This is Why – Paramore
Sonny Crull February 13, 2023
By: Sonny Crull
After five and a half years, Hayley Williams, Taylor York, and Zac Farro return to the music scene to release their sixth studio album as Paramore: This is Why. Paramore has been on the scene for two decades, beginning it all back in 2003. While many people associate their music with the Alternative and Pop-Punk genres, they have been known to not let that genre label limit them in their work. This is Why is a fantastic representation of their flexibility and range as musicians.
The album is only 10 songs long. At first glance this may seem a bit too short, but each song has so much to offer lyrically and sonically that the album’s length doesn’t feel out of place upon listening. It opens with two of the three singles that were released prior to the album drop date: the title track, “This is Why” and “The News.” Both are high energy, conveying a playful exterior of upbeat and unique musical composition while also being shrouded in jaded angst via lyrics that outline some relatable troubles many have faced over the past few years. “Running Out of Time” and “C’est Comme Ça” are up next, being the single upon album release and third single respectively. These songs follow suit of the first two in terms of their energetic yet angsty nature.
Track 5 is where things start to transform. “Big Man, Little Dignity” opens with a gorgeous woodwind intro consisting of bass clarinet, clarinet, and flute. This addition was unexpected but very refreshing. The woodwinds will come and go throughout the next few songs. Almost as heralds of the more emotional tones to come, lyrically. However, this does not mean the end of the high energy punk that the band is known for. Tracks 6 and 7, “You First” and “Figure 8” are very reminiscent of tracks from their self-titled album and tracks 8 and 9, “Crave” and “Liar” are that of their album Brand New Eyes.
The final track, “Thick Skull” was actually the first piece they wrote for this album, as mentioned in a video featured on the band’s album release page on Spotify. This track feels much more closely related to lead singer, Hayley Williams’, solo work: raw, vulnerable, and vocal-focused. Her vocals on this record are an impressive display of how much she has matured and mastered her craft over the years, but the final minute of “Thick Skull” really lets her skills shine.
Overall, this album is a really cohesive blend of Paramore’s best sounds throughout their career and a lovely display of each member’s musicianship. It seems to me like they have found a sweet spot in their sound and songwriting process as a band. I hope that they will continue writing more music that feels true to Paramore as a whole.
My favorite tracks, in order of their placement on the album, were “Running Out of Time,” “You First,” “Figure 8,” and “Crave.” I would rate this album a 9/10.