10 Paramore Songs Loved By Fans

Paramore Songs

Photo: By Drew Stewart [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Our 10 Paramore Songs Loved By Fans looks at a band formed in 1984. This is a group that has gone through many lineup changes over the years, with the exception of Hayley Williams, who is and has always been the driving force been the music of Paramore.

# 10 – Crushcrushcrush

The third single from 2007’s Riot!  “Crushcrushcrush,” is an excellent example of the band’s ability to create immensely catchy choruses. You can practically feel the energy of the hoards of fans punching the air to every syllable of the chorus’ “No-thing com-pares to…” vocal hook. This contrasts sharply with the titular crushcrushcrush, delivered in a sinister and ominous whisper in the song’s pre-chorus interlude – sounding like a commercial for a particularly unsettling perfume.

Unfortunately, the song’s bridge/breakdown, “Rock and roll baby / Don’t you know / That we’re all alone now,” manages to negate this creepy tone, sounding almost like it originated from a different song altogether. Nevertheless, those elements do not detract from an early example of the band’s trademark sound. Although it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the band’s best songs, “Crushcrushcrush” should not be ignored.

# 9 – Emergency

The only Paramore song from the band’s 2005 debut album to make this list, Emergency is an urgent pop punk/emo track that perfectly illustrates how the band has polished their distinctive sound throughout their tenure. The song starts with a few simple chords partnered with a throbbing deep bass note before exploding into some huge power chords, a perfect analogy for how Paramore went from humble beginnings to becoming an international rock star.

The sustained crunch notes throughout the song, coupled with the brief instrumental cut and resume in the song’s chorus, display the band’s obvious pleasure in being playful with their music – reflected by the different genres they explored later in their career. In addition to this, the track illustrates how the band has never been afraid to be dark and threatening with their lyrics, with the foreboding and brilliant line “When you deserved to be alive” being repeated throughout the song.

Emergency is an even earlier example than Crushcrushcrush of the obvious excellence of Paramore and is an essential listen for fans who discovered the band after their breakout.

# 8 – Now

The first single from the self-titled fourth album, this was the public’s first taste of a Paramore song without founding members Josh and Zac Farro, and with guitarist Taylor York stepping up to take on a more involved songwriting role, it’s no surprise that Now represents a departure from the band’s established sound.

The song takes its influences from a variety of different places, rather than just traditional pop punk, with the intro to the song being best described as funky – not a sound usually associated with Paramore. Indeed, the song seems to have subtle reggae influences throughout, and the “Now-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow” refrain of the chorus is perhaps the closest the band will ever come to a dance hook. That’s not to say the song steers away from rock, though – in fact, the savagely frantic drumming of the songs final portion is some of the best the band has ever put out.

Given the circumstances, it’s no surprise that the reinvented Paramore produced a track that is noticeably different from their previous work, but thankfully Now doesn’t disappoint.

# 7 – Running Out of Time

In the number seven spot on our fan-favorite Paramore songs list is a track from Paramore’s most recent album. The track “Running Out Of Time,” was released on the 2023 album titled Tell Me Why. We love the way the video starts out on this one, with Haley seemingly having trouble composing songs. Suddenly, the instruments come to life, and she one her way to a very Alice In Wonderland experience.

# 6 – Brick By Boring Brick

Perhaps one of the band’s most recognizable songs, Brick By Boring Brick is characterized by Paramore’s distinctive blend of emo and pop punk. This song is sonically and lyrically harsh and jagged, telling the story of a girl who escapes into a fairy tale world to escape reality’s grind. Josh Farro likened the music video to Pan’s Labyrinth, a movie that presents a dark and twisted take on the fairy tale, and this perfectly illustrates the gnawing, edgy sound of the track.

A euphoric sing-a-long chorus – despite the dark lyrics – is the perfect contrast to the rest of the song, and the final breakdown of the massively catchy “Ba-da-ba / Ba-da / Ba-ba-da” hook marks one of very few times throughout the band’s history that the band’s backing singers get a chance at pure solo work. This tough, male-heavy vocal ending is the perfect way to finish this heavy pop-punk masterpiece.

# 5 – The Only Exception

This light, soft rock/folk cut from 2009’s Brand New Eyes was the band’s most successful single until Ain’t It Fun was released, and it shows Hayley Williams at her sweetest and most vulnerable. An unapologetic love song, “The Only Exception,” sees Williams drop her cynical edge and decide that perhaps there is someone out there for everyone.

The song is unashamedly soppy, and yet the band manages to pull it off, perhaps because William’s comes across as entirely sincere and candid. It was good to see a softer side to the band, reminding us that behind all of Williams’ bravado and spunk lurks a sensitive and delicate soul.

# 4 – That’s What You Get

This dynamic 2008 single from Riot! mixes frenetic guitar and drums with some comparatively peaceful verses. The verses of “That’s What You Get” are nothing particularly special but that chorus. Could Paramore have stumbled across the ingredients to create a truly perfect pop-punk chorus?

The instantly recognizable “That’s what you get when you let your heart win” hook repeated throughout the chorus makes textbook use of the classic “AABA” song form, while the irresistible “Woah” that follows is practically impossible not to be enticed by. The band was aware of the magical chorus they had created, almost begging listeners to join in by briefly dropping the instrumental and having (what at least sounds like) a fair few backing singers belt out the hook towards the end of the song.

The fact that Paramore produced a pop punk chorus this essential on just their second album should tell you how talented Williams really is.

# 3 – Still Into You

The final track from the self-titled album to make this list, like “The Only Exception,” “Still Into You,” is a love song, but rather than being a balled-esque track, this is an upbeat and joyful romp. The song is unusual for a Paramore track as it lacks their characteristically massive guitar riffs, instead opting for a more mellow and dance-style new rave number.

There’s something pleasantly retro about Still Into You, from its enjoyably repetitive call-and-response chorus to the shamelessly Top 40 pop-inspired elements like the glockenspiel background pads (a big thing at the time) and the (relatively speaking) stripped-back instrumental. The track is another example of genre exploration on the self-titled album, and it is, without a doubt, the album’s highest point.

# 2 – Misery Business

The song responsible for innumerable “good” girls dyeing their hair bright orange and discovering there’s more to life than Fergie and Carrie Underwood; this was undoubtedly the band’s breakout hit and, for many, Misery Business is the definitive Paramore song.

With witty, relatable lyrics effortlessly spat by Williams and a huge and infectious chorus (not to mention some massive pop-punk riffs), it’s easy to see why this led to Paramore’s explosion in popularity.

Although William’s has gone on to say that her 26-year-old feminist self can no longer relate to the lyrics, the song remains an anthemic highlight of their live shows, no doubt reminding revelers of the wild Myspace-saturated emo/scene trend of the mid-00’s.

# 1 – Ignorance

It’s ironic that Ignorance was written just after a conversation the band had about how they might never be able to recreate the success of Misery Business, as they went on to immediately write its darker, moody and even more brilliant big brother.

When Paramore is angry, they do it well, and this alternative rock track is undoubtedly one of the band’s heaviest and most aggressive songs. There’s something quite ominous about the frenzied strumming of the verses that, following a wrathful bridge, builds to yet another enormous chorus. This time, the chorus sees Williams bitingly (yet still melodically) confronting an ex-lover who has turned their back on her. The “Ignorance is your new best friend” interlude, and, in fact, the lyrics have no doubt inspired many bitter and acrimonious breakups.

William’s belts her heart out throughout the track, but the guitars are just as much the star of the show, with the mosh-pit ready guitar solo giving Taylor York and Josh Farro a time to truly shine.

As you have seen, throughout their career, Paramore have produced a number of essential pop punk/alt rock tracks, but the tempestuous and ferocious Ignorance surely deserves to rank as the best of a great bunch.

10 Paramore Songs Loved By Fans article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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