Album Review

Paramore, 'Brand New Eyes'

September 28, 2009

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Paramore Brand New Eyes
Fueled By Ramen
ESSENTIAL “The Only Exception’’

Warped Tour-tested and “Twilight’’-approved, Paramore delivers its latest album on the heels of a Grammy nomination that validated what teenagers whose hearts beat faster than their ability to express what’s in them already knew. What the band hasn’t had yet, however, is a bona fide hit, and “Brand New Eyes’’ - with its sparkling, diamond-hard production courtesy of Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance) - aims to expand Paramore’s audience beyond emo kids and vampire romanticists. The swaying and vulnerable “The Only Exception’’ is probably the best place to start, with singer Hayley Williams forging a connection instead of simply spitting out her feelings, while the band locks in at a sympathetic simmer behind her. They boil over on the impressive goth-metal ballad “All I Wanted,’’ while “Ignorance’’ is a thrilling little headlong rush. Most of the rest is boilerplate Warped Tour anthems and one big yawn of an acoustic number (“Misguided Ghosts’’). Paramore is certainly a sharp enough unit that doesn’t lack for energy, and “Brand New Eyes’’ features enough interesting ideas to take notice. All it needs is to double the ones it has, and it’ll be a band that’s foolish to ignore. (Out tomorrow) MARC HIRSH