Paramore is one of the most popular pop-punk bands to feature a girl as the lead singer. Let’s be honest, Haley Williams is seriously badass. Although they have more recently changed their sound to be a bit more pop, Riot! is one of their previous, more punk albums. Opening with For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic, the Fall Out Boy-esque title alerts listeners that maybe the band is nicknamed ‘Fall Out Girl’ for a reason. However, the only similarities between Fall Out Boy songs and Paramore is the fact that they are anthemic hits with memorable lyrics. The sounds are completely different.
The first track features Williams’s extremely impressive vocals and belting range. The second track, That’s What You Get, is a bit more angry lyric-wise, and arguably catchier than the first. Hallelujah is much the same as the first two, but by the time you get to Misery Business, it starts off with faded instruments playing the main melody. At twelve seconds, you hear Williams saying ‘hit that, hit that snare’, and with a snare shot, the song goes into the faster anthem Paramore is famous for. The chorus is just barely faster than the verses, with powerful chords and, as always, Williams’s impressive voice. The second verse seems to highlight the fact that the band is seen as rebellious, with the words ‘it’s easy if you do it right/ Well, I refuse, I refuse, I refuse’. Let the Flames Begin seems to be the slowest so far in the album, with high pitched vocals and heavier lyrics (I give it all my oxygen/to let the flames begin). Although it picks up a bit in the chorus, Let the Flames Begin is by far the most obviously melancholic so far. crushcrushcrush is probably the most popular, along with Misery Business, featuring bitter lyrics and Williams whispering ‘crush… crush… crush…’ before the chorus. We Are Broken, the following track, easily beats out Let the Flames Begin as the slowest and most melancholic. It even seems a bit out of style for Paramore, with a much slower sound than anything else in the album. The choruses barely pick up in speed from the verses. We Are Broken is an example of how versatile Paramore is. As a bonus track, the band included the acoustic version of Misery Business. Not only is the acoustic guitar very cool to make up for the lack of other instruments, but Williams also shows off how amazing her voice is, even when barely accompanied. The vocals sound much the same as on the recording- an impressive feat.
Having opened for Fall Out Boy in the past, Paramore is popular and steadily rising in that popularity.