Reviewed by Paul S Ganney
As any long-time follower of rock will know, Paramore are the rock band from Franklin, Tennessee, featuring Christian lead singer Hayley Williams, whose 'All We Know Is Falling' album of 2005 was to go Gold. Hayley subsequently fell out wither her fellow band members and 'After Laughter' features her with an all-new lineup and a keyboard-dominated sound which has a strong '80s vibe sometimes resembling Duran Duran and Curiosity Killed The Cat. So you get lots of backing vocals, little lightly-chorused guitar riffs, drum patterns, choppy chords and so on. The opening track "Hard Times" gives a very clear indication as to the rest of the album. It's very well done and superbly recorded and produced, the songwriting is very strong and the performances spot on. Lyrically, betrayal, disappointment and failure seem to be strong themes whereas musically they're far more up-beat and summery. It's well paced, with the full-on dance/pop letting up after four tracks into the far more acoustic and downbeat intro to "Fake Happy" (which then moves to a more Avril Lavigne-style with the arrival of possibly the most rocky chord section on the album). With five songs - "Caught In The Middle", "Fake Happy", "Told You So", "Rose-Colored Boy" and "Hard Times" - making it to the Cross Rhythms playlist this is retro-tinged, keyboard-dominated music and if you like the sound of that, you'll probably love the tracks here though stylistically it's a long way from the guitar-driven bite which made 'All We Know Is Falling' such a big hit.
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