A month back I was so psyched to hear that Paramore was writing music again; not so much now that it’s out.
Hard Times, posted late last week on Fueled by Ramen’s official YouTube account, is the first single for Paramore’s After Laughter, which comes out May 12th.
The first time I listened to the song, I had to check twice to see if I was listening to the right track. The seven second jungle boogie percussion is so out of place even with that stylized transition. The dance vibe of the single takes a bit of getting used to but gets stale after a few times on repeat. The bridge takes it down to a very off-putting mood, and I don’t even know what the hell that pseudo daft punk breakdown is doing there. I do appreciate the glum lyrics contrasted with the jumpy music. Though nothing new, it’s a nice touch and is one of the few things I like about the release.
The MV is a mess and I don’t know which audience they had in mind for this. Have I been so lost in touch with what’s “It” that the minimalistic hipster visual has been replaced with retro-psychedelic-neon-clutter without me noticing. Don’t even argue that this is vaporwave aesthetics because the visuals on this is not even on the same continent as that.
Aside from Hayley’s iconic vocals, there isn’t a trace of Paramore in this track. There are, understandably, some changes that will occur along with the not-so-tragic (sorry, not sorry) breakup, but blaming this mess on that alone is lazy and sad. I’m not going to discredit all the well-deserved support this comeback has because Paramore did influence the scene greatly, but I’m certainly hoping that this will not be the theme of the forthcoming album. Till After Laughter comes out, I’m just praying this won’t be the summer anthem of 2017.