Sunday Video Love: Fake Happy

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I have been listening to After Laughter on repeat since it was released on Friday at midnight and now that it's on its ninth or tenth rotation, I can definitely pinpoint my favourites, with "Fake Happy" leading the pack. It's just the song that immediately stood out to me: it starts off slow and melancholic, like a mournful requiem (at first, I thought it was a totally separate song, like the little intermissions from their self-titled record when it's just Hayley singing along to a ukulele), but then sharp keyboard notes lead to a vibrant '80s-inspired, HAIM-esque groove, and then they bust into the chorus with a powerful punch of vocals over bouncy, anthemic riffs — it's quintessentially Paramore. The album as a whole is incredibly different from any of their other efforts; it's definitely a pop record, but it's also the most sonically experimental and the most involved. It's still Paramore at the core, but they've pushed themselves to enter new territory while still keeping true to themselves. It's crisp and bright and ambitious, with a sharp contrast between its dark, moody lyrics and its uplifting synth-pop, nu wave beats. You can tell they've stopped caring so much what other people think and say — they're doing what they want to do and saying what they need to say, while having faith in their fans to have faith in them. After Laughter is Paramore at their most real: it's heartbreaking, bitter, and cathartic, but most importantly, hopeful.
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