Album Review: “Riot!”

When I first popped this CD in and pressed play, I honestly wasn’t very impressed.  I thought it was going to be just another sophomore album that was unimpressive in the light of the debut.  But, like other truly great albums, this one grows on you. 

The album opens with a bang and never really lets up.  Nearly every song on this eleven song release is a raucous anthem that will surely excite you…if you let it.  The unfortunate circumstance with this album is that it is so easy to pass it off as mediocre with a first listen only.

The only slower song is the quite-sensitive, piano-supported ballad, “We Are Broken.”  But the band know that they are a true post-hardcore type band with the likes of labelmates The Academy Is… and others.  This CD is about noise and clamor (hence the title), and Paramore delivers.  Jams like “Hallelujah,” and “Fences,” will have you screaming along with lead singer Hayley Williams.

I truly miss, however, the artfulness of the first album, All We Know Is Falling.  The debut just seemed so much more distinctive than this new album.  Each song was unique and each had its own distinctive mood and flavor.  Riot’s songs are more difficult to distinguish from one another.  However, as a whole the album is a blast and I definitely recommend it.  The individual members of the band work terrifically well with one another and there is a definite cohesion between the different instruments – one of the strong points of the first album.  The guitars, vocals, and drums all work together seamlessly, and if anything, the band should be heard for their mastery of punk music.

And I know that their cohesion is not due to studio editing – just watch some live videos on Youtube.  Williams’ voice is always wonderful and spot on, and the band syncs up perfectly.

So to get to the final verdict: I would definitely recommend the album to current Paramore fans, but would suggest that newcomers invest in the debut, All We Know Is Falling, before they join the Riot!.

Paramore’s second studio album, Riot!, is available now online (iTMS, Amazon) and in stores everywhere.

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