Paramore returns after years-long hiatus with sixth studio album “This is Why”


Photo Courtesy of Atlantic Records

After a lengthy hiatus, Paramore marks their musical return with their latest album “This is Why.”

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Paramore is a group that needs no introduction. Since setting themselves as a cornerstone of early 2000s punk rock, their sound has grown and evolved over the years, most evidently with 2017’s “After Laughter” which infused upbeat, pop-punk retro aesthetic sounds with darker themes of exhaustion and anxiety. After a six-year-long gap and a four-year-long hiatus from touring, the group released their sixth album “This is Why” on Feb. 10. The album not only feels like a classic return to Paramore’s original style but also an evolution of their sound that shows the group’s growth as artists.  


“This is Why’s” harder tone can be felt across the entire album. Taylor York’s heavy distorted guitars laced with intricate rhythms and Zac Farro’s percussion grooves in tracks like “The News” and “Figure 8” combined with Hayley Williams’s signature vocals are reminiscent of their older work from albums such as “Brand New Eyes” while still feeling stylistically unique. Songs such as “C’est Comme Ça” include hooks that will easily get stuck in your head. Others like “Crave” ebb and flow between the mellow grooves of the verses and the loud choruses that keep the flow of the song.  


Many of the tracks of the album are centered around expressing frustrations and discontent with so much that is wrong with both our everyday lives and the current world we live in. “Big Man, Little Dignity’s” for instance, expresses anger over men in positions of power continuously being able to have a hold on their influence while “Figure 8” faces the complex feelings of a toxic relationship. What makes the album’s lyrical themes poignant and unique however is rather than simply voicing discontent the album addresses that many issues stem from within ourselves and if we want to call them out, we have to recognize our own flaws as well. This is seen in tracks like “Running Out of Time” which in a tongue-in-cheek manner laments the fact that having good intentions for people doesn’t amount to anything if you aren’t able to actually follow through with what you meant to do. One of the most serious examples, however, is from the second track “The News” which discusses the mentalities that the general public could have towards disappointing and depressive global events with clear connections being made to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Within the lyrics, Williams expresses how her position of relative comfort compared to the struggles of many can leave a feeling of uselessness while also critiquing how easy it is for people to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that it’s not happening just because they aren’t directly affected by it. The album as a whole provides a great mixture of jovially basking in relatability and directly confronting parts of ourselves that we may be too afraid to acknowledge.  


For die-hard fans of the group, Paramore’s “This is Why” is more than worth the wait. It’s clearer than ever that the once-teenage rock band of the 2000s has now grown up and with that comes a full evolution both lyrically and musically.