Paramore’s Brand New Eyes is nothing new

200px-Brand_New_Eyes_coverFrontwoman Hayley Williams first played the Warped Tour at age 16.  That in itself is impressive.  To look at what has transpired since – three albums, supporting No Doubt on tour, and recording one of the biggest film soundtrack songs of  2008 in Twilight’s ‘Decode’ –  is equally impressive.  So it was with Brand New Eyes, the band’s third LP, that I expected to be blown away.  Especially with all the pre-release talk of the album focusing on the bands ‘amost break-up’  and moving in a more mature direction. 

The opening track, ‘Careful’, and the following singles, ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Playing God’ are great songs.  They sound like Paramore but have an air of depth and layer that their first album, All we Know is Falling, lacked.  The rest of the tracks, however, sound like they are straight off the band’s inital record.  Where the group’s second album, the MTV friendly Riot!, grew the band’s pop-punk roots into a mainstream yet smart sound that appealed to music critics and the Hot Topic crowd the world over, Brand New Eyes fails to move the band in any new direction.  With the exception of a few tracks, it almost falls backwards.

Sure the lyrics hint of the turmoil the band faced during their new found success, but a little research uncovers that the band has had it’s fair share of quarrels and break-ups since it’s inception.  While the album has grown on me a little after a few listens, it failed to catch me from the start like most good records do.  Perhaps I’m in a league of my own here though.  Most critics are applauding the group’s latest effort.  In fact, webzine Drowned in Sound says the exact opposite of how I feel:

” [..] This is a realization, and an affirmation, of Paramore’s musical craftmanship and potential longevity.  They have allowed themselves to grow and still  retain the innocence and optimism that makes them so irrisistable.”

I’m not arguing that Williams and Co. aren’t talented and that there is no musical craftmanship here.  I’m not arguing that they don’t possess longevity.  I was simply expecting so much more after what they’ve proven they can already do.


One Response to “Paramore’s Brand New Eyes is nothing new”

  1. there is nothing new about paramore’s latest cd. i just started listening to it today and i found that “playing god” sounds a lot like “empty” by metric. AND “the only exception” sounds like “still” by ben folds. what up with that?

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