Paramore's Better Brand of Modern Rock

Sep. 28, 2009
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A guilty pleasure that grows less guilty and more pleasurable with each album, Paramore packs all the thrills of their male-fronted emo-rock peers, but leaves behind none of the slimy residue. The group’s latest, Brand New Eyes, out today, is their tightest and fiercest yet, a Trojan horse of a record with seemingly lightweight punk songs that disguise a whole lot of brute force. Most of the firepower comes from singer Hayley Williams, whose girlish shouts have evolved into a confident roar. She towers over these songs, covering them with expectorate.

Brand New Eyes gets better as it progresses, as its early by-the-numbers “Misery Business” rehashes give way to more adventurous punk and sneered ballads, the best of which, “All I Wanted,” closes the album with Williams’ thunderous, banshee wail. If that track is given the single treatment, it will be one of the most awesome buzz ballads to grace modern-rock radio this decade, but it’s got a lot of competition. There’s no shortage of potential singles for Paramore to choose from on this one.

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