The fifth album from American ‘rock’ band Paramore, their first since 2013, After Laughter is out now via Fueled By Ramen.
Paramore were always skirting the line between rock & pop closely but with After Laughter they look to have decided that pop is the way to go.
The first few songs Hard Times, Rose-Coloured Boys & Told You So are hilariously average. It’s like Hayley Williams just discovered 80’s synth-pop & decided that she wanted to make an album based around that & that alone.
Synth heavy, over-powering vocals & bland choruses, After Laughter misses the mark by some way simply because it’s not got any memorable or catchy moments! Here’s the thing, it’s fine if Paramore want to go for this repetitive 80’s sound. It’s not going to be for everyone but it would be at least slightly more listenable if it had catchy choruses. It doesn’t.
Things don’t improve with the super-soft Forgiveness. If Hayley Williams voice & voice alone is your jam then you’ll be in your element.
Fake Happy is almost enjoyable purely because it kind of ‘rocks’ things up (using that word very loosely) but 26 quickly drags things down with its bland acoustic guitar melody & insincere sounding violins. It’s almost depressing that a song like this will probably be considered ‘beautiful’ by many.
This is a chore of an album to get through. Any hope that it might try something beyond bland pop songs with an 80’s vibe is lost when Pool, Grudges & Caught in the Middle fails to light even the smallest fire under your seat.
“I can’t think of who I was ’cause it just makes me want to cry”
This album will make you want to cry…
Paramore – After Laughter Full Track Listing:
1. Hard Times
2. Rose-Coloured Boy
3. Told You So
5. Fake Happy
9. Caught in the Middle
10. Idle Worship
11. No Friend
12. Tell Me How
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Paramore - After Laughter (Fueled by Ramen)
The Final Score - 2/10