I am a long time fan of Paramore. From the angsty middle school days, to their latest album After Laughter, I’ve kept up.
It’s been little while since their last album and After Laughter was long awaited by their fans. I am by no means a music critic, and am probably too bias to ever be one. But I want to talk about this album lyrically and share how grateful I am for it.
This record came at the perfect time in my life, and I know many others. Hayley Williams describes different phases of grief and struggle throughout the album from “Hard Times”, outlining what rock bottom feels like, to “Forgiveness”, describing the struggle of turning the other cheek to the person that has wronged you. Anyone that knows me knows that I recently when through an emotionally trying time and am still working to pick up the pieces of that. Through this album Williams shares with listeners that it is, in fact, okay to not be all right, and if it takes a little while to heal, then take all the time you need. Pain doesn’t disappear and its important to lean into it and face it head on no matter what that looks like.
She addresses certain people’s lack of empathy in “Rose-Colored Boy”, a song speaking to an overly optimistic person in her life who thinks she’ll be just fine in no time. For some reason empathy is a very hard thing for some people to exercise. Maybe because being optimistic truly does feel like it would be helpful, but when someone is in pain and trying to deal with that, telling them that everything is fine is insensitive and looks like you’re trying to minimize what they are going through. Thanks, Hayley, we all have that person we want to tell to “piss off”.
Each song addresses a different time in the process of grief. I love that Williams does that and does not lump “grief” into one bucket. There are so many stages and so many aspects to deal with. The lyrics are backed, for the most part, by groovy, pop sounds almost in contrast to the subject matter, but even that is a tool Williams uses to get her message across.
Thank God for music and thank God for Paramore.