No matter who's actually in the band, Paramore will always essentially be 'The Hayley Williams Experience'. The departure of long-time guitarist and drummer the Farro brothers may have had left a bitter imprint palpable even on their last album brand new eyes, but I had little concern their absence would have much impact on the music; Paramore is simply a decent pop-punk band comprised of competent musicians fronted by a plucky redhead who can sing well. So the first single from their next LP Paramore (slated for release in April, and a bit of a cheeky move to use a self-titled after the departure of your two founding members), "Now" isn't so much of a progression or growth, but rather a lateral shift to a slightly different style with little refinement in skill or challenge.
But the idea behind "Now" is one of resurrection."Feels like I'm waking from the dead, and everyone's been waiting on me," Williams opens, seemingly addressing a sort of near-death from the departure of her former band mates, while refuting the hopefulness that marked some parts of their last album: "I thought we could brave it all, I never thought what could take me out was hiding down below." But she presses on forcefully with aggressive caterwauls: "There's a time and a place to die, and this ain't it." And although the chorus ascends to new heights when she demands "If there's a future, we want it" as guitars chug on behind her, its power and momentum seem a bit undermined when the punctuating 'now's" and their glottal stops sound like they're mixed into the background than an equally commanding forefront--though I'm sure the audience will more than make up for it when a song like this undoubtedly would sound much stronger in a live setting. Overall, "Now" is a respectable offering, but not so much of an impressive one. But either way, by the looks of it, Williams should have no worries of someone depriving a future from her.