Paramore – Paramore

PARAMORE PARAMORE.jpg

Paramore’s 2013 self-titled release is a fantastic pop punk album with new wave influences, but it is bloated. With seventeen tracks in 63 minutes (not including two bonus tracks), there’s bound to be filler. It happens; no matter how good an artist is, it’s hard to keep the spell going on a long album. The half-hour format is still king in pop music. So, here’s Paramore abbreviated to twelve tracks – the average track number for contemporary albums1 – including two of the interludes.

1. Daydreaming – (4:30)
2. Grow Up – (3:50)
3. Interlude: Moving On – (1:30)
4. Ain’t It Fun – (4:56)
5. Still into You – (3:35)
6. Last Hope – (5:09)
7. Proof – (3:15)
8. Native Tongue – (3:12)
9. Anklebiters – (2:17)
10. Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore – (0:52)
11. Part II – (4:40)
12. Future – (7:52)

Tracks “Fast In My Car,” “Now,” “Interlude: Holiday,” “Hate To See Your Heart Break,” “(One Of Those) Crazy Girls,” and “Be Alone” were deleted for the track listing. Added in was bonus track Native Tongue, which is only available through the limited/deluxe editions.

Paramore thematically focuses on relationships; be they professional, romantic, or platonic; or be they between the future and the past. The revised tracklisting demonstrates that by suggesting the two forward-looking tracks be in the very beginning: the anthemic “Daydreaming” sets the tone, followed by “Grow Up.” Either track heavily feature the electronic/new wave backing that hints at the future/past dichotomy.

The middle part of the album features the various takes that Haley Williams presents on relationships, flowing from intrapersonal to the interpersonal. The ebullient singles “Ain’t It Fun” and “Still into You” are back-to-back, which makes the introspective “Last Hope” all the more poignant. “Proof” brings it back up – much in the way that “Still into You” does on the original tracklisting. Following is bonus track “Native Tongue,” which transitions from romance to the biting commentary on Paramore’s relationship with previous members Josh and Zac Ferro. “Anklebiters” ends this segment, whose directness contrasts with the firmly tongue-in-cheek second interlude.

The final two tracks are the most experimental of the the album, so they do well to follow each other. They bookend the album along with “Daydreaming” and “Grow Up” by looking at the future, except in a far more literal sense. They’re also a bit darker; “Part II” broke the flow of the original tracklisting by being sandwiched between “Ain’t It Fun” and “Last Hope.” Its new placement appropriately demonstrates Paramore’s weary exit from their youth into the tribulations of adulthood through its placement at the end of the album.

“Fast In My Car” and “Now” were deleted because they simply aren’t as fun as “Daydreaming” and “Grow Up.” “Interlude: Holiday” is the weakest of the three interludes, and was rendered irrelevant because “Proof” was moved further down and the other two songs in its section of the album were removed. “Hate to See Your Heart Break” and “(One Of Those) Crazy Girls” are just a little too stereotypically girl-in-love,2 and they express their loving emotion much less effectively than “Still into You.” Plus, “(One Of Those) Crazy Girls” borderlines girl-on-girl hate with its chorus, even if it’s partially redeemed by the end of the track. “Be Alone” is fine on its own, but it has the same message as “Proof.” Finally, the second bonus track “Escape Route” is great, but I personally prefer “Native Tongue.”3

If you don’t particularly care for the interludes, then you’ve still got a solid ten-track album leftover for listening. This cuts down five songs – six if you include the bonus track – and shaves eighteen minutes off the main release, including the addition of a bonus track.

Here’s the original tracklisting, with stars:

1. Fast in My Car – (3:42) – ★★☆☆☆
2. Now – (4:07) – ★★☆☆☆
3. Grow Up – (3:50) – ★★★★☆
4. Daydreaming – (4:30) – ★★★★★
5. Interlude: Moving On – (1:30) – ★★★★★
6. Ain’t It Fun – (4:56) – ★★★★★
7. Part II – (4:40) – ★★★★☆
8. Last Hope – (5:09) – ★★★★★
9. Still into You – (3:35) – ★★★★★
10. Anklebiters – (2:17) – ★★★★★
11. Interlude: Holiday – (1:09) – ★★☆☆☆
12. Proof – (3:15) – ★★★★☆
13. Hate to See Your Heart Break – (5:09) – ★☆☆☆☆
14. (One of Those) Crazy Girls – (3:32) – ★☆☆☆☆
15. Interlude: I’m not Angry Anymore – (0:52) – ★★★★★
16. Be Alone – (3:39) – ★★★☆☆
17. Future – (7:52) – ★★★★☆
18. Native Tongue [Bonus Track] – (3:12) – ★★★★☆
19. Escape Route [Bonus Track] – (2:57) – ★★★★☆

Overall [original]: ★★★½☆
Overall [revamped]: ★★★★½

[UPDATE 21 September 2015: Changed the overall rating from three stars to three-and-a-half stars.]

1I don’t really have a citation for this. It’s just a number I came up with looking at my discography and spending some time on Yahoo Answers. But it sounds right, so just go with it.
2The latter is arguably sexist, but that’s another conversation.
3Either track works, honestly.

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