“Everybody sing like it’s the last song you will ever sing…

Tell me, tell me, do you feel the pressure now?
Everybody live like it’s the last day you will ever see…
Tell me, tell me, do you feel the pressure now?”
~Born For This 
Paramore, Riot!

Yes, yes, I’ll get around to a “Best of 2012.” But before I get all nostalgic, I’m looking forward to the future (foroncemaybeeverorinareallylongtime).

Next we’re getting albums from *at least* two great bands – Jimmy Eat World and Paramore. I am very, very excited for both these albums. Been following JEW’s recording process via Facebook (which I’ll wax on about at some point, I’m sure) but just found out about Paramore today and I’m pretty stoked. For some reason, that was the news I needed to hear today (then I went home and learned “Turn it Off” acoustic).

“Brand New Eyes” was an amazing rock album and if you don’t agree, you and I don’t agree about what makes good rock music. I played the shit out of that record as a senior in college even if it was supposed to be for Hot Topic kids. The prowess of Hayley Williams is literally unparalleled from a female vocalist/lyricist in the last five years, in terms of technique, style, attitude, musicality and originality. She continually grows on me. The band, in the past, has been fucking solid as hell, incredible key changes and grunge-inspired riffs…they’ve definitely moved on from emo-land into a more polished sound over their LP catalog thus far….but, you see, half the band left after “Brand New Eyes.” I’m having a hard time figuring out how this will change their sound (Hayley and Josh wrote most of the songs, as far as I know, and he is now gone). But change can be good for bands, sometimes it brings out the best that was being held back, and they’ve got one hell of a drummer lined up, so I’m guessing this upcoming self-titled is going to be pretty luxe.

I love that it’s a self-titled despite the lineup change. To me, that says, “Hey, we’re here, haven’t failed yet, so why stop?” And, truly, Paramore songs are so redemptive, above almost anything else. After all that, I can hardly think they will fall flat because they have a new iteration. Bands do that all the time, really, and while it can result in low points (like that Asia record without Steve) it can be fruitful in terms of experimentation and/or audience expansion.

I do remember when I first heard “All We Know Is Falling” and was completely blown away. I think I was pretty jealous, actually, I was all “Why don’t I front a cool rock band?!?!” (probably because I’m not nearly as talented and am pretty much seem to be a career out of being a writerly chameleon rather than a traveling troubadour. Shit, you may even find traces of that on this blog, hell if I know). Beyond that, though, I related intimately to the songs, they resonated perfectly and harmoniously with my restless heart and wandering head, body parts aching to be somewhere else other than where they were even though that was all they knew. It soundtracked a couple pretty poignant moments, if I recall. I remember thinking “Yeah, this band is cool. I hope they’re successful. Sounds like they get it.”

Looking at their success today, I’d say yeah, I think they do.

This song, in particular, makes me realize how fast the last eight years or so have gone, and yet,  how many lifetimes have passed between them. Shit, I am feeling very old all of a sudden:

“And when we get home, I know we won’t be home at all
This place we live, it is not where we belong
And I miss who we were in the town that we could call our own
Going back to get away after everything has changed

Could you remind me of a time when we were so alive?
Do you remember that? Do you remember that?

Everything has changed…
Could you help me push aside all that I have left behind?
Everything has changed
Do you remember that? Do you remember that?”
Paramore, All We Know Is Falling
Given the pop/mainstream attention they’ve received, the 2013 iteration of Paramore will receive heavy attention from the usuals on the Interwebz in 2013 (and I’ll probably click lots, sure). I don’t want the band to turn into something that just supports Hayley Williams, because I like band dynamics more than solo act dynamics as a writer/listener/thinker, but honestly, I like her enough that I will continue to at least check out what she produces and see how it feels. My gut tells me it will feel great. There’s a strong chance this will be the best Paramore record yet, if you’re the type of person who believes change can set you free.

I’m really excited about music from 2012, but also for what will arrive in 2013. In the meantime, it is day-by-day, it is moment-by-moment, and it is as breathless, restless, contemplative and cutthroat as its always been.

Hey, I’m here, haven’t failed yet, so why stop?

“I settled down a twisted up frown
Disguised as a smile, well,
You would have never known.
I had it all,
But, not what I wanted,
’cause hope for me was a place uncharted and overgrown

You’d make your way in,
I’d resist you just like this.
You can’t tell me to feel,
The truth never set me free,
So, I did it myself…

You can’t be too careful anymore
When all that is waiting for you
Won’t come any closer…
You’ve got to reach out a little more…

Open your eyes
Like I opened mine
It’s only the real world,
A life you will never know.

Shifting your weight
To throw off the pain
Well you can ignore it but only for so long…

You look like I did,
You resist me just like this.

You can’t tell me to heal,
And it hurts remembering
How it felt to shut down.

You can’t be too careful anymore
When all that is waiting for you
Won’t come any closer…
You’ve got to reach out a little more…

The truth never set me free,
The truth never set me free,
The truth never set me free,
So, I’ll do it myself…”

Paramore, Brand New Eyes