AUDIO: Paramore – “After Laughter”

If you’re looking to relive some teenage angst with the release of Paramore’s new album, “After Laughter”, then it’s probably not the record for you to do so. However, at this very point in the band’s career, this is the album that they should be making. When you look at it on paper, the shift from pop punk to somewhere blending indie and conventional pop is exactly where Paramore should be. While the band still attracts obsessive younger fans that view vocalist Hayley Williams as a cool, older sister, many of these fans may have only been a few years old by the time the band’s debut, “All We Know Is Falling” was released in 2005. That being said, if you were a teenage fan at that point in time, you likely have matured musically, and so has the band. We saw a big shift in sound on the band’s 2013 self-titled album, partially thanks to the loss of the Farro brothers, and four years later, we see another evolution for Paramore with the re-joining of drummer Zac Farro, as well.

All is not lost for fans of the early Paramore though. While the sound may invoke 80’s pop and a little bit of funk, “After Laughter” lyrically is an emo record, complete with deprecating lyrics, such as Williams singing “I don’t need no one else / I can sabotage me by myself” on “Caught In The Middle”. Williams and Taylor York can also still turn out a dramatic ballad on command, evidenced by the string-assisted track “26”. There are elements of other Paramore records in “After Laughter”, you just might have to search a little harder to find them, though.

Overall, when you look at “After Laughter” as a whole, Paramore doesn’t disappoint. There’s plenty of catchy pop choruses rooted somewhere in the pop punk jams that littered your first iPod, but also the maturity and tone that could land the album on your saved Spotify streams with no shame. The band continues to grow and evolve, as do their fans, and thankfully for both, they’re progressing at the same speed without lacking any quality. Check out the album below:

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