by Sarah James

Paramore has returned.

For the first time in four years, the Tennessee-raised alternative rock band has released a new single, “Hard Times” along with an announcement of the upcoming album After Laughter which will be released on May 12th. This song and album also marks the return of original drummer Zac Farro, and the departure of bassist Jeremy Davis. With a new line up and different sound, Paramore is ready to come back strong.

“Hard Times” sounds like something straight from the 80s, with a driven groove and slick guitar phrases that punch. This style is something they played around with in their 2013 hit, “Ain’t it Fun,” which was definitely a funkier move towards pop and away from rock. Now, in 2017, Paramore has kept the funk, but also added their rock roots back into the mix in a retro way. It’s bright, fun, and easier to move to, which stands in opposition to the lyrics.

Coming from an “emo” scene, Paramore has consistently had lyrics that tackle difficult subjects. “Hard Times” is no exception, and counteracts its high energy with more serious lyrics. Hayley Williams plays with the idea that once you hit the lowest you can go, the only way to go is up, as evidenced by the repeated lyric, “And I gotta get to rock bottom.” This song is extremely relatable in its lyrics, asking how and why we are able to get through the difficult moments in our lives. And all of this is perfected in the vocal prowess of Hayley Williams. Her performance is stellar and genuine, adding a rocker’s edge to a poppier tune. The performance from all three members of the band really sell the song, and excite fans for the upcoming album.

All images from Genius

 

Hard Times

8.5 Great

“Hard Times” is a retro groove that mixes modern rock with 80s pop, and is an exciting reintroduction to Paramore.

  • Sound 8
  • Lyrics 9
  • Performances 8.5
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