Yep, another Paramore article! There’s just so much to cover – from their new, funky sounds to their familiarly relatable song lyrics and messages – and so little time! They’re not wasting a single moment though – they seem to continuously have something new to give to us! Not only have they released the second track from their ultra-funky upcoming album “After Laughter”, but an equally as funky and artistically impressive music video which was directed by Zac Farro and Aaron Joseph. So let’s take a look at the aspects which I feel defined this track, and possibly the album:
Paramore’s most recently released single titled “Told You So” is…interesting. Now, I love Paramore! Always have, and always will. Though, I’m interested to see how the rest of the album “After Laughter” turns out, because I can’t confidently say that I love this song, and as much as it has been stuck in my head – “Hard Times” wasn’t necessarily my favorite either (though it was very well done and certainly accomplished what the band had hoped for).
It’s very electric-funk with the bouncy rhythm of the vocals that brilliantly contrast the simplicity of the guitar and the intricacy of the percussion (which was terribly impressive) – everything functioned well together, like a robot! However, it sounded like a well-functioning robot as well – dramatic electronically contaminated vocals ruined the song for me.
Paramore singer Hayley Williams has such a distinctive, powerful voice that is so genuine and skillfully controlled – it was a shame and an unfortunate surprise to hear the heavy filters that washed out a lot of what makes Williams’ voice so terrifically different than all other female vocalists nowadays. There were even times when you probably couldn’t even identify her highly recognizable tone, and that is almost exclusively due to the excessive usage of computerization of the vocals (of course not as excessive as most artists these days). I will point out, however, that there were moments throughout the song where Hayley would let loose with what made her voice so naturally enjoyable and unique, and I wholeheartedly believe that aspect saved the song from being entirely disastrous.
The song’s dynamics and transitions didn’t quite satisfy either. I say this only because I’ve noticed that Paramore are often especially artistic regarding their use and styling of dynamics in the sense that they take common dynamical patterns and turn them into something that fits each song individually, and it just works. The dynamics and transitions between sections of the song in “Told You So” were unimpressively similar to so much of today’s pop hits, which just isn’t Paramore. A good band’s sound will change and will grow just as the members of the band, though that does not justify throwing out the skill and artistic tendencies that have defined the band’s place in the industry for so long – basically, what keeps a band’s music continuously recognizable even when the sound changes drastically.
Paramore will always have an undeniable amount of raw talent and musical brilliance, but I hope that the rest of their album “After Laughter” showcases that brilliance more clearly than what has already been portrayed.
As per usual, the lyrics were pure poetic brilliance. “I hate to say I told you so, they love to say they told me so” – I can’t express to you the extent to which I relate to that line alone. I have always been bothered by a person’s inability to express basic humility to those who make mistakes, even if said person had advised the one who had made the mistake against the action in which lead to the negative outcome. It’s like twisting your finger in a bullet wound – the person is already down in the dumps, why would you want to make it worse for them merely for the sake of being able to mutter three excruciatingly insignificant words that have no positive affect on the situation at hand? It’s pure arrogance, and “Told You So” superbly explains the honest depth of how those three simple words can make a person feel, and affect how they decide to learn from situations.
The Music Video
The music video had a great contrast of colors, having bright red outfits that popped against the cooler, darker shades that take up most of the video’s backgrounds and situations. Williams did a phenomenal job in portraying the reality of how those three arrogantly centered words can darken a person’s interpretation of a mistake and its resulted situation, and the lesson that was supposed to be learned following that mistake.
Ultimately, it was a great video and a great song. It just wasn’t musically impressive, which simply isn’t Paramore. “After Laughter” will be released on May 12, and I’m hoping with all of my might that the rest of their album consists of some kind of that “Paramore level of excellence” that we have come to admire.