This Is Why

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. "This Is Why"
02. "The News"
03. "Running Out of Time"
04. "C'est Comme Ça"
05. "Big Man, Little Dignity"
06. "You First"
07. "Figure 8"
08. "Liar"
09. "Crave"
10. "Thick Skull"

Six years have passed since PARAMORE released their last album, 2017's "After Laughter", but so much has changed in that time. The Nashville punk-pop band's latest album, "This is Why", is a snapshot of today and what the world has experienced over the past three or so crazy years.

PARAMORE rose to become one of the most celebrated bands in the alternative and emo scene in the mid-2000s, but they're far from that genre today. As apparent on their new album, PARAMORE are no longer simply emo darlings, instead opting for an eclectic sound that appeases pop fans and still leaves some room for experimentation.

"This Is Why" sets off with the album's title track, an ode to the craziness of being alive during the pandemic and having survived the past few years. The song also expresses vocalist Hayley Williams's frustration with, well, people, as she wonders how something like a global pandemic couldn't push humans to be kinder or more understanding of each other. Musically, the track features a funk-pop vibe, which one could compare to the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS or even 311, as Williams sings in chunky bits in front of funky bass lines and grooves.

"The News" follows, bringing one of the strongest songs on the set. The track features a relatable storyline about all the negativity on the news and Williams feeling helpless to change anything. In the sonics, the mix highlights Williams's clear, smooth pop vocals.
"The News" is simply a catchy song and one that fits on the radio alongside previous PARAMORE chart-toppers, such as "Misery Business" and "Decode". That said, the song most closely recalls the straight-ahead alternative rock sound from which PARAMORE was built. For " classic fans looking for their true PARAMORE fix, "The News" is it.

"Running Out of Time" follows, begging the question, what's the rush? On the surface, it's a song about how Williams is supposedly late for everything. Musically, it resembles the dance-rock that PARAMORE delivered on "After Laughter".

From 2005's "All We Know Is Falling" to 2023's "This Is Why", PARAMORE's sound has hugely evolved, starting with strict alt-rock and morphing into pop-punk, power pop, emo and beyond. While some fans may miss the "Riot"-era PARAMORE, there's something to be respected about a band that's hungry for change and growth. For that, PARAMORE may be considered one of the more adventurous bands of their time.

Author: Anne Erickson
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