Plotting the Path of Paramore

Karthik Stead, Staff Writer

   Over their legendary eighteen-year career, Paramore’s sound has evolved dramatically. Their new album “This is Why” is a culmination of over a decade of music and style, starting with their debut release: “All We Know is Falling”. Releasing on July 26, 2005, “All We Know” received generally positive reviews, peaking at #30 on the Billboard heatseekers charts. The album is classified under the pop-punk genre, and is generally considered not as strong as the band’s later releases.  

   About 2 years after the release of their debut album, Paramore released their second studio album “Riot!”. Riot released to rave reviews, selling 42,000 copies in its first week in the United States and with the song “Misery Business” being certified quadruple platinum. “Riot!” remains Paramore’s highest-selling album to date. The album is classified as Pop Punk/Alternative Rock, marking the first shift in the band’s sound. 

   Coming off of the success of “Riot!” (and the release of a live version of “Riot!” titled “The Final Riot!”), The band released their third studio album “Brand New Eyes”. “Brand New Eyes” leaned into the Alternative Rock themes first introduced in “Riot!” with slower, more dramatic songs such as the incredibly popular “All I Wanted”. The album released in 2009 to fantastic reception, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and selling 175,000 copies within its first week. 

   Just 4 years later, on April 5, 2013, Paramore released their self-titled album “Paramore”. The album is classified as Power Punk/Pop Rock, a shift from their previous work. The album released to stellar reviews, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the band’s first album to do so. This album is home to many iconic singles such as “Still Into You” and “Ain’t it Fun” both of which have received widespread acclaim and have been both certified double-platinum. This album also received a deluxe version adding 2 new songs “Escape Route” and “Native Tongue”. 

   4 years after the massive success of “Paramore,” the band released their most controversial album to date, “After Laughter”. “After Laughter” is classified as a New Wave/Alternative Dance album, a dramatic shift from anything the band has done previously. The album released on May 12, 2017 to generally positive reviews, ending up at number 6 on the billboard 200. The album’s bold new direction was praised by some critics, but others saw it as too dramatic of a shift for a band known for their punk anthems. 

   Finally, we arrive in 2023, with the band’s newest release, “This is Why” which combines the pop-like rhythms of “After Laughter” and the punk motifs the band is known for making for a bold new sound heard in the singles “This is Why”, “The News”, and “C’est Comme Ça”. The album released today, February 10th to generally positive reviews. The album contains fast, rhythmic riffs from guitarist Taylor York, bringing an energetic return from the Band’s 5 and a half year hiatus. The album also makes use of lead singer Hayley Williams’ iconic scream vocals in the song “Figure 8”. Musically, the album takes elements from almost every single one of the band’s previous releases and elevates them to new heights.