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After gaining hordes of enthusiastic fans worldwide with their debut All We Know Is Falling, Paramore is poised to breakthrough to new heights with their newest offering Riot! Their sophomore record, produced by David Bendeth (Hawthorne Heights, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus) is due in stores everywhere June 12th. Lead single Misery Business, in addition to other album tracks, deals with issues of shame and self-discovery as lead-singer Hayley Williams discusses. I've been ashamed, she says. I've felt hate, jealously, lust, fear, pride, self-consciousness... You hear a lot of this on the record. I feel like I need to talk about it. It is not uncommon for Paramore to expose their emotions and allow fans to have such an intimate look into their lives. While recording the track Born For This, the band invited a handful of fans into the studio to sing back-up vocals on the song. Fans have responded by voting Paramore as the #1 Best New Band in Kerrang! magazine, beating out Panic! at the Disco among others, and Alternative Press magazine has named Riot! as one of their most anticipated releases of 2007. Brothers Josh and Zac Farro (on guitar and drums respectively), as well as Jeremy Davis (on bass), round out the enthusiastic Franklin, TN based quartet. This year finds the band bringing their energetic live show to fans in cities worldwide. This spring the band will embark on a 20+ date sold-out headlining club tour, including the now-legendary Bamboozle festival. Following a stint on the European club circuit, the band will return to the States this summer with a coveted main stage slot on the Vans Warped Tour.
Ah, youth: the exuberance, the energy, the blistering highs and bottomless depths. Its an ideal breeding ground for true rock & roll belief. Hence, the youngsters of Paramore unearth geysers of loud, sugary angst on Riot!, their major label debut and follow-up to 2005s All We Know Is Falling. Small-town musicians who have played together for years, Paramore boasts the appeal of an emo-pop blast developed out of savvy songwriting and musicianship. The sweet spot the band hits--somewhere between Avril Lavigne and All-American Rejects--comes naturally. Lead singer Hayley Williams, barely 18, has big-time vocal depth and genuine charisma besides, and while her singing can sound a little contrived, she delivers with such end-of-the-world conviction that its an easy flaw to forgive. Bright and catchy melodies abound, but songs like "Misery Business" and "Miracle" also feature razor-sharp cadences and ultra-clean transitions. Too clean, actually. The production is crystal clear, which accentuates the stumbles (mostly on the ballads) and robs these whippersnappers of the messy highs they surely achieve playing live. But some things cant be entirely glossed over, and while the more aged among us will sip our Scotch and make fun of their adolescent shenanigans, well also be surreptitiously listening on our iPods after we put the kids to bed. --Matthew Cooke
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1) I make the Guitar Hero reference as a way to point out where I was coming from when first hearing Paramore. I myself would never compare the Eagles to Paramore--the Eagles have been around for nearly 40 years and their music has withstood the test of time and if anything their legend has increased, while Paramore is a new band without much of a track record. But Red Octane included Paramore and the Eagles in the same setlist in Guitar Hero World Tour which in effect implies similar stature between the two bands. That is ridiculous. One of the great things about Guitar Hero (and rock band) is that it opens up the audiences for music, not just by introducing classic bands to new young audiences, but also music by fresh artists to grizzled codgers like myself. But when the songs are stacked back-to-back like that, I must say that in my eyes, the new music (i.e. Paramore) is wanting. Hayley Williams has a generic-sounding voice while the sonice, though competently put together echo similar acts like Fall Out Boy, no new ground is being broken.
2) Paramore's music to my ears resembles a number of fleeting emo-pop/punk acts including Avril Lavigne and Kelly Osborne. Nothing against those acts because they are successful in their own right and speak to young people, but will they withstand the test of time? I think the true test of good music is if you ask yourself: "Will I still like this in 10 years? Will I pay money to go see them in concert in 2019?" The clear answer, in the case of Paramore -- and I am sorry to say in the case of Letters to Cleo, for that matter -- is "no." Meanwhile, the Eagles are still selling out 20,000-seat arenas 40 years after their debut.
***ORIGINAL REVIEW*** There I was jamming out to Guitar Hero: World Tour (medium level, so sue me) rockin out to Eagles' Hotel California (we've all heard it a million times but an indisputable classic) and finish the song AND I'M RARIN' TO GO FOR THE NEXT HIT!!! Paramore's "Misery Business" comes on. WHAT THE---?! Never heard it before, but it must be good if Red Octane is going to follow up Eagles with it, RIGHT?!
I think they should create another Guitar Hero for songs like this and call it: Guitar Hero: World Tour Of Sucky Teeny-Bopper Punk Music. What the heck is this crap?! Following up Eagles with this is like following up Star Wars (the original good movie, Episode 4) with Wing Commander (Freddie Prinze, we hardly knew ye).
I guess I'm not the target audience for this music because I am a) older than 15 years old; and b) have heard good music before!
Note to anyone who likes this: Ten years from now, when you're 25, you will deny you ever liked or listened to this, trust me. Just like how I deny I used to listen to a not dissimilar band of the Nineties called Letters To Cleo. "Who is that?" you ask? EXACTLY!
The MVI DVD was my first Paramore purchase, and it's a great buy. I have to give special mention to the fact that there are actual mp3's on this disc for you to download to your PC - no DRM involved. That's gotta be something pretty new for Warner Music (the band is signed to Fueled by Ramen, but Warner apparently handles the distribution), and I hope that they continue doing it and that more labels follow suit. There are a ton of other great extras on the DVD, including live and promotional videos (the two things I cared about most) as well as other stuff I was less interested in like wallpapers, AIM icons, and screensavers. It also includes the lyrics to all of the songs on the album, which is a good thing in this case - the printed liner notes are written in a style that's pretty hard to read.
Just to be clear about what this comes with, since I think the Amazon page is a little confusing, this package comes with both a DVD and a regular audio CD that includes the full album plus bonus tracks. (Amazon shows "disc 2" above as only including the bonus tracks, which is not the case. It's the full album.) In other words, *both discs* have the full album - the only difference is the format. And of course the DVD has all the extras.
There's really no reason to buy the standard CD over the MVI DVD given all it comes with. You're really just getting a lot more with this package for only a couple bucks extra. It's totally worth it.