Mario’s Music Review: Paramore’s newest “This Is Why” is an instant classic


Mario Ghosn writes about Paramore’s latest album “This Is Why.”

Mario Ghosn, Staff Reporter

After a six-year hiatus, American punk-rock band Paramore has made their long awaited return to the music scene, dropping their sixth studio album titled “This Is Why.” The 10-song album was met with incredibly high praise from fans and critics alike. The record was released to the world on Feb. 10, 2023; with the hype beginning to recede, I want to dissect “This Is Why” and see if this album is the masterpiece people have made it out to be. 

The album begins with the song “This Is Why,” the first single off the album and the band’s first ever title track. Whenever implementing a title track, it is essential it sets the tone for the rest of the album. Paramore adeptly accomplishes this by creating a track that begins with raunchy guitar riffs and inconsistent drum beats, almost creating the sense that the band is tuning their instruments and attempting to shake off the rust of their hiatus. The introduction to the song alone tells a story. From there, it shifts into a somewhat coherent beat that introduces lead singer Hayley Williams. 

According to an interview with LiveWire, she used this song as a platform to air her frustrations with the state of the world after the COVID-19 pandemic. She believes these years of isolation and chaos should have bred kind, empathetic people but, much to her dismay, people have only gotten worse. This frustration is put on full display as the lyrics are blunt. The lyrics and borderline dysfunctional rhythm of the instrumentals create a song so catchy that you can almost ignore the grim messaging Williams is delivering and just shake your head and dance. 

“This Is Why” is not the only song on the album that addresses world issues. Paramore has never had a problem with using their platform to bring their various concerns to light. Their second track on the album, titled “The News,” addresses how we have become desensitized to the extensive and seemingly endless list of tragedies we hear on the news every day. Williams feels the guilt of knowing that the other side of the world is falling victim to a revolving door of despair and tragedy. The song starts off aggressive and does not falter for a second, creating a fast paced, heart-rate increasing track that invites the listener to scream along at the top of their lungs. 

Although Paramore is comfortable creating rebellious, fast-paced tracks, they are not one dimensional. They have shown on numerous occasions that they have the capability to slow down the pace to create songs that tug at the heartstrings. Two songs in particular stand out on the album despite their subtlety and melancholic instrumentals. “Big Man, Little Dignity” and “Crave” give this album much needed pacing, as most of the songs on the record are very loud and in your face. “Big Man, Little Dignity” speaks on Williams’ experience with toxic masculinity, as she questions the integrity of men in her past who have used their physicality and suave attitudes to get their way. She sees through their facade, yet cannot help but fall for them anyway. The lyrics themselves are simple, but the message behind them is impactful. I found this song to be the most underrated on the album. The instrumental at the beginning of the song was unique and genuinely beautiful; I was sold before Williams began singing. It is a testament to how talented Williams’ bandmates are. Guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro do an excellent job in this album, creating distinctive instrumentals that perfectly complement Williams’ vocals.

“Crave” is one of those songs that evoke feelings of nostalgia and longing. The song addresses how hard it is to live in the moment, as it is easier to look at the past and reminisce about the good times. Williams concedes that she is desperate to savor even the most simple moments, as she knows everything will eventually end. Paramore understands that nostalgia is a drug like no other because everyone suffers from it in some way. “Crave” dives into the human psyche and how it can play tricks on us by stating that sometimes we cannot help but look back fondly on memories, even though they were difficult and saddening in the moment. The song delivers deep, brain-stimulating messaging, yet packages it in a way that comes across as simplistic. 

After listening through the album, it became clear that “This Is Why” deserves all the praise and acclaim it has received since its release. The masterful production of the instrumentals and vocals blend seamlessly to create a well-rounded album that boasts a song selection that ranges from racy and rebellious to introspective and despondent. I highly recommend giving this album a listen, as it showcases Paramore’s growth into a versatile group, capable of delivering well-rounded performances. If you love the punk-rock genre, this album is an essential addition to your playlist. “This Is Why” is what Paramore needed to release to ensure their return was triumphant, as it ensured their hiatus did not dull their creative edge, but enhanced it.