“Gonna take you down and laugh when you cry.”

“Hard Times” by Paramore | I was not supposed to write about this song, but one, I haven’t had time to go through the inbox this week (I have six album reviews tomorrow!) and two, I’m flying to Cebu today for the day job. Well, there’s a third reason: people seem to be split over this song. Those younger than me like how Paramore – with Zac Farro returning on drums – has somewhat embraced the 80s-flavored indie pop sound of the past few months. (“Anyone hear the 1975?” “No, I hear Two Door Cinema Club!”) Those my age are struggling to like it. Some call it mediocre; others think it’s desperate. Me, well, I’m torn. One, Paramore can do good pop songs. (“Ain’t It Fun” still remains a favorite from that era.) But two – and this is not me clinging to old sounds, because I wasn’t into this group like my peers – tropical sounds just don’t fit Hayley Williams. But we’ll have to wait for the new album, After Laughter, to drop in three weeks’ time. Part of me thinks this is all an aberration, that there’s still the old, crunchy Paramore when you dig into the record. Then again, they represented a sound that became homogenous as it went on – and now, it seems, they’re latching on to another sound that has being homogenous as it goes on. [NB]

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