Title: After Laughter
Release Date: May 12, 2017
“Following 2013’s Paramore, Hayley Williams became “tired of self-doubt and losing friends” and considered decommissioning the band. It makes this rich, vibrant, defiantly poppy return as surprising as it is satisfying. On an album indebted to the ’80s, there are echoes of Talking Heads (“Hard Times”) and Blondie’s forays into reggae (“Caught in the Middle”), while guitarist Taylor York’s love of Afro-pop informs “Told You So.” Darker moods sit beneath the shiny surface though, and Williams’ lyrics offer compelling studies of frustration and self-sabotage.” – Itunes
Song by Song Review
1) Hard Times- 5/5 Everything about this song was golden from lyrics to production to vocals. Such a solid song. Life getting to you is so parent in everyone’s life and you want it all to stop sometimes but you survive no matter what.
2) Rose-Colored Boy- 5/5 I love the chanting throughout and Paramore just has a beautiful way of telling a story. When you are going through tough times you don’t want people’s cheerfulness and life’s great attitude you jut want a damn good cry and for them to sit in silence with you until you’re done.
3) Told You So- 5/5 The tone of this one was so cool and the flow was so dope. Again the lyrics are just incredible. Sometimes in life, you have people just waiting for you to fail.
4) Forgiveness- 5/5 This was a softer sound than the first 3. I love the message because forgiveness is truly one of the hardest things to do but it so necessary for that inner healing within yourself.
5) Fake Happy- 5/5 This song is 100% a state I have been in. We all have had those moments where you have to mask your pain for whatever reason and you just want to scream I AM NOT OK!!!! Her vocals are incredible and I love the sound so much.
6) 26- 5/5 Just like in Told You So the theme for 26 is similar. People will always try to tear you down and crush your dreams. That’s when you need to be there for yourself and “Hold onto hope if you got it. Don’t let it go for nobody.” Life is hard but never loose your faith, hope, and dreams. I love the instrumental it’s extremely soothing.
7) Pool- 5/5 Love is not perfect and while I love a good romance song, movie, and book the perfection often portrayed is not realistic and that is OK. I love my honey so much but sometimes I just want to scream not because he is horrible but because sometimes love is just hard. I love this song because it hits the tough times of a relationship.
8) Grudges- 5/5 Oh we have al held a grudge or 2 but just like in forgiveness it is extremely important to your inner healing to let them go. Grudges are never good for you. Holding it in only gives that person power over you even if they don’t know it. The backing vocals are beautiful and it’s just a feel good song.
9) Caught in the Middle- 5/5 We all wish we could be Peter Pan and never grow up. With growing up comes responsibilities and life just get harder and it really is a difficult thing to think of. This is a super fun beat with lyrics that hit too close to home.
10) Idle Worship- 5/5 As a Christian woman I have never worshiped a celeb and I think this song is an amazing concept because so many people put celebs on a pedestal. They treat them as gods and not humans who can’t make mistakes. I also love how the song has a bit of a rockier edge and so does her vocals.
11) No Friend- 5/5 For the story this tells. It’s Aaron Weiss telling the story of the band Paramore, what they went through, and how Hayley feels about fans treating her as an idol to worship and how she doesn’t want that because it is not who she is.
12) Tell Me How- 5/5 This is the slowest track and is so beautiful. It’s about loss and I pray some of you have never had the misfortune of losing someone but if you have just known you are not the only one. Don’t stay silent by yourself still hold onto that faith and hope.
Paramore is one of those artists that can reinvent their sound each album and still release pure gold. After Laughter is the group’s fifth studio album. The record handles themes of exhaustion, depression, and anxiety, which is extremely contrasting to the upbeat and vigorous sound of the album. The album has an 80s new wave and synth-pop sound. It seems the direction a lot of artists are visiting but Paramore did it just right by bringing their own spin to it. Lead singer Haley Williams said “After Laughter is about the look on people’s faces when they’re done laughing. If you watch somebody long enough, there’s always this look that comes across their face when they’re done smiling, and I always find it really fascinating to wonder what it is that brought them back to reality. So, that’s what After Laughter is.” I love their concept because I never realized that when we all finish laughing it’s because we came back to our senses, we stepped back into reality. You kind of wish you could stay in that state of mind all the time and never come back to what life has in store. That is what this album represents to me. As I listened to it I stepped out of my reality and smiled, teared up, jumped around, laughed, enjoyed, screamed, etc and when it was over it was like ok back to life. After Laughter makes you feel and I mean really feel. So many of the lyrics are relatable and not in the omg I am a celebrity and I LOVE PIZZA way but in the omg, I go through this too. The lyrics had real meaning without trying to sound whimsical and flowy. They just held their own and resonated with me. The sound and production were one of my favorite things about this record. I love the upbeatness of it but the calmness it had as well. I can listen to After Laughter with people, by myself, in the car, in my room, when I am happy when I need a cry, when I am angry, when I am sad, for every occasion. The last lyrics of the album is “I can still believe” and it makes me happy that after each song and each felt emotion there was positivity in the end and healing. I have felt what each song spoke on and in the end, I survived and God saw me through.
I didn’t include a “What I didn’t” like section because I loved this album and nothing was wrong. It is so rare that I don’t feel the need to skip songs on an album but Paramore did that. If you have felt any of the stuff I mentioned in the songs or even if you haven’t, listen to this album it is exceptional.