You might know Paramore best from the band's 2009 hit “Misery Business,” an ass–kicking pop–punk anthem for a generation of angsty teens. They’ve spent the last four years since then working on this album, their third studio effort, and the attitude is far less teenaged. This album’s production is noticeably smoother and the aesthetic skews far more pop than punk (“Ain’t It Fun” even has gospel choir back–up vocals). But the punky grit and energy of their past efforts is lost in the shuffle. The lead single, “Now,” is disappointing, lacking the infectious guitar hooks of their past efforts—it’s reflective of most of the album. Sure, lead singer Hayley Williams’ remarkable voice is still on full display, but it’s wasted on forgettable, generic pop. Paramore has definitely grown up, but the added years don’t sound great on them.


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