Music Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW: Paramore – This Is Why

Photo Credit: Zachary Gray

Without a doubt, Paramore are one of the defining 21st century rock bands. Hailing out of Tennessee, and forming as teenagers, they have become something bigger than perhaps the trio could ever possibly imagine.

Six years since the Grammy-nominated After Laughter, and with Hayley Williams releasing two solo albums in the meantime, some wondered whether we would ever hear new music from the band many of us grew up listening to.

The answer to that is of course the band’s sixth LP, This Is Why. Recorded in LA with long time producer Carlos de la GarzaThis Is Why marks a new post-punk, dance rock era for the band, with influences ranging from Bloc Party to Radiohead.

The latter is evident in the title track which opens this record. Hayley Williams‘ soothing, drawn out vocals are a complete mirror to many of Thom Yorke’s best work.

The chorus of “This is why I don’t leave the house, you say the coast is clear, but you won’t catch me out” is as good an anthem as any for many young people who struggle with their mental health. Its lovely, bassy tones and art rock feel are simply captivating – it’s no wonder the song has resonated with so many fans.

The News sees Paramore turn to their rock roots, with Taylor York’s fast frantic riffs whilst Williams speaks of a war behind her eyes and her frustrations of modern society.

“Turn off the news” is as good an answer as any to your problems. Two songs in and the band are creating some huge anthems.

Williams’ vocal range on full display is a lot of fun during the “she’s always running out of time” on Running Out Of Time,  whilst C’est Comme Ça shows the Bloc Party influence on full display. But is not necessarily pulled off as well, let’s just say the chorus is marmite.

Big Man, Little Dignity is essentially a diss track to men who are not held accountable for their actions. Let’s face it, we all know a few. Melodically, it’s fantastic, production wise, this is the album at its peak.

You First displays the very best of Williams’ attitude, which this record is filled to the brim with. Figure 8 shows off the insane chemistry drummer Zac Farro has with bassist Joey Howard.

Towards the back end of the LP, Liar is Williams at her most vulnerable as she sings “oh, my love, I lied to you, but I never needed to”. It’s beautiful and a brilliant example of not needing to add much to a song to make it exceptional.

Williams has always been open with her own mental health. Crave is a symbol of that as she appreciates the journey she’s been on, almost implying she’s through it now and has made peace.

Closer Thick Skull was the first song the band wrote for this album and if a song resembled a whole record, then this is it. Williams comes out with her hands up as she acknowledges her “thick skull never did nothing for me”. It’s self-deprecating, but also shows an element of accepting her insecurities for what they are and just living with them.

To conclude, this record is that of a band whose sound has fully matured. The sheer talent displayed throughout the musicianship in This Is Why can go unnoticed at times, due to just how great a personality and singer Williams is, but you simply have to give them their props.

This Is Why is a special record that simply shows one of the 21st century’s best bands add another feather in their cap. Bold, captivating, and full of attitude – this is why the album will be on many people’s albums of 2023 list.


Standout Tracks: The News, Running Out Of Time, Liar

For Fans Of: Radiohead, Bloc Party, Olivia Rodrigo

Written by: Joe Loughran