During the space between their debut and new album, I’ve seen a bass player leave and an old one return as well as the departure of two guitarists. Paramore has been through more members in their short time than any band I can think of. I can’t help but wonder if their new switch to a four-piece lineup in the studio helped make “Riot” what it is.
The album is more of the same straightforward nu-emo rock backed by a powerful female vocal presence. Unfortunately, I was expecting so much more. That’s not to say the album is bad. As a matter of fact, the opener “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic” brings on the rock so much that I was pretty stoked to listen to this disc.
A new recording of “Hallelujah,” a song that’s been in the band’s repetoire for some time really knows how to tug at your emotions as well. The heartfelt “That’s What You Get” also makes my ears happy. Then there’s lead single “Misery Business.” I liked this song a lot at first. I even got over the fact that the video made me cringe, but I skip this song every time now. What I don’t get is how leading lady Hayley Williams gets so much crap for this song? I’m sorry that ten year olds(yeah, no joke) are listening to this band now, but they didn’t dumb the content down for them. I don’t get why she needs to apologize for the lyrical content of this song every time it’s brought up.
There are a few more songs (“When It Rains,” “Crushcrushcrush,” and “Born For This”) that I enjoy hearing when they come up on shuffle, the rest didn’t do anything for me. The album was really good at first listen, but the replay factor just wasn’t there for me this time. This was one of my most anticipated for the summer and it ended up mediocre. Maybe if there had been some input from a new guitarist, there could have been some variety to make the tracks stick out more. A solid effort, but it doesn’t stack up to their debut.
1. For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
2. That’s What You Get
4. Misery Business
5. When It Rains
6. Let The Flames Begin
9. We Are Broken
11. Born For This