Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Paramore – Still Into You

Aw, that’s sweet. We kinda like you too.


Alex Ostroff: Fall Out Boy might be experts at signifying ‘earnest,’ but it turns out that Paramore are superior at ‘sincere’. As a personality, Hayley Williams remains a cipher but she nimbly flits between genres, vocal styles and tempos on Paramore without once making me wonder if she’s serious. Here, what appears to be a frothy, disposable pop-punk delight posits enduring love not as comfort or stability, but as intoxicant and bliss — and does so convincingly. Taylor occasionally attempts this sort of joy, but usually sticks to isolated moments of bliss or yacht club fantasies. “Still Into You” delivers infatuation and certainty and passion, all with a specificity that Swift tends to reserve for heartbreak. Some things just make sense.

Anthony Easton: My friend Sundar says that he sees an overlap between Avril and Taylor Swift, and if that is the case, this might be the center of the Venn diagram. Which makes me wonder: why does rock as taken by current country still seem like a boys’ game, and what are the implications of this being read as a country song, if Taylor is still country?

Edward Okulicz: “Still Into You” takes a strain of snappy radio pop (best exemplified by Taylor Swift) and flips the template on its head — where Swift saves the noise for relationships gone south, Hayley Williams has just as much energy and fireworks alongside big, dorky declarations of love and enduring passion. This is not all that common in pop, where too often a song with this message might be a lot softer and wouldn’t sound exciting like this does. It’s not over-thought or over-written, either: the words are simple, all the sounds are crisp and Williams really has a lot of strings to her bow, and that she is a fantastic power-pop vocalist is one worth celebrating — how she jumps into the line “I should be over all the butterflies!” is the spine-tingling, life-affirming pop moment of the year.

Patrick St. Michel: “All I wanted was you!” Those were the final words Hayley Williams shouted to end her group’s last album, back in 2009, which was another set of songs steeped in longing, loneliness and sneers aimed at lousy ex-lovers. Jump ahead four years and Williams is no longer pacing her apartment, trying to distract herself with black and white reruns – she’s practically drunk on love now. I’d have been shocked enough had you told me Paramore’s best song to date would be a happy one, but I never would have guessed it would find Williams sipping on stability, reminiscing about meeting her lover’s mother and holding hands. Keyboards and what sounds like a child’s xylophone chime in the back, while the synths blooping off during the unfuckwithable chorus might as well be the butterflies Williams should be over by now. At the end of Brand New Eyes, she was screaming in hopes of somebody, anyone hearing her. Now, her voice is cracking because she just can’t contain her joy for what she has. I don’t even care if I hear the album, because this would be a hell of an ending for Paramore.  

Jonathan Bogart: I’m not sure what it is that makes my skin crawl slightly at this joyous, giddy, even swinging declaration of steadfast love. Maybe it’s just that I’m out of practice listening to modern rock as an expression of happiness rather than of fury, moodiness or cerebral detachment; or maybe I’m picking up on the slightly corny country song underlying the pop-punk dynamics, and responding the way I did to Shania Twain when I was fifteen years younger and dumber. Either way, the phenomenon requires further study.

John Seroff: It’s likely a silly chicken-or-the-egg sort of question whether Paramore has shifted style to fun and 2012 Taylor Swiftery or if the band is simply refining the lessons they originally taught. I prefer my Hayley more lupine and angry than shiny and happy but, walking out into what feels like the first genuine spring day in a grim procession of gray mornings, there was an undeniable joy in letting “Into You” get into my head as the right song for the right moment. It’s a brief moment of forgettable, impactful kindness.

Scott Mildenhall: “Still Into You” sells nostalgia in the same light, summery way as so many songs that have come before it, but the one that springs to mind is, for some reason, Noisettes’ wonderful “Never Forget You.” Perhaps it’s because it makes for a pertinent comparison – like “Still Into You,” it’s also a song where the narrator has come to the realisation that, more than nostalgia, they’ve got a love that’s as strong as ever. The result is unselfconscious sincerity; an undervalued quality.

Brad Shoup: My actuarial tables give us ’til 2017 for a track-by-track response to Pinkerton. This is track 9, which means it can’t be a riposte to “Tired of Sex” or “The Good Life,” so we’re still waiting. Lineup changes or unfinished chart business mean that the off-bar emphases have given way to a backbeat you can set your fist to. It pings, it swings, and Williams… well, she brings the house down. The way she tears into the second “into you” on each refrain shows a kind of insensible hunger; the fact that she knows exactly when her partner’s stress melted away makes this a true couples’ song. The video could have been a montage of evangelical dudes proposing, fedoras in hand, and I’d probably still mist up.

Katherine St Asaph: This is such a total retcon of “The Only Exception.” And thus great.

Jonathan Bradley: The lovestruck awe of “The Only Exception” re-cast as uncontainable exuberance. Chunky basslines buffed this clean usually signal (an awkward) selling out, but the smart punk is comfortable with tones this bright; they match the hair-dye. 

Alfred Soto: Hayley Williams has never sounded so much like Carrie Brownstein — without sanctimony or traces of post-punk. This is expert as hell, with celeste sprinkled on the verses, handclaps, muscular riff that doesn’t linger, even an unexpected synth, as if she’s deploying every instrument in her arsenal, to paraphrase Taylor Dayne, to prove her love.

Zach Lyon: Wood block! Glockenspiel! Joy! “Your mother!”! Dancing!!! The first song of 2013 I’ve needed to play on repeat for hours; the first song of 2013 I’ve woken up thinking about.

Reader average: [8.14] (119 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

22 Responses to “Paramore – Still Into You”

  1. Am suspicious that this was just a group effort to get a song with Drake off the top

  2. Oh ye of little faith. It took me a couple of listens before the compulsion to play this on loop emerged, but it’ll hit you eventually.

    And I adore the Kendrick track.

  3. I was kidding! I loved this on first listen, thus the current reader average. The instrumental part before the bridge is pure joy.

    The Kendrick track however has yet to impress.

  4. If it was (and it wasn’t!) there’s not a more worthy beneficiary. Had Gwen Stefani put out a solo record in 1997, it would have sounded like this.

  5. Agh, I should have blurbed this. Probably requires a few more listens but it’s somewhere between [7] and [8] now. Can’t say I’m not surprised by the average though.

  6. “Am suspicious that this was just a group effort to get a song with Drake off the top.”

    Of course it was. I can send you the minutes.

  7. Nah, if there was going to be a conscious plan to knock Drake off the top, it would have been a Big Freedia single.

  8. I love that, free of an on-screen love interest, Hayley singing directly into the camera – the video frames the song as a love letter to the fans. Their whole “Paramore is still a band” attempt at narrative hasn’t always resonated, but that it’s stealthily written to be not so much sung along with, as sung back AT the band is brilliant – like you could turn the camera 180 degrees and there’d be a gaggle of twentysomethings making hand-hearts, totally fucking adorable

  9. I’m not that musically literate, but here goes…

    I feel that this song is held back by the vocal mixing. On the chorus, where it should be soaring, it sounds slightly flat and samey. They’ve come this far, they might as well make this a undeniable pop song.

  10. I’d have given this a 6. It’s boring to me – there’s not a lot going on. I’m happy for Hayley, though.

  11. I really didn’t think by giving this an 8 I’d be bringing the average down! Looking at the sidebar it’s the 10th highest score on the site.

    My favourite part is when, inexplicably, the cowbell comes in, and it all gets a bit Friendly Fires. The joy is already totally unabashed and unremitting, and then it just becomes transcendent. It’s almost out of place, but you’re swept along – maybe it’s not a coincidence that it accompanies the line “some things just make sense”.

  12. Actually that reminds me of another song that this reminds me of – Made-Up Lovesong #43 by Guillemots. It pulls the same trick with the line “the best things come from nowhere” – it’s like a non-explanation of the unconfined joy that surrounds it, and again, it makes perfect sense.

  13. This reminds me a lot of Patrick Wolf’s “The Magic Position”? Like, my CHEESY JOY can only express itself via GLOCKENSPIEL and HANDCLAPS and ORANGE HAIR DYE. If there is a meditative folk cut featuring Marianne Faithfull on the Paramore album let me know.

  14. Richoad,

  15. Uh… Seriously?

  16. Just entered the top 10 at american top 40 radio!

  17. Pazz & Jop is out. Here’s how our top 10 fared:

    Paramore, “Still Into You” – 40th
    Meek Mill, “Dreams and Nightmares” – DNP
    Kendrick Lamar, “Poetic Justice” – 440th
    Mariah Carey ft. Miguel, “#Beautiful” – 28th
    Kanye West, “Black Skinhead” – 7th
    Disclosure ft. Eliza Doolittle, “You & Me” – 241st
    Sakanaction, “Music” – 440th
    Fiona Apple, “Hot Knife” – DNP
    Temi Dollface, “Pata Pata” – 440th
    Ivan Dorn, “Nevospitannyy” – DNP

  18. And here’s how we scored their top ten:

    1. Daft Punk ft. Pharrell and Nile Rodgers, “Get Lucky” (6.82)
    2. Lorde, “Royals” (6.00)
    3. Haim, “The Wire” (7.22)
    4. Kanye West, “New Slaves” (6.90)
    4. Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell, “Blurred Lines” (5.89)
    6. Drake ft. Majid Jordan, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (7.54)
    7. Kanye West, “Black Skinhead” (7.92)
    8. Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX, “I Love It” (7.12)
    9. Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop” (4.00)
    10. Kanye West, “Bound 2” (7.36)

  19. how many of us submitted ballots?

  20. I dunno if I’ll remember all our alumni, but here are the names I’ve found:

    Alex Macpherson
    Alfred Soto
    Al Shipley
    Andrew Casillas
    Anthony Easton
    Brad Shoup
    Chuck Eddy
    Dan Weiss
    David Cooper Moore
    Frank Kogan
    Ian Mathers
    Jamieson Cox
    John Seroff
    Josh Langhoff
    Katherine St. Asaph
    Mallory O’Donnell
    Maura Johnston
    Michaelangelo Matos
    Michelle Myers
    Renato Pagnani
    Thomas Inskeep

    If anyone cares about this sort of thing and wants to get in on it next year, the Voice put out, essentially, an open call at the end of the Tabulations section of this year’s Pazz & Jop.

  21. I was invited to fill one out but I was still in the middle of a Beyonce high and my songs ballot would have just been 10 Beyonce songs. You could even say that I was…drunk in love. **~~slitters back into Excel cave~~**

  22. Aww that would have been fun.