ALBUM: Paramore – Brand New Eyes

Release Date: September 21st, 2009
Label: Fueled By Ramen


Pop-punkers Paramore have truly outdone themselves on album number three. The aptly titled ‘Brand New Eyes’ focuses on the band overcoming the struggles that caused them to cancel a European tour – broken down friendships and the inability to confront eachother appears to be the root of it all. The follow-up to 2007’s platinum album, ‘RIOT!’, is one of the most honest and heartfelt records I’ve heard in a while. Hayley Williams and co. have given an insight into what life was like for them.

Opening track ‘Careful’ sets the scene. Williams sings “I had it all but not what I wanted / ’cause hope for me was a place uncharted”; it’s plain obvious that Paramore have grown up, there’s a new found maturity to the music – everything sounds a little less cheesy and is much more likely to appeal to people who aren’t in their teen years. Debut single ‘Ignorance’ is likely to be considered “the new ‘Misery Business’“; the catchy as hell hooks and unforgettable chorus of “Ignorance is your new best friend” is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for weeks. Although the track is fast-paced and fun, the lyrics actually reveal how Hayley felt towards her fellow bandmates “You treat me just like another stranger”. Paramore have always had that ability to write songs that are memorable and insanely popular, and tracks ‘Brick By Boring Brick’ and ‘Feeling Sorry’ are just more perfect examples of this.

As the title suggests, ‘Looking Up’ is one of the more positive songs on the record. The band reminisce on how much they have achieved and emphasise that they are truly grateful for everything they have: “Honestly can you believe we crossed the world while it’s asleep? / I’d never trade it in, ’cause I’ve always wanted this”. The real shock of the album is ‘Misguided Ghosts’, the acoustic driven song is worlds apart from the band’s stereotypical sound. Also acting as a showcase of Williams‘ amazing vocals but more significantly delves into a side of the quintet the world is far less familiar with – guitarists Josh Farro and Taylor York complement each other with different picked progressions and produce an indie-folk sort of feel. Definitely proof that Paramore are trying to push the boundaries of their sound and is perhaps just a taster of what’s to come.

‘The Only Exception’ is another unforeseen gem of the record, dedicated to Williams‘ boyfriend (Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory) we learn how the flame-haired singer never believed in love until now; “I had sworn to myself that I’m content with loneliness / Because none of it was ever worth the risk / But you are the only exception”.

‘Brand New Eyes’ is extremely personal and upon listening to the album you feel as though you’ve gotten to know Paramore a lot better. The band are maturing and we’re able to experience this progression with them. Many people had their doubts that the pop-punk quintet could create a record that was better than ‘RIOT!’, but as per usual Paramore have stepped it up and proved to everyone that they are here to stay.

Written by Kate Rees