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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Opinion Blog: Paramore "Hard Times"

Paramore have been teasing new material for quite some time now.  Evidence that they were in the studio recording their new album, then dubbed "5-more", started appearing in December 2016, and the hype for the follow-up to their massive self titled album has kept growing ever since. Last week, a mysterious pastel pink to purple gradient appeared on all of the bands social media pages, sending fans into overdrive at the thought of an imminent announcement. Not only did the new album, "After Laughter", have it's artwork revealed over a series of pictures, but Paramore also debuted the video for the lead single, "Hard Times", and it's.... well, it's a lot different to the Paramore that we're used to. Gone is the emo-tinged pop punk of yesteryear, today's Paramore is seemingly synth lead, 80's infused pop surrounded by a plethora of bright colours



I don't own either of these artworks... obviously.


And you know what, I love it.

What people have to try and remember is that Paramore were very, very young when they first appeared on the international music scene back in 2005. Hayley Williams and Zac Farro were 16  and 15 respectively when their debut album All We Know Is Falling dropped. Being in the spotlight doesn't mean that you don't grow and mature as a person, and any musician who writes their own music is bound to change their sound as they and their influences change. 

The song itself is very well put together, Hayley's voice is as sincere as ever, she means what she sings. I particularly enjoy the contrast between music and lyrics, the instruments create an upbeat vibe whilst the lyrics describe the anxiety of going through... erm... hard times. 

The visuals in the video seem to match the 80's influence of the song perfectly, with bright colours and patterns that I'm pretty sure I've seen on the intro to Saved By The Bell. The band appear to be having a lot of fun, which is in itself a sign that they've taken things in the right direction - what's the point in doing it if it stops being fun?

I also don't own this music video....
It seems strange seeing Ms. Williams without her trademark orange hair, although she has explained in interviews her decision to go straight up blonde (I can't find a direct quote right now but she more or less says it's to do with starting afresh). In this video at least, I feel like she's giving me Debbie Harry feels - which certainly ain't no bad thing - but at the same time she is still definitely, 100% unashamedly Hayley Williams. 

Will I like this album more than the self-titled album, which stands as my current favourite Paramore album? I would guess not, but based off of this track, I think it's more than likely that After Laughter will be the soundtrack to my Summer.

What do you guys think? If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to and watch the video for Hard Times here.

Stacey Rose xx

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