Paramore: This Is Why Album Review

Paramore, the renowned rock band led by Hayley Williams, has taken a bold leap in their musical journey with the release of their sixth album, “This Is Why.” This album showcases a significant shift in their sound, exploring the realm of jittery and crackling post-punk. As we delve into the heart of “This Is Why,” we will examine its overall impact, delve into the individual tracks, dissect its production and instrumentation, analyze its songwriting and lyrics, explore Williams’ vocal performance, consider its influences and comparisons, gauge its emotional impact, identify its target audience, address criticisms, and finally, provide personal insights.

This Is Why Album Overview

In the span of two decades, Paramore has evolved from a group of young talents into a mature and influential force in the music industry. “This Is Why” stands as a testament to this evolution, showcasing the band’s willingness to explore new musical territories. Departing from their signature sound, the album embraces the jagged energy of post-punk, blending it with Paramore’s distinctive style. The album encapsulates themes of resilience, growth, and political introspection, reflecting the band’s journey from teenage stardom to mature advocacy.

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Track Analysis

The album opens with the energetic title track, “This Is Why,” which expertly combines Williams’ powerful vocals with the edginess of post-punk instrumentation. However, some tracks like “C’est Comme Ça” falter in their execution, missing the mark on the quirky charisma that the genre demands. The second half of the album, however, shines with tracks like “You First” and “Figure 8,” which successfully blend atmospheric density and fiery energy. The closing track, “Thick Skull,” encapsulates the album’s core message of resilience and growth.

Production and Instrumentation

Paramore’s experimentation with post-punk is evident in the album’s production and instrumentation. The band’s signature energy is channeled through jagged edges and crackling textures, capturing the essence of the genre. The fusion of Silent Alarm-esque guitars and velvety clarinet drones adds depth and uniqueness to the album’s sonic landscape.

Songwriting and Lyrics

“This Is Why” delves into a range of themes, including political introspection and personal growth. However, the execution of these themes varies. While tracks like “The News” fall short with one-dimensional critiques, others like “Thick Skull” elegantly explore the idea of making mistakes and finding resilience. The album’s lyrics often reflect Williams’ matured perspective, but at times, the delivery lacks the nuance needed to fully convey these complex ideas.

Vocal Performance

Hayley Williams’ vocals remain a centerpiece of Paramore’s identity, and “This Is Why” is no exception. Her vocal range is showcased across the album, from punctuated belting on the title track to the hypnotic falsetto on “Liar.” While Williams’ attempts to adopt the flat affectation of post-punk artists can feel misplaced, her overall vocal performance is a testament to her skill and versatility.

Comparisons and Influences

Paramore’s pivot to post-punk draws inspiration from the early 2000s British post-punk revival, a genre that holds personal significance for Williams. However, while the album successfully captures the energy of the genre, it occasionally loses some of the exuberance that defined Paramore’s earlier work. The influence of artists like Bloc Party and Dry Cleaning is evident, but at times, the album struggles to strike the right balance between homage and originality.

Emotional Impact

The emotional impact of “This Is Why” lies in its exploration of resilience and growth. The album’s second half, in particular, resonates with a sense of determination and willingness to face challenges head-on. The closing track, “Thick Skull,” encapsulates this emotional journey, emphasizing the idea of bouncing back even after repeated mistakes.

Target Audience

The album’s target audience spans across generations, appealing to long-time Paramore fans as well as those interested in the post-punk genre. The exploration of mature themes and the band’s evolution over the years also make it relevant to listeners who appreciate introspective and politically charged music.


Despite its strengths, “This Is Why” is not without its criticisms. The album occasionally falls short in its execution of post-punk elements, leading to moments where the experimentation feels forced. The political commentary in some tracks lacks the depth and nuance that could have elevated the album’s impact.

Personal Insights

As a listener, “This Is Why” presents a captivating journey through Paramore’s evolution and experimentation. The album’s exploration of post-punk energy showcases the band’s willingness to take risks, even if not all of them land perfectly. While some tracks may miss the mark, the moments of brilliance in the second half of the album make it a worthy addition to Paramore’s discography.


In conclusion, “This Is Why” marks a significant shift in Paramore’s musical landscape, embracing the crackling energy of post-punk. The album’s exploration of themes like resilience and growth resonates with listeners, even though there are moments where the execution falls short. Hayley Williams’ vocal prowess remains a highlight, capturing the essence of Paramore’s identity. While the album may not be flawless, its bold experimentation and emotional journey make it a noteworthy addition to Paramore’s musical legacy.

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