Album Review – PARAMORE – After Laughter (Atlantic & WEA)
Review by Geoff Jenke
Paramore’s revolving membership continues with Haley Williams being the only constant since 2004. However original drummer, Zac Farro, returns after a seven year absence from the band for their fifth album, After Laughter.
The album builds on their previous efforts and they are now entrenched in poppy, 80’s new wave sound. This album is the sound of a band having fun in the studio.
The first two tracks, Hard Times and Rose Coloured Boy fully support the happy 80’s sound while Told You So could easily slip onto a Cyndi Lauper album with ease. Lead vocalist Haley Williams voice has such a great vocal range, that she slips into each style of song easily.
Forgiveness slows things down but the good time vibe is still throughout the song with its easy bouncy syths. Fake Happy follows with its simple acoustic intro, before shifting a gear with a simple synth beat. Even though the subject matter is not in a happy place, the song remains relatively so.
The energy picks up later in the album with Idle Worship, but then gives way to a slightly weird No Friend with muffled vocals. Definitely not the best track on the album. In fact it detracts from the strong album close. The only ballad on the album, Tell Me How is a surprising, but effective conclusion, to After Laughter with Haley Williams singing over a piano melody. One would have expected Paramore to close with an uplifting number. However Tell Me How is one of the album highlights.
After Laughter may not be album of the year but it may well be the good time album of the year.