You either love them or you hate them, but there’s no denying that Paramore are now a household name. They’ve had enough line-up changes to rival Guns N Roses, with the only consistent member being lead singer Hayley Williams, and each album they’ve put out has been spectacularly different from its predecessor, but they’ve still managed to retain a diehard fan-base all over the world.
The last album Paramore put out was their self-titled back in 2013, when the band was made up of Williams, guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davies. Davies has since left amidst scathing legal battles, and drummer Zac Farro, who left the band in 2010, has returned as of this year. Fans had been desperate to see what the trio had up their sleeves, but the track that followed, ‘Hard Times’ split opinions as some fans found it hard to adapt to Paramore’s brand new sound.
‘Hard Times’ is simply a taster of what’s to come when the band release their fifth studio album on May 12, entitled After Laughter, but some previously avid listeners have boycotted the trio over the path they are now taking. The biggest deviation that this song takes away from Paramore’s previous material as that it doesn’t rely heavily on guitar riffs, bass lines, and drum beats. It’s hard to consider it a rock track at all really, but perhaps Paramore just feel like this is the direction they must take to survive. Unfortunate but true, rock just doesn’t chart like it used to, and for a band like this, who no doubt bear similarities to a business venture in the sense that accumulation of money is key.
The most deep-dyed of fans may find that hard to accept, but it’s in no way a suggestion that Paramore no longer possess soul. Fame and fortune may be the goal but the trio is certainly attentive to their fans in the way that they try to cater to them as best as possible. Williams and co. are doing what’s best for themselves in terms of their new style, but they surely are sparing a thought for those fans that they’ve unintentionally alienated by burying their punk roots six feet under.
Without taking any other factors into consideration, ‘Hard Times’ is undeniably a feel-good track and has seen all the risks that Paramore have taken pay off. It’s got the huge chorus and bubbly melody of a brilliantly composed pop track, which just shows how versatile Paramore can be.