Track-by-Track: A sneak peak of Paramore’s third album Brand New Eyes
Welcome to our second track-by-track feature, the first being one on Imogen Heap’s incredible new album Ellipse, in which we preview one of the biggest – and what we often view as the best – records to come out soon. This month it’s Paramore’s new release brand new eyes, the Tennessean quintet’s third album on fueled by ramen / Atlantic Records, which drops on 28th September.
Here’s a spoiler: we listened to the album earlier this month and, from one quick run-through, are able to tell you this much about it: it’s bloomin’ marvellous, a really mature and, dare we say it, heavy album. Those that love their first two records won’t be disappointed by the instantaneous driven hooks and vocalist Hayley Williams’ power to get stuck in your head for days. But it seemsÂ she’s got much more to bite back about. Enough of our wittering on, here’s the run down, track-by-track.
***DISCLAIMER: I only got to listen to the album once, so some lyrics may be slightly incorrect, but I did my best to get the good ones down. Thanks!***
1 ‘Careful’ – This is a far-reaching opener, Hayley opens her mouth and the world comes out: â€œYou look like I did/ you resist me just like this / you canâ€™t tell me to healâ€�.Â Ouch! Girl got angry in a year… â€œthe truth never set me free (x3) so Iâ€™ll do it myselfâ€� â€“ â€œcanâ€™t be too careful anymore when all that is waiting for you wonâ€™t come any closer youâ€™ve got to reach out mo-o-oreâ€�. It’s so aggressive, you almost feel a bit afraid of this young, tiny girl.
2. ‘Ignorance’ â€“ we all know this one, it’s the first single. An instant hit and probably the biggest-sounding song on the record, the band have told us this is about a time they were arguing and Hayley felt like a stranger to the boys, like they didn’t know each other. It’s pretty cool that she felt she could speak out to them through her words in this song – “you treat me just like another stranger / well it’s nice to know you sir, I guess I’ll go / I best be on my way out”.
3. ‘Playing God’ -Â a slow-starter. â€œcanâ€™t make my own decisions/make any with precision/well maybe you should tear me up/so I donâ€™t go where you donâ€™t want meâ€� / â€œyou say that Iâ€™ve been changing that Iâ€™m not just simply aging well how can that be logical youâ€™re just cramming ideas down my throatâ€�. Another angry song from Hayley, Josh, Zac, Jeremy and Taylor? But of course – â€œnext time you point a finger I might have to bend it back or break it, break it off / next time you point a finger Iâ€™ll point you to the mirrorâ€�. These lyrics are very cutting but intelligently written; despite the obvious negativity surrounding the subject, whatever that is, Williams has honed her songwriting skills and created something with depth from them. This ain’t your average ‘shut up I’m talking now’ Avril Lavigne song. â€œYou donâ€™t deserve a point of view if the only thing you see is youâ€�, she tells us. Something says this will be a fan favourite.
4. ‘Brick By Boring Brick’ â€“ this track has also been leaked online and is suspected as the second single. It’s strong but takes a few listens, and the slightlyÂ irritating “bada-ba-bada-ba-ba-ba”‘s in the middle and at the end make us want to turn it before it finishes. Intriguing subject though – â€œit’s all about the exposure, the lens I told her / the angles were all wrong, now she’s ripping wings off of butterflies”.
5. ‘Turn It Off’ â€“ The first in a couple of tracks that seem as though they relate to religion and the band’s, or Hayley’s, struggle to keep faithful when going through a hard time – â€œI scraped my knees while I was playing and found a demon in my safest haven / seems itâ€™s getting harder to believe in anything just to get lost in all my selfish thoughtsâ€�, â€œand the worst part is before it gets any better weâ€™re heading for a cliff / in the freefall I will realise Iâ€™m better off when I hit the bottomâ€�, â€œweâ€™re working towards a goal thatâ€™s non-existent, itâ€™s not existent but we just keep believingâ€�. It’s a cute song but, however intentional, the beat is lost in the words.
Paramore – Ignorance (Radio One Live Lounge)
6. ‘The Only Exception‘ â€“ This is the only song that’s still in my head, three weeks on from hearing it (once). It’s a ballad, of course, probably related to Hayley’s love life, but we’re not one to pry… also references parents breaking up. â€œwhen I was younger I saw my daddy cry and curse at the wind / that was the day that I promised Iâ€™d never sing of love if it does not exist but darlinâ€™ you are the only exception (x4)â€�. Very slow, but uplifting, keys and smatterings of a tambourine. â€œup until now I swore to myself I was content with lonliness because none of it was ever worth the riskâ€�. Female backing vocals make it stand out more towards the end.
7. ‘Feeling Sorry’Â â€“ here we go with upbeat guitar riffs, tearing through the two previous slowies: â€œyour days are numbered at 24 / Iâ€™m getting bored waiting around for youâ€�.Â Another break up song? How many boyfriends has this girl had? Itâ€™s punchy but thereâ€™s something missing. â€œthereâ€™s no need to apologise Iâ€™ve got no time for feeling sorryâ€�, by the closeÂ it begins to sound conflicted, likeÂ she wants to believe… â€œfingers tied.. wonâ€™t you promise me..â€�. Again, very angry, but not a bad thing.
8. ‘Looking Up’Â â€“ At first it seems like this is about friendship -Â â€œthings are looking up finally, I thought Iâ€™d never see the day when you smile at me. Things always pull through when we try, Iâ€™m always wrong but youâ€™re never rightâ€�. â€œIâ€™d never trade it in cuz Iâ€™ve always wanted this / itâ€™s not a dream anymore itâ€™s worth fighting forâ€�. But then it becomes evident it’s about success – â€œgod knows the world doesnâ€™t need another band but what a waste it wouldâ€™ve beenâ€�, â€œhonestly can you believe we crossed the world when you were asleep â€¦ / itâ€™s not a dream anymore (x a lot) itâ€™s worth fighting forâ€�. It’s a good trademark Paramore track, lots of riffs and tame ferociousness, no anger here, more hope: â€œcanâ€™t believe we almost hung (?) it up / weâ€™re just getting startedâ€�.
9. ‘Where The Lines Overlap’Â â€“ No idea what this one’s about, but it’s entertaining all the same: â€œno-one is as lucky as us but not at the end, but we already won / call me over and tell me how you got so far in never making a single soundâ€�. Is it about journalists? Very, very catchy and simple lyrics,Â guitarsÂ that chug happily away before growling into huge memorable riffs. It sounds like their new song to play live – â€œIâ€™ve got a feeling if I sang this loud enough you would sing it back to meâ€�; perhaps not a fight more a call for critics or fans orÂ other bandsÂ to join them.
10. ‘Misguided Ghosts’Â â€“ Another pretty slow one here, led by acoustic guitar. â€œIâ€™m still trying to find my place but it might not be here where I feel safeâ€�. â€œWeâ€™ll run from them with no direction / from them with no directionâ€�. Hayley tones it down a lot, her voice sounds so delicate, it’s uplifting. Â â€œYou are not useless we are just misguided ghosts, travelling endlessly / the ones we trusted the most pushed us far awayâ€�.
11. ‘All I Wanted’ â€“ really doing well on the slow songs here! Hayleyâ€™s voice is softer than itâ€™s ever been. â€œAll I wanted was you…â€� quickly turns into a huge tumbling track of layered guitars. Itâ€™s repeated a lot through the song; in fact it is the entire chorus. â€œI could follow you to the beginning just to relive the start, maybe then weâ€™d remember to slow down at all of our favourite partsâ€�. Fuzzy guitars play out the end of the track and, for Americans, what is the end of the album. But we Euros get…
12. ‘Decode’Â - Ah, the Twilight song, If ya haven’t heard this yet where were you Christmas-time last year? The band owe a lot to this song, of course it’s a well-crafted pop track, a belter some might say, but its prominence on the film’s soundtrack gained the group a new legion of fans – fans that are hopefully reading this. If you like ‘Decode’, you’ll probably like brand new eyes. But don’t go expecting big love songs, because Hayley Williams is pretty angry this time.
brand new eyes is released on 28th September via fueled by ramen / Atlantic Records
By Cathy Reay
- Sound Screen/Track-by-Track: Sneak Peak of Brand New Eyes - Paramore Bandaids | Your Friendly Neighbourhood Paramore Fansite!
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