Paramore: Hayley Williams Does Her Best Gwenn Stefani Impression

One fortunate thing about Spotify is never having to pay to hear a song for the first time.  You know, if Spotify has it (it still think that Taylor Swift’s latest album is Speak Now).  Very occassionally, something will pop up on the new music section before you even knew it existed.  This happened to me this weekend, when I randomly checked spotify and the new section directed me to a new track from Paramore titled “Now”.

Before I judge this record, let me give a brief history of my involvement with Paramore.  I began listening to them first in 2008 or so.  This was after their first two albums where out, but just before Brand New Eyes.  I genuinely like the band.  My favorite songs are “Emergency”, “Misery Business”, and damn near everything on Brand New Eyes.

Through a complete random set of circumstances, I had the pleasure to see Paramore perform on the VH1 Divas Support the Troops concert in November 2010.  A few weeks later, half the band split, leaving Hayley Wlliams basically a solo act/ regrouping.  Since then the band had released a couple of singles/ compilation offerings, but has not yet released a follow up album on the heels of Brand New Day and the split.

Now “Now” comes out in 2013, and the obvious questions are in some order:
1. Does this mean a new full length album is to follow?
2. Does the band still have “it”?
3. Is it any damn good?

To answer those questions, I give you a resounding no clue, outlook seems positive, and yes.  Whether this is an opening salvo for a full on Paramore assault this coming year, the single itself is solid.  Its fast, as heavy as you expect or want a Paramore track to be, with Hayley Williams doing her thing across the guitar driven rock song.

I’d say this feels a bit more pop than the Paramore of old, but they were always pop.  It does, however, have the feel of Gwen Stefani on her first solo album– and when you think about it, Ms. Williams has basically reconstructed the band without its co-founders, leaving it essentially her solo project– she didn’t have to leave No Doubt and step out on her own because the band did the stepping out for her.

The lyrics here are in similar vein to much of Paramore’s lyrics– overdramatic, emo fueled, but catchy.  The guitar is solid if not as instantly recognizable as say, the opening riff of “Emergency” or “Brick By Boring Brick”, though the tone feels off a bit.

Overall, I rate the intitial single a success and truely do look forward to an album of new material from Paramore this year.

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