Why Paramore Sounds Completely Different on ‘After Laughter’

Paramore is known for their sound. It is a wonderful combination of pop and rock, or at least it was. Their latest album, however, After Laughter, is more on the pop side.

Why the change in sound? While many fans embraced it, some fans were left wondering what happened to the band. Luckily, we’re here to explain the difference in sound.

Why did Paramore change their sound for ‘After Laughter’?

Hayley Williams of Paramore performing
Hayley Williams of Paramore performing | Josh Brasted/WireImage

According to Taylor York, Paramore’s guitar player, it is because ” [the band has] gotten to a point with [their] new music where [they] don’t really want to headbang anymore.” That’s fair. Everyone needs a little change every once in a while, especially creative types like singers and guitarists.

The new sound also has influences from music of the 1970s and 1980s, which might surprise some fans. According to York, the band also used as a reference Afrobeat and “other international sounds.” The new sound, a departure from the band’s previous tone, is nevertheless unique.

What were fans’ reactions to the band’s new sound?

Fans had a variety of reactions to the album. One felt that it was too much of a departure from the band’s previous sound, saying “I’m really not into these 80’s pop songs. I was expecting at least one song with heavy guitar, something like ‘That’s What You Get,'” naming a previous hit for the band. Another fan stated that the album is “horrible” and that they would “forget this album was ever released.”

Yikes. Yet the news isn’t all bad for the band. Other fans loved the album, stating “I liked all of the songs, which is surprising. I love the 80’s vibe on this album.”

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Paramore x @crapeyewear. SOLD OUT! : @zacfarro

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So one fan likes it for the same reason that another hates it. Everyone is different. Another fan adds that everyone changes throughout their life, and that change is exactly what the band is doing. According to this fan, “They’re making music they love, not what we love, so for them it’s a bonus if we like it or not.”

Which is important to note. All an artist can do is create, they can’t control people’s reactions. All they can do is make the best art they can. And Paramore has made an impact.

According to one fan on Twitter, “no album will ever compare to After Laughter. There’s nothing that’s gotten me through the hard times like these songs have.” High praise indeed. So perhaps the band did do something right by changing their sound, even if it’s a hard adjustment for some fans.

What is in store for Paramore next?

According to a post on Instagram, the band is “taking a really nice break after grinding away for nearly 15 years.” We wish them nothing but the best on their time away. We hope that when they are ready they will come back newly energized and ready to create more amazing music.

And all the fans will be here waiting. Despite personal opinions on the band’s change of sound, we know that all the fans just want the members of the band to be happy in the end. And the band probably feels the same way about its fans, wanting to make them happy. Yet all they can do is their best.

And their best is definitely very good.