My hope is that this post title will attract the late night, PornoHub crowd and will drive traffic through the roof. But maybe I’m the only one who reads the tickling of fancies as an overtly sexual reference. Rather than throw together a Best of 2008 post, I figured it would be easier for me (and you) to receive the same information in small doses. In case you haven’t noticed by now, I have a tendency to ramble. The other reason is that when one thinks back on 2008, it’s difficult to remember what happened during the months of say, January through July. I started to make a “best of” album list and quickly realized that everything I listed were albums I started consuming only recently; with the exception of Paramore’s “Riot.”
This is a post I’ve imagined writing before. Ever since I got a hold of this album, my life and (shower singing abilities) have changed for the better. For the sake of full disclosure I’ll let the cat out of the bag early and tell you that if there was ever a young woman on this planet that I had a crush on, it would be Paramore’s lead singer Hayley Williams (please note: she will be turning 20 this month). She is really it for me, the living end if you will. If I said I didn’t have aspirations of falling in love with her and single handedly changing/derailing Paramore’s musical direction by the slight of my relationship with her, I’d be a liar. Sigh.
But my emo sentiments for my perfect girl aside, this is an album I fell in love with very unexpectedly. If you find yourself scoffing at this selection then perhaps there are better sites for you. The fact of the matter is, we can’t all spend our allowance or Starbucks paychecks on limited edition clear vinyl 7″ B-sides by the Smiths for the rest of our lives, can we? That being said, “Riot” is an emotional powerhouse. While the emotions never collate into much more than your average high school vent session, the lyrics are delivered with enough conviction and honesty to let bygones be bygones. The music and melodies are EXTREMELY catchy and have provided me with my favorite guilty pleasure listen since Fall Out Boy’s first full length.
But there’s more to the band than meets the eye. Sure… they cater to the love lost shy boys of your 3rd period Chemistry class and the “Mom-I-want-a-guitar-for-Christmas!” creatively inspired teenage girls on your block. But something that strikes me as particularly original about the band is that their songs are original. A lifelong Bob Dylan fan untrained in the arts of modern pop-rock band subtleties may not see the fact that they write all the music themselves as a point of distinction. It most certainly is in this day and age. To think that they started their career when singer Williams was only 16 is mind boggling to me considering I spend all day trying to write good songs and so far, I haven’t quite written one worthy of the Billboard 200.
My favorite place to listen to this album is in the shower… at full volume. I know “Misery Business” word for word and I’m damn proud of it. Coming from Tennessee wearing girl jeans and neon skinny ties (let alone Williams’ orange hair) must not have been an easy task and I think it’s a sign of Paramore’s desire to keep on keeping on in an industry defined by hype rather than raw talent. My favorite track, “Hallelujah” has a delightful video shot for its UK Single release, and the vocal melodies always move me in just the right way when I need to feel like making music is a cause worth pursuing. While “Riot” may not appeal to everyone, it’s a high energy rock album with original writing and a variety of great tracks. As far as I’m concerned, that, in and of itself, puts it ahead of the curve in today’s hit and run pop music world.