We’ve already had the pleasure of previewing the band’s single “Hard Times” from their upcoming album “After Laughter” – to be released officially on May 12 – and most were certainly surprised and equally as satisfied at the band’s new funky tone and bouncy rhythms they had decided to adopt.
In honor of the release that is creeping up on us very quickly, I’ve decided to pick 10 songs from our beloved Paramore that are definitely my favorites, – and more likely than not most of yours as well – and why it is I feel makes each so defining and significant! Let’s get a little nostalgic and delve into the surreal awesomeness that is Paramore, or at least a portion of it!
Top 10 Favorite Paramore Songs
The song “Misery Business” from the album most would describe as the defining album of their career “Riot” has to be the first mention. I know all the lyrics, you know all the lyrics, and that makes us all feel like the badasses that nobody should mess with, which I feel was a significant and intentional move made by this band of eclectically inclined musicians. To empower those who feel their seemingly underdog/misfit place amongst their peers deems them inferior, when in reality it’s what sets you apart in the best of ways – who wants to be like everyone else? Paramore has always done an impressively effective job at getting this message across, even if it was merely through the sounds they decided to incorporate into their songs and the styles they chose to portray their personal characters.
Of course, however, the lyrics were always a huge part of why “Misery Business” has always been such a popular song amongst fans – that, and of course how powerfully Hayley Williams breathes through the story with lyrics that make us all feel so undeniably indestructible.
2. That’s What You Get
“That’s what you get when you let your heart win”, have you ever heard such an painfully truthful and relatable phrase portrayed in a more punk rock way? Every lyric of this Riot single is so honest, and we’ve all been there – you listen to your heart instead of your head, and it resulted in a painful and most likely avoidable consequence. You had high hopes, and you were let down. Again, “that’s what you get when you let your heart win”, truer words have never been spoken.
“Why do we like to hurt so much?” Good question.
I got a lot to say to you, yeah I got a lot to say – and that is that “crushcrushcursh” literally crushed the whole “I like you but I’m not going to do anything about it” situation that a lot of us somehow find ourselves wrapped up in. You’re fed up with all the little games, the shallow flirting that leads nowhere, and the way your emotions are being treated like an indestructible toy – Rock on, Hayley Williams. You have successfully given us a way to poetically express our frustrations via “crushcrushcrush”. Probably most fans’ favorite song from Riot, if it isn’t “Misery Business” that is.
“Don’t look up just let them think there’s no place else you’d rather be” – the song “Fences” from the album “Riot” is a brilliantly punk-rock portrayal of the hardships faced by those who are constantly in the spotlight. In other words, celebrities. Always having to seem perfect, put together, try to keep acting yourself as if you don’t notice the lingering cameras. The song was written in response to Hayley Williams trying to deal with the fame she was suddenly subjected to. I have found that the interesting thing about this song is that there are lyrics that speak so deeply to many situations us “regulars” tend to deal with as well. That, if you ask me, is truly artistic writing.
5. Here We Go Again
Excruciatingly relatable, being no different than every other song they’ve honored us with. “Here We Go Again” from the album “All We Know is Falling” tackles regret and impulsivity, memories you try to remember and memories you try to forget, shallow promises and endless “what ifs”. Love hurts, relationships aren’t easy, and Paramore had absolutely nailed it with this insightfully spoken single.
You know the song the instant you hear those heavy, raspy and chaotically controlled guitar riffs. You also know that they merely pave the way for Hayley Williams to absolutely kill how expectations tear us down and make us feel low, worthless, and misunderstood. Letting go of what others want from you, expect of you, require of you – that is what will ultimately free you, setting your own goals and accomplishing them, rather than unreasonable and impersonal goals set out for you from other sources. No matter your interpretation of the song’s honest lyrics, we can all agree that we’ve “felt the pressure”.
The dynamical transitions within this song’s structure adequately capture how it feels to be in a situation which triggers that sickly amount of adrenaline that tells you “I think we have an emergency”. The lyrics paint a picture of a toxic person who tries to love others when they can’t even properly love themselves, but also reassures this person that it isn’t their fault that everyone pretends like what they’re dealing with isn’t a problem, when it most definitely is. So real, so raw, this song pulls a common situation that is constantly brushed under the rug to the surface and makes sure that you understand what makes it so significant. Whether you relate to the person who is hurting or the person who is trying to help the hurting, you can’t deny that you do in fact relate.
“Ignorance is your new best friend” – the first time I heard these lyrics I was legitimately mind blown at the simplicity of the description regarding such a real problem that contains so much depth. The song has that same heavy intro we’ve always loved and Williams sings with that familiar strength, so to not include this song merely for those two reasons alone would be a crime in and of itself.
Though, aside from the genius phrasing and the undeniable passion that comes from every aspect of the song’s sound, the meaning of the single and the story told throughout it separates this “Brand New Eyes” single from the others. In a press release back in 2009, Williams revealed that there was tension between the band mates and that it was stunting their growth both as a band and as individuals. When she brought this song up to them, she tried to play it off as nothing and even did her best to “mumble through the lyrics” in an attempt to avoid any kind of confrontation they may create. That didn’t pass with Taylor York – the band’s guitarist. As soon as the singer was finished, his instant response was “so do you want to tell me about those lyrics?” This sent Williams into a nervous state, but also forced the two band mates to really dig deep and work out some really heavy things. Williams stated that this song “saved our band”, and that is why it has to be on this list.
Plus, it totally rocks.
9. Playing God
Unique, and a soft change to the band’s often intense musical tendencies while also maintaining a punk front, “Playing God” is a song that preaches directly from our hearts, as if Williams was talking for us on a subject in which we have been forced to remain silent.
“You don’t deserve a point of view, if the only thing you see is you” – an illustrious and honest statement that rings so true. This song is a fight against the self-righteous, the close minded, those who place blame without looking in the mirror first. The contrast between the context and the melody is an impressive artistic twist that was absolutely intentional, according to Williams. This is something that we have all felt, and it successfully expresses to listeners what so many have tried to explain time and time again. The song is on this list because it is the wake up call we wish all arrogant individuals would come to experience, for their sake and for our own.
10. The Only Exception
Last – but certainly not least – “The Only Exception” broke chains for those weighed down by unfortunate personal truths and lingering heartache. Being afraid to love because you’ve seen love break the most confident of individuals and make frail those who have always signified unwavering strength in your life is a heavy burden which holds so many back from being able to love and be loved in return. The song is so real, and so well done, and told with such raw honesty and finesse – it encourages those fearful of falling in love to allow themselves to fall, because sometimes the person on the other end will catch you, and that is what makes all the previous heartaches suddenly meaningless.
Well, you made it through! Clearly there are more songs that could (and should) have been included, but then I’d be writing a book! What are some of your favorite songs from Paramore? Comment below and share your thoughts!
Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for their upcoming album “After Laughter” and continue to support the band we have all loved for so long! You can pre-order the album and some other goodies HERE.