Lucy Norris reviews...
After Laughter marked a massive shift in the band’s sound and this album is again no different. This time, however, it feels like a true merging of each distinct era in creating this new blended sound. This Is Why falls back into the classic pop-punk roots found on Paramore and Brand-New Eyes, merging them with the funk-groove beats of After Laughter. Zac Farro and Taylor York’s rhythmic style intertwine with Hayley William’s effortlessly powerful vocals, creating this new, yet incredibly nostalgic sound.
Uncertainty and fear within the human psyche are prevailing themes across this album. The title and opening track, This Is Why, pinpoints this theme directly. It discusses the fears of being open about an opinion while being the face of a band, where everything that’s said is critiqued and scrutinised. Though this is not necessarily something everyone can relate to, Williams' raw honesty is something everyone can find a truth in. Being able to change and develop opinions, or take a completely different standpoint, takes a great deal of acceptance within yourself. It is this experience I feel is captured on this album: the acceptance of change and uncertainty.
A stand-out track on this album has to be Crave, capturing the longing and desire to relive a moment, even before the moment has passed. It also highlights appreciating a painful moment from the past and seeing its importance for the way it changed you as a person. As a long-time fan of the band, I will admit I was initially sceptical of this album. Going from After Laughter to This Is Why, the album completely subverted my expectations with this new blend of sounds. This song immediately captured my attention and reminded me why I am such a long-time fan of the band. For any fan of an artist, acceptance of change and the development of sound is what makes or breaks an album. This Is Why is an album for every fan, a homage to every era, for the ones who stayed and the ones yet to come.
Words: Lucy Norris