Paramore doesn't need the Farro brothers to go on. So long, founding brothers Josh and Zac. Frontwoman Hayley Williams is soldiering on, bad haircuts and all.
It looks like the band's big move into maturity might just abandon the sparkly pop that made the band famous. Who cares that it was the poppy "Misery Business" that propelled the band to stardom? Just as Panic! at the Disco never quite recovered after a huge sonic departure that was their sophomore album, Pretty. Odd., Paramore's dark new single and video, "Now," ensures that the band will not achieve the same success it once had. The track is off Paramore's upcoming self-titled album, to be released April 9, and if it's indicative of the rest of the album, a lot of fans are going to run.
The song is distinctly Paramore, thanks to Williams' signature vocal power. It also has a solid hook (the word "now" morphs into an eight-syllable sing-along) and familiar pop-punk chord progressions. Yet it decidedly moves in a new direction. The lyrics are dark, replete with mentions of days when Williams doesn't feel a thing, but you'd expect that from a band that just lost half its members. Upon closer examination, the song is filled with optimism: "There's a time and a place to die, but this ain't it." Though the melody is melancholy, the lyrics are a great representation of a confident, reconfigured band. Still, "Now" gives the impression that Paramore is really angry. I would've liked a more positive single.
The big-budget video clip has an eyebrow-less Williams in the middle of a battlefield. Williams ends the war by hugging her assailant.
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Paramore has gone dark in videos before, too ("Decode"), but the darker Paramore gets, the more it will risk losing fans and not gain new ones.
The band just announced a tour, and it'll be hitting Comerica Theatre Monday, April 29. It would have been smarter to go the Fall Out Boy route and sell out a smaller venue, such as Marquee Theatre quickly, to build up buzz. It also would be smart for Paramore to release as its next single its poppiest track, in hopes of getting a radio audience to check out its more mature stuff, too, since the only ones listening now already are fans.