All We Know is Falling Paramore, July 26, 2005 (Fueled by Ramen Records)
This Thursday’s Album Throwback takes me to my sophomore year of high school.
Paramore was always the band that I made fun of friend for liking. This was largely because as an ignorant metal head I scoffed at the idea of having a “chick” lead singer. However, all of that changed one fateful day when I decided to pick up a copy of their debut album, All We Know is Falling, from my local library. I’m pretty sure that I listened to it two to three times straight through that day before reluctantly starting my homework. From the moment I put it in my CD player the album clicked with me then as it always will.
Besides the tender croonings of Hayley Williams, what immediately struck me was the guitars. The seemingly insurmountable gap between pop-punk, emo, funk, and indie rock is bridged by lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist, Josh Farro and Jason Bynum, respectively. Tearful arpeggios glitter across the soundscape throughout the entire album which is highlighted by the brilliant engineering staff. In the back end, the bass and the drums adequately add some mix of funk and punk rock. For whatever reason, the drumming on this release isn’t nearly as impressive as the rest of the band because Zac Farro typically sticks to the beat instead of adding fills as he does in their later material. However, the bass playing substantially improves the album’s quality most notably on “Franklin,” “Brighter,” and “Here We Go Again.”
Unfortunately “Here We Go Again” is the only audible addition of long-time bassist, Jeremy Davis, who left shortly before the band recorded this album (hence the lone shadow on the album cover). With that being said, while this track is contrary to the other pieces on the album, the verses display an extraordinary amount of talent for such a young band. In the verses, every member is playing with a different emphasis on the beat. Zac Farro on drums settles in a syncopated disco rhythm, Jason plays a simple syncopation pattern, Jeremy uses his prior funk experience to lay down a groove filled line, and Josh is plucking a delicate arpeggio around it all.
While ardent fans of their later material will turn their head to some of the arguably weaker tracks on the second half of the album, each song does provide a moment of brilliance to save the song. For instance, the guitar solos on “Let This Go” and “Whoa,” and the bridge and final chorus of “Conspiracy” while they are not moments to technical geniuses like Rush a run for their money, they do raise up each song from average to enjoyable. Not only that, but they show the evident maturity in an extremely young band.
A Paramore review would not be complete without mentioning their fiery singer, Hayley Williams. At the time of release, she is 17 years of age sporting vocals most people in their mid 20’s would be envious of. While that could be a tad bit biased due to the ridiculous crush I’ve had on her since midway through high school, her influence on the album is undeniable. Besides the guitars, the raw emotion and desperation that haunt her vocals solidified my love affair with this recording.
As a distraught teenager, All We Know is Falling was my anthem and best friend. Whenever I listened to the melodies, lyrics, and instruments on this LP everything just made sense. But, like any good relationship my thoughts on the recording have changed and evolved many times. However, I can safely say that the simple intricacies and beautiful vocal lines present on this album will always hold a special place in my heart. When everything seems like it is falling apart and everything has changed, one thing will be constant to me and that is All We Know is Falling.
Listen to: “Brighter”