1. Paramore - S/T (Fueled By Ramen
Words: Emma Garland
Well, duh. How could it not be?
Starting off as the band that made music-to-slam-your-bedroom-door-to, Paramore could at one time be easily dismissed as a musical backdrop for mallrats; a female-fronted My Chemical Romance or a more aggressive Avril Lavigne. But even then, there was something that set them apart. Call it Hayley Williams' vocal prowess and general superhuman sense of awesome, the incendiary guitar lines or the fact that their albums pack more catchy “WHOA’s” than AFI, The Offspring and Misfits combined, but Paramore has written some of the greatest pop songs of the last decade and a good portion of them feature on this record.
Following the less than amicable departure of Josh and Zac Farro in 2010, Hayley Williams was burdened with the uncomfortable task of proving that the band was about more than just her. It was clear that Paramore could not continue to be Paramore and the danger of their next release being perceived as Hayley’s solo project was very real.
However, the band re-emerged as a threesome with a self-titled album that represented an altogether different band, Fifth Element haircuts and all. Comparable to Blink-182’s comeback in 2003, the bad blood that threatened to end Paramore’s career became nothing more than water under the bridge they used to go from strength to strength.
Paramore is both playful and brave in its powerful embrace of pop – an aspect which, care to admit it or not, has always been the core element of the band’s songwriting, and this shift has put them even more out of the box than they were before. Paramore defies the boundaries of it’s own commercial appeal with some unexpected moments from massive gospel choir choruses to ukulele interludes and even a few country vibes here and there. Then of course there are the unquestionably massive bangers like 'Still Into You' and 'Anklebiters.'
Dynamic but consistent, Paramore is the accomplished product of a band that has turned a corner by holding onto their alternative roots and influences with one had and high-fiving Taylor Swift with the other.
Yay!! And my other faves Cassadee Pope and Demi Lovato made the list, as well! :)