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.
This jaunty kiss-off about leaving the past behind also represents a musical flowering for Paramore; its verses have a Caribbean-influenced snap to their step, while its chorus is a sugar-rush of ascending notes, making Williams sound like she’s not just growing up but actually getting taller as she asserts her independence. No Doubt is the first band to come to mind, thanks to the skanking beat, but Williams makes this track her own, switching back and forth between breathy vulnerability and fed-up irritation easily. Pay attention to the second verse: The flourish of strings (arranged by pop guru Roger Joseph Manning Jr.) that accompanies her begging someone to admit they don’t care is the powerpop equivalent of a finger in the face, a thrilling moment on a record full of high points.
Popdust Says: 4.5/5