Brand New Eyes was Paramore’s third studio album, and was released in 2009. It came at a big time for the band; most notably, they had gained hundreds of new fans after recording the song Decode for the first Twilight movie, and also learnt why people advise against dating someone you work with. Lead singer Hayley Williams and guitarist Josh Farro dated for around about three years before deciding to call it quits, something that most likely contributed to Josh and brother Zac leaving the band. However, between the break-up and the betrayal came Brand New Eyes, and Williams’ feelings towards Farro are thinly veiled in many songs. But hey, everyone has relationship problems, and these guys were professional enough to turn it into some impressive music.
The album hits the ground running with its first track Ignorance. Whilst Paramore are categorised in the ‘alternative’ genre, this song is more on the rock side of things and an angry break-up song done well. Ignorance would be one of the highlights on an album filled with hits, with a catchy guitar riff, pounding drum beat and an ability to make the listener want to get up and jump around.
Playing God offers the audience something a little more stripped back and talks about that one annoying person that we all know, who thinks they’re better than everyone else. The lyrics are relatable to everybody, stating that “next time you point a finger, I might have to bend it back/or break it off.” Yep, you can’t help but think of a certain somebody when hearing these lyrics, and this laid back song will have you singing along with enthusiasm.
Hayley Williams is extraordinary when it comes to emotional ballads, and The Only Exception is no different. This heartwrenching song exudes vulnerability, as someone who is extremely cynical of love admits to their loved one that they now believe in love, because of them. This song will wear down the most hard hearted person and take you on emotional rollercoaster.
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Whilst I’ve made special mention of three of my favourite songs on the album, each song brings something exceptional to Brand New Eyes. Brick by Boring Brick is in similar vein to Ignorance and has ingenious lyrics that darkly reference fairytales, including “make sure to build your heart brick by boring brick/or the wolf’s gonna blow it down.” Looking Up and Where The Lines Overlap are both catchy songs with a positive outlook on life which leave its listener just as positive and happy. Misguided Ghosts is a hidden gem at the end of the album; with just William’s voice and a guitar to accompany her, a magical and intimate atmosphere is created.
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Brand New Eyes is one of my favourite albums because it is a rare thing to be able to listen to an album and love the entire thing. There are no filler songs here, and the album takes you on a journey from the first beat to the end note. Brand New Eyes may just be Paramore’s best album yet, so if you’ve been somehow hiding under a rock and haven’t heard these songs, get to it asap!