In case you didn’t know, Paramore released their fifth studio album, After Laughter on May 12th. That just so happened to be the day after my birthday so I count this album as a gift from Paramore to me.
I’ve been a Paramore fan since 2007 when they released “Misery Business” from their second album Riot!. I was the black sheep in my family because I was the only person who liked rock music. The first rock song that caught my attention was “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence in 2004. I was hooked since then.
Evanescence wasn’t making much music after 2006, Paramore quickly came in to fill the void. Since then. they’ve been my all-time favorite band/music artists. Like if you ask me who my favorite band is, the answer is Paramore every time.
I just want to emphasize how important this album was for me. Needless to say, I was excited to listen to it. I decided to save listening to it for hubby and my drive to Atlanta to visit the Georgia Aquarium for my birthday, which is about 45-minutes. Perfect for listening to an album.
Now, I had heard both singles, Hard Times and Told Me So that they released prior to the album drop. I initially liked both. When I first listened to Hard Times, I was dancing around the house – mostly out of excitement. While I did like the two songs, I was expecting more guitar riffs and drum solos, a la basically all of the tracks on Riot!.
That’s not what I got with After Laughter. Instead I was presented with a 1980s new wave and synth-pop sound. I was so disappointed – I wanted red-headed. whooooaaaaooo Hayley Williams back!
I didn’t listen to the album for about a week after my first play through. One day when I was cleaning, I put on headphones and gave the album another shot. This time I had a better chance to listen to the lyrics and the intricacies in Hayley’s voice.
And, well, now it’s my second favorite Paramore album.
I thought I wanted 2007 Paramore, but then I realized that I’m not 2007 Ariel. The band has grown and changed even since their last self-titled album that was released in 2013. And so have I.
After my second full play through, I remembered that Paramore isn’t my favorite band because of the sick guitar riffs. The message of their songs always spoke to me on a deeper level. For instance, I listened to “For a Pessimist I’m Pretty Optimistic” every morning on my commute to college. I don’t know why, but it got my pumped for class. Like, yo, I can do this. Even though it’s hard, I’m not going to give up. “Misguided Ghosts” accompanied me in my place of solitude when I was having second thoughts about my relationship. After college, “Ain’t It Fun” was the anthem when I was really starting to feel like an adult, and it wasn’t always fun.
The members of Paramore are millennials like me, and they write the majority of their songs, so it’s authentic to the struggle. After Laughter is no different. This album touches on themes of depression and anxiety, but it’s masked behind upbeat tempos so that it doesn’t depress you further. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but the track that spoke to me first was “Rose-Colored Boy”.
Rose-Colored Boy on Spotify
Hayley is so creative with her voice in this song that it gives me chills. But deeper than that, I relate to this track because although I don’t struggle with depression, sometimes you can’t look on the brightside. Sometimes you’re a half-empty girl. Sometimes you just want to cry in the car. And that’s okay.
I’m so glad that I gave After Laughter a second chance. It’s so down to earth and relatable, and it’s exposed to a new genre. I love 2007 Paramore, but I needed 2017 Paramore more.