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.
Paramore packs itself tightly with emotional highs and lows, so it makes sense that its final track would start off as something of a breather, with Hayley Williams' declarations of "riding the future" barely uttered over a dorm-room guitar strum. Eventually, the music blossoms, Williams' wordless utterances accompanying the simple riffs; those then gnarl and grow, getting deeper and more rounded-out as drums and a feedback-heavy guitar solo crash in to take center stage. The increased depth and complication of the closing drone, which even has a false ending before it closes out triumphantly, echoes the album's emotional roller coastert. Paramore is at its heart a pop album, but the way the band can veer back and forth between frothy, upbeat love songs, crisp funk-pop and dense, bottomless rock is one of its most compelling attributes. "Future" hints at the idea that this band left a lot of ideas off the record, and it makes the prospect of Paramore extending its discography into space all the more exciting.
Popdust Says: 4.5/5