After Laughter

After Laughter

Following 2013’s Paramore, Hayley Williams became “tired of self-doubt and losing friends” and considered decommissioning the band. It makes this rich, vibrant, defiantly poppy return as surprising as it is satisfying. On an album indebted to the ’80s, there are echoes of Talking Heads (“Hard Times”) and Blondie’s forays into reggae (“Caught in the Middle”), while guitarist Taylor York’s love of Afro-pop informs “Told You So.” Darker moods sit beneath the shiny surface though, and Williams’ lyrics offer compelling studies of frustration and self-sabotage.

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