Losing two founding members is enough to make most bands throw in the towel. Not the case for Tennessee-based emo rockers Paramore, who emerged from the setback stronger than ever with 2013's chart-topping Paramore, their fourth -- and most successful -- album to date. While the new lineup seems to be exploring new genres (synthpop, gospel), their legion of loyal fans will be happy to find that the hard-hitting, emotional sound the band is known for is still there – along with singer Hayley Williams’ iconic flame-colored hair. From the frenetic aggression of pop-punk lead single "Now" to the bubblegum hopefulness of "Still Into You," Paramore the LP encapsulates the best of the band’s work and proves that changes aren’t always a bad thing. Back on the road as a three-piece in 2013, there’s never been a better time to grab tickets to see Paramore in concert -- the intense charisma of frontwoman Hayley Williams has earned the band a reputation as a consummate live act.
When Paramore formed in 2004, none of the members were over the age of 18 -- a fact that sheds some light on their popularity among tweens and Twilight fans (two of the band’s songs feature prominently on the Twilight soundtrack). The band’s 2005 debut All We Know Is Falling earned them a spot on the Vans Warped Tour, as well as supporting slots with genre-mates Simple Plan. Bolstered by favorable reviews from British mags Kerrang! and NME, the band followed up in 2007 with platinum-certified Riot!, an album characterized by the bitter emotionalism of songs like “Misery Business” and “That’s What You Get.” After extensive touring in 2008 with fellow pop-punkers Jimmy Eat World and No Doubt, the band returned to the studio to record 2009’s Brand New Eyes, which, despite its debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, was their last release under the original lineup.
In the wake of their near-breakup, remaining members Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis (bass), and Taylor Young (guitar) have found new freedom to experiment with the band’s sound, and given Williams’ stated influences (The Cure, Etta James), there’s a lot of territory to explore. Considering the No.1 debut of 2013’s Paramore and the glowing reviews for the bands stripped-down live setup, the new formula seems to be suiting them just fine.