Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Paramore – Careful

We don’t necessarily wants the redhead…


John Seroff:Ignorance“, a scrawny sneer of a breakup, was my new best friend for a month so my expectations for Paramore’s new single were pretty high. “Careful” suffers from only slightly better than pedestrian emo orchestration, but benefits from Hayley Williams’ lead vocals. I don’t know why a Fueled by Ramen prodigy barely out of her teens speaks so true and clear to me; perhaps Williams, who grew up a half hour from my old Tennessee home, reminds me of my own Southern youth. Whatever the case, Hayley’s you’re-not-the-boss-of-me yowl resonates; her buttery growling Rs, pursed lip OOOs and vulnerable, breathless caesuras perfectly evoke the flailing turmoil of puberty. “Careful”‘s conflict is all internal; the futility of trying and the fear of failure wrestle with hot blood and hormones. Nonsensical teenage indignation (“You can’t tell me to feel”) butts heads with too-old-too-soon warnings. Strong stuff; it’d be that much stronger with an interesting hook.

Alfred Soto: “The truth never set me free/So I did it myself” is a good rock lyric, unsupported, alas by Katy Perry/Linda Perry’s idea of truth: stentorian power chords, with vocals to match, especially in the elongated vowels department. Of course the Perrys didn’t write it, but this expert duplication proves how teenage angst can pay off well before the band gets too old. If not they can join Karen O’s cohorts on the soundtrack to a Harriet the Spy remake in 2013.

Anthony Miccio: Guitarist John Farro and drummer brother Zack bring such unusual variety and emotion to their Hot Topic rock that it’s a shame Hayley Williams smothers the track in the usual boring, obtuse wails of discontent. Ironic as it may be, her vocals are the least novel thing here.

Al Shipley: Paramore are at their best when either their hooks are giddier or their drama is more maudlin, but they’re not at all bad when they just rock out and deploy cool drum fills instead.

Pete Baran: It strikes me the step change in recording this kind of stuff from 20 years ago is the quality of the drum sounds. There is a clarity to the staccato machine-gun drumming that sounds immense in my headphones and I can imagine destroying the dancefloor in a club. I can’t remember the last time I’ve wanted to listen to a track again just for its drumming, which I guess is a win.

Martin Skidmore: I like parts of this: her singing is sharp, it has some energy, there are moments where it sounds like there is a good song. But there are also moments when it doesn’t, and some of the playing is clumsy and even misguided (U2 guitar licks do not fit with the punky pace).

Mordechai Shinefield: Has Jessica Hopper written about Paramore yet? Having a female frontman on an emo song, surprisingly, changes nothing about the emo dynamic. Her voice doesn’t even differ substantially from other practitioners (and maybe C&C’s Claudio has an even more feminine sound) and any added oestrogen is indistinguishable from Dashboard, or Thursday. The good news is that it’s just as good as any other good emo song of the last decade. The bad news? It’s just as good as any other good emo song of the last decade.

3 Responses to “Paramore – Careful”

  1. This isn’t the new single, is it? That’s ‘Brick By Boring Brick’.

  2. Yeah, “Brick” is the single, “Careful” just charted as an iTunes pre-release I think.

  3. @Anthony Miccio, be sure to research more about the band. Its ZAC without the K. And Hayley has a great voice. Don’t hate.