2023 album has 10 groovy, yet hard-hitting tracks… so get out your dancing shoes and let’s dive into each extraordinary song.
The title track comes first on the LP — the first single after a 5-year hiatus! “This Is Why” diverts the listener with a funky bass line (an entity I love absolutely about this track), while roaring ‘hey everybody, Paramore is still here!’. If you are a fan of Paramore’s song “Still Into You”, you will unequivocally dig this title track and already be hooked for the rest of the album.
Then comes “The News”; lyrically, this track juxtaposes being aware of the deplorable state of the world, while commenting safe behind our computer screens. As humans, we are in a constant battle for awareness, responsibility — not to mention maintaining our mental health. Williams does an excellent job of using music to reflect on these battles. “The News” lyrics make you think: we spend a lot of our day consuming information and a lot of that information comes from news networks on television. Lyrics like “every second, our collective heart breaks // all together, every single head shakes // shut your eyes, but it won’t go away // turn on, turn off the news”… maybe it’s time to disconnect. Allow me to say the same thing I said awhile back in my single review of this song: turning off the news does not remove the devastation of war-torn nations, but it does allow us a reprieve from it for the sake of self-care. But, should we embrace this reprieve when others may not be allowed that luxury?
Paramore brings up an important point in a world that has impacted the majority of us in such an exhausting manner.
Next up is “Running Out Of Time” — another big bass track. I enjoy listening to how it starts out slow and before the bass quickens. This song has Paramore’s self-titled album vibes. Many people will be able to relate to this song because, if you’ve ever been late to anything or you must get somewhere fast, running out of time is never a good thing. Our time is not infinite, so will you be on time or will you be late?
The third and final single released before the album is “C’est Comme Ça” or, in English, “that’s just the way it is”. I love the bass guitar distinctiveness; Taylor York did a phenomenal job! Hayley Williams and drummer Zac Farro sound like they are having a lot of fun in this one which is something I’ve always admired about this band: no matter what song you listen to by Paramore, it seems the members are having the time of their lives creating and inventing.
“Big Man, Little Dignity” is posited next — my favorite of the whole album — with lyrics like, “Don’t mean to stare at you from across the room // It’s like I’m glued to the sheer sight of you // And you’re so smooth, it’s pitiful // Know you could get away with anything // So, that’s exactly what you do.” Unfortunately, so many of us can relate to these words! It seems like Hayley is going after a previous lover here and, if so, I wouldn’t want to be the guy this is written about.
One lyric of “You First”, the next song, really paints a picture: “living well is not my kind of revenge // you should take it from me.” I guess there’s no winning in the game of love and war. I love the bass guitar on this one, too, as it fits with the theme and I could see this song translating very well live. Before you know it, Paramore slows things down with “Figure 8”, with the beginning of the song sounding like you’ve been put on hold. The opening lyrics are dark; nothing unexpected with Paramore… Take a listen to “Emergency” on the band’s debut album and you’ll know what I mean. “Figure 8” builds into a nice change of style for the band with the ballad “Liar”.
Hayley sounds vulnerable… you can hear it in her voice.
Nearing the end of the album, “Crave” centers around special moments with someone you care about. Hayley pours her heart and soul out on this track, screaming of courage and self-reflection. Last, “Thick Skull” comments on how everyone (and everything!) is so sensitive these days. We are living in a world of ‘Cancel Culture’, where a person can lose everything they have worked for with one wrong comment on social media. People have such thin skins nowadays and we must learn to not be so offended by every little thing!
Keep on shining, Paramore!
Purchase or stream ‘This Is Why’ album:
- This Is Why
- The News
- Running Out Of Time
- C;est Comme Ça
- Big Man, Little Dignity
- You First
- Figure 8
- Thick Skull
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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.