Paramore Paramore: Deluxe Edition on Limited Edition 2LP + 7" + CD
Featuring the Original Grammy-Winning 2013 Album on 2LP & CD Plus Bonus 7"
When Hayley Williams began writing lyrics for the songs that appear on Paramore's self-titled album, she found herself feeling more optimistic than ever before about the future of the band she has fronted since she was 15. "I had this kind of Tony-in-West-Side-Story-moment when he sings about how something is coming. He doesn't know what it is, but it's going to be great, " she says. "A lot of the new songs came out of that. They're about needing to find whatever's next." Lead-off single "Now" - with lyrics like "if there's a future, we want it now" - sets the urgent tone of Paramore, the Nashville, TN-bred band's fourth album. Given the choice of packing it in or reinventing themselves as a trio, Williams, guitarist Taylor York, and bassist Jeremy Davis chose the latter and made a positive, uplifting album that reflects who they are in the present.
The band members holed up to write over a year and a half and emerged with a collection of songs that retained Paramore's youthful spirit, but clearly show their evolution. It's the most musically adventurous set they've released to date. Which isn't to say the album won't thrill longtime fans. Still present is a ferocious, churning energy (a hallmark of Paramore's sound) on "Now," "Fast In My Car," "Proof," "Anklebiters," and "Be Alone." But the album should also earn Paramore new listeners, thanks to the trio's willingness to explore uncharted sonic territory, like the funky, high-stepping "Ain't It Fun" (featuring soulful vocals from Williams, slap-bass from Davis, and the soaring sound of a gospel choir), the doo wop-inflected "(One of Those) Crazy Girls," and the lilting, string-filled "Hate To See Your Heart Break."
All three band members agree that the album‘s producer, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, encouraged them to follow through on the chancier ideas that came up in the studio and not cut them off at the pass because they didn't sound like traditional Paramore. Meldal-Johnsen is a former musical director for Beck and Gnarls Barkley, who also played bass with Beck and Nine Inch Nails, and produced M83's Grammy-nominated Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. "JMJ really found the heart in our new songs," York says. "He didn't want to change them, he just wanted to bring more life into them. He knows how to support other people's music and I really respect that about him." Adds Davis: "He really helped us be as creative possible and paint the exact picture we wanted."
Lyrically, Williams found herself inspired by being on her own for the first time after moving to Los Angeles to record the album ("Be Alone," "Ain't It Fun") and the effect it has on her loved ones ("Still Into You"). Then there's "Last Hope," which Williams considers a song the band was always meant to write. "There were moments over the last year and a half that I really was just hanging by a thread," she says.