This week, Paramore’s self-titled fourth album comes out, and Popdust is here to help you sort through its 17 tracks. Hayley Williams and her bandmates try on a bunch of new styles, from new wave to pop-funk—and Williams even busts out the uke for a couple of confessional interludes. How is it? Quite good, as a matter of fact—their new pop bent suits Williams’ spitfire nature perfectly, and even the record’s sadder moments sing. Read our take on each track below.
Paramore’s first album came out when Hayley Williams was a wee 15-year-old, so you could say that she’s done a fair amount of growing up in the spotlight. Yet there’s always more to do, and the tension on the funk-influenced “Ain’t It Fun” comes from Williams sounding like she’s actually taunting herself (using the classic “nyah-nyah” school-playground melody, even!) for not operating in the real world, where ponds always have bigger fish and people have to rely on themselves. When the gospel choir (complete with brassy soloist!) comes in to instruct the song’s target to not “go crying to your mama,” the frustrations gloriously burst, with the singers showing Williams how life’s stumbling blocks, one day, will be worthy of celebration.
Popdust Says: 5/5