Paramore: After Laughter review – bitter candy-coloured pop

(Atlantic)

Those watching from the periphery may regard Paramore’s move into pure pop as a natural extension of the mall punk and emo of formative albums. But for many, the group, who’ve endured a messy lineup change and subsequent legal disputes since their 2013 album, are in the midst of a rebirth. The grooves they always possessed are brought to the forefront on this peppy, vibrant record, a contrast to its lyrical themes, which cover masking misery (“I’m going to draw my lipstick wider than my mouth”), spiralling depression and the anxiety of ageing, only with a knowing wink. On Hard Times and Rose-Colored Boy, 80s pop production and highlife rhythms lead Hayley Williams’s powerhouse vocals to unexpectedly fun heights. After Laughter – candy-coated bitterness at its best – may steer them away from the Kerrang! crowd, but one thing remains consistent to Paramore’s emo roots – the theatrical mellifluence of internal angst.

Contributor

Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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