THE GRADE A-
BOTTOM LINE Pushing deeper into their own pop-rock world.
The closer Paramore gets to breaking up, the better it gets at finding reasons to stick together. And the band’s latest album, “After Laughter” (Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic), proves it once again.
Following the success of 2013’s “Paramore” album, which hit No. 1 and landed them a Grammy for the smash “Ain’t It Fun,” bassist Jeremy Davis quit the band (and sued them), leaving only singer Hayley Williams and guitarist Taylor York, who both thought about giving up on Paramore and starting something over.
Instead, they started writing “After Laughter,” a collection of songs about remaining upbeat in the face of adversity that bounce around with the candy-colored energy of ’80s pop built on sleek synths and spiky, Afrobeat-tinged guitars, with drummer Zac Ferro returning to the fold.
Wiliams sounds giddy on the fizzy first single, “Hard Times,” a dissonance she explains in “Fake Happy,” which starts out as an acoustic dirge that transforms into an ambitious, funky anthem about everyone masking their sadness.
“After Laughter” is packed with potential pop hits that only Paramore could deliver. And that’s the perfect reason for the group to keep going.