Ah, Paramore. I have to come clean. If I remember correctly I gave their breakout album Riot! a “C.” Well, over the past year, Riot has probably gotten more more spins on my iPod than anything else. According to iTunes I’ve listened to “That’s What You Get” 38 times just sitting at my desktop. The point is that Riot! isn’t a perfect album, but it has awesome songs and showed the potential of the Franklin, TN band. The band has really grown on me and I’m not ashamed to now call myself a fan. (But I was totally right about those break-up rumors!) With the release of the much-hyped brand new eyes, Paramore and their star-bound singer Hayley Williams aim for world domination.
After a couple listens, it’s clear that brand new eyes is a solid album. The songs are strong with “Ignorance,” “Brick by Boring Brick,” and “Where the Lines Overlap” all being stand-outs. “Playing God” probably has the catchiest chorus on the record whereas “Misguided Ghosts” shows the band’s softer acoustic side. The majority of the lyrical content revolves around the band’s inner turmoil and No Doubt-like ‘singer gets all of the attention’ struggles that they faced, and ultimately conquered. Regardless of what Hayley is singing about, her vocals and melodies are powerful and confident.
There’s really nothing not to like about brand new eyes–I could easily listen to the album front to back. “The Only Exception,” Haley’s first attempt at a love song comes up a little short but I can let it slide since it’s about my man Chad Gilbert. The only problem is that I really don’t hear a huge pop-crossover hit on the album. “Misery Business” got their name on the map and “Decode” made them huge with vampires, but it’s hard believe these new songs will propel them to the mainstream super stardom that seems predestined for the band. The songs also start to blend together during the second half, with the band falling back on familiar tempos, strumming patterns and beats. Paramore sound seasoned and and tight, but do nothing to prove they’re more than a pop-punk powerhouse. Brand new eyes will be loved by their core fans and maybe even a few others outside of the AbsolutePunk world. It really depends how far Hayley wants to take them.