After Laughter, Paramore’s first album after the return of drummer Zac Farro, represents a change from the bands usual pop punk and rock music style to a more alternative style. The band’s sound in this album is more synth based with little to no blurs or reverberations that are present in most rock music. However, despite this change in style, Paramore still remains the same to some degree.
Like many of the band’s past music, the lyrics in After Laughter are rather self explanatory. The titles of the songs give a clear description of what the song will discuss such as “Fake Happy”, track 5, which speaks of the falseness of people and society. Throughout the album, allusions to anxiety depression, and overall sadness, mirroring many of the troubles that the band has gone through in the past years. Even in the album’s ballad, “26”, speaks of how “reality will break your heart,” a rather dark line for such a calm and sedate tone. Ironically, at first glance, one would not think that After Laughter was so deep.
The synthetic style that the band uses creates a deceptively bright and joyous tune. This pleasant and upbeat tone is a stark contrast to the heavy undertones of the lyrics. Even the cover, which is made up of light, warm colors that give off the feeling of summer, practically screams “calm and happy”. It is a strange combination, dark and sorrowful lyrics and a perky and joyful sound, yet it works in some strange way.
The closest song in After Laughter that actually sounds like it would belong in a blatantly deep and sorrowful album, unlike After Laughter’s semi-hidden undertones, is “Idle Worship”. Unlike the rest of the album’s light and bright musical tone, track 10 possesses a more haunting reverberation of synth sounds to it that reflects the hopelessness the band speaks of in the song. That being said, “Idle Worship” still possesses a fast beat and loud vocals that the majority of the album brings with it.
Paramore’s After Laughter is a strange one to say the least. With its unusual combination of lyrics and sound, the band has created music that can be considered ahead of its time in many ways. It is definitely a hop, skip, and a leap from the band’s past music, but Paramore keeps true to their roots and allow their lyrics to tell a tale for them. A tale that details everything that the band members have gone through.