Paramore - Paramore album artParamore have had quite an intense career trajectory. Becoming platinum-selling juggernauts as teenagers unsurprisingly resulted in inner turmoil that pushed founding members Zac and Josh Farro to quit in 2010. Inspired by this departure, their first album since depicts a cutthroat, “dog-eat-dog” attitude, thanks also to major label demands amidst the decline in popularity of their specialty: power-pop in emo threads. While remaining starry-eyed and seemingly naïve, lyricist Hayley Williams aims to simultaneously beat and join her competition in these, Paramore’s five most combative lyrics from their 2013 self-titled album.

Fast in My Car

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Right out of the gate, Williams addresses the elephant in the room: what’s the deal with post-Farros Paramore? If you’ve been dubbed a “manufactured product of a major label,” where do you go from here? You go headfirst into the new album as a power-pop trio with guest drumming covered by ex-Lostprophets’ Ilan Rubin. The remaining members may have “been through the ringer” and come out hardened and “filled with hate,” but Hayley honestly asks the listener to “give (them) a break.” It’s admirably up-front, which piques interest: [LISTEN]

Been through the ringer a couple times
I came out callous and cruel
And my two friends know this very well
Because they went through it too

And when we spotted a second chance
We had to learn how to steal

Grow Up

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Paramore’s celebrity status may have garnered Williams “fake friends,” but she’s ready to leave dead weight and cynical leeches behind. Her wording proves that even “growing up” is possible with a giant chip on your shoulder. Still, her interludes will show that she still has yet to completely “find” herself, and may in fact be unintentionally writing about herself when mentioning “self-righteous pawns:” [LISTEN]

Said I’m done with all of my fake friends
Self-righteous pawns in a losing game

Interlude: Moving On

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Williams takes explicit aim here at the hip newcomers taking up her market share – particularly quirky indie pop songstresses – by copying them verbatim. The cutesy ukulele chords of Ingrid Michaelson, the “drinking coffee/reading the paper” line in “Holiday” (stolen from Meiko, along with Regina Spektor‘s vocal style), and the Conor Obersty, casual “just chatting” intro to “Future;” plus, Williams’ new look is an exact replica of Yo-landi Vi$$er’s, complete with bleached eyebrows in Paramore’s new “Nowvideo. She should stick to guilty-pleasure pop-rock, as these attacks on hipsters ring especially hollow when she bites off their style completely: [LISTEN]

Let ‘em soak in the sun
Sit back and let ‘em have their fun
Let ‘em spill their guts
‘Cause one day they’re gonna slip on ‘em

Let ‘em play their songs
Let ‘em say what’s right and wrong
Let ‘em do their thing
‘Cause it’ll never be you and me

(One of Those) Crazy Girls

Paramore - One of Those Crazy GirlsWe lied – this one isn’t a cutthroat lyric. Williams shows that, even in her career and personal angst, she can keep a catchy sense of humor on this modern Latin-ballad adaptation of the ultimate “clingy girlfriend.” She then caps it with the self-effacing realization that she may herself fit the bill: [LISTEN]

If you don’t answer, I’ll just use that key that I copied
‘Cause I really need to see you
You’re not here when I’m breaking
I’m gonna go to your closet just so I can smell your skin

Be Alone

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Finally, the definitive flipped-bird towards the outside world: ‘let’s leave them all behind and stay in together on the couch’. Whether this is an actual sentiment shared with New Found Glory’s lead guitarist Chad Gilbert, or a possible solution to the drama surrounding the band, or just completely unrelated and fictional – nothing’s more intimate than retreat: [LISTEN]

And what if I don’t ever want to leave the house?
Stay on the couch while all my friends are going out
You should be alone
Yeah, you should be alone
You should be alone with me