‘This Is Why’ pop punk revival needs to step it up



“This Is Why” is Paramore’s first album since the release of “After Laughter” in 2017, where it debuted at No. 6 on the US Billboard 200.

Michael LaRocca, Opinion Editor

Why do revival albums always seem to have something wrong with them?

On Feb. 10, the alternative group Paramore released its newest album “This Is Why,” the first album from the group in nearly six years. The revival of the peers within Paramore’s old genre is common in 2023, with the likes of Fall Out Boy also having a new album slated for release on March 24. 

If someone is listening to this album for high-energy hits like “Misery Business” or “Ain’t It Fun,” they’re not here. Some songs are high energy, like “The News,” and other songs are catchy, like “C’est Comme Ça.” However, with those songs, those qualities are to their own detriment.

“The News” feels almost over dramatic at times with its self-aware lyricism and obnoxious guitar backing. 

“C’est Comme Ça,” the fourth song on the tracklist, should be recognized as one of the worst released songs in recent memory. While its chorus of “C’est comme ça, c’est comme ça, Na-na-na-na” is sung only four times in a row, can easily get stuck in someone’s head, it’s more of a parasite rather than a friendly earworm. It can be nearly enough to drive the less-dedicated listener to shut the album off before it even had the chance to begin.

There is no song throughout this 10-track experience that forces anyone less than a Paramore superfan (or someone reviewing the album) to come back and give it a second listen. The whole album feels devoid of anything giving it life. Listening to “This Is Why” can make one feel the way the band is portrayed on the album’s cover, pushed up against a wall in the middle of a boring, beige room with nothing better to do.

The only two songs that were memorable in any shape or form were “Running Out Of Time” and “Crave.”

“Running Out Of Time” made an impact due to lead singer Hayley Williams’ unique cadence throughout and a chorus that made me feel excited for when it came back around. “Crave” on the other hand, was the only song on the album that seemed to take a genre-bending approach. The track worked its way into indie pop/dream pop territory, which was a sound that many other songs on the album likely could have benefitted from.

With the release of “This Is Why,” the revival of the great alternative groups from the 2000s and 2010s is now officially batting 0-2. Panic! At the Disco’s “Viva Las Vengeance” was released in August 2022 and was the weakest offering of the group’s entire discography. “This Is Why” was seen as the next great hope for the revival of this world, but after its release, what is there left to be hopeful about?

All the public has seen so far has been weak or unmemorable collections with a song or two that can keep them listening for about a week and nothing more. This review was meant to be much longer, but there truly is very little to say about this offering from Paramore. Every single piece sounds like it has been done before by bands better and worse than the trio.

For a group that has not released since 2017, one would think that “This Is Why” would have the potential to be great, but it just falls completely flat.

There is one last chance for fans of these groups to be thrilled. With “So Much (for) Stardust” by Fall Out Boy coming out March 24, fans of the genre will likely be hoping that it comes out better than this piece of garbage.