On ‘Told You So’, the second single from Paramore’s latest album After Laughter, the heaviness of the band’s early work seems to evaporate into the pop ether. That abrasive finish has been replaced by an omniscient synth line and a playful marimba rhythm that also appears on the band’s comeback single ‘Hard Times’. The weightlessness of those features beautifully combats Taylor York’s angular riffs in an effervescent re-imagining of ’80s pop-rock. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine Duran Duran or possibly even Frankie Goes To Hollywood trying on ‘Told You So’ for size with its careering guitar lines.
But like many Paramore songs, both past and present, that surface smile is curdled by Hayley Williams’ tale of conflict. The target in her crosshairs remains anonymous, fuelling further speculation that she is aiming at former band members. But even when she is adamant that she’s in the right you can’t help but feel that this is a battle that she doesn’t want to fight anymore. There’s often great catharsis in airing these grievances and Paramore’s upbeat new sound seems happy with moving on even if the downbeat narrative says otherwise.
Image courtesy of All Punked Up