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Paramore, 'This Is Why'

It takes time to shake off stasis. If you spent the last couple years watching the world's unstable state with constant horror, everything and everyone can feel fraught and uncaring. So when "This Is Why" takes 15 seconds to adjust as a synth punctuates a snare hit and a guitar slashes, slides and surfs around a cymbal ride — there's an empathetic but exasperated sigh that accompanies the motorik post-punk funk that follows.

Paramore on a Can-type beat and jagged Gang of Four riffage is a helluva motion — don't call it a mood; a mood doesn't move. The band gave emo an arena-sized stage, but also flexed more musical muscles with 2017's After Laughter and Hayley Williams' pair of solo albums since. "This Is Why" is somehow aqueous and taut, as Williams coos the verses with a sneer ("If you have an opinion, maybe you should shove it") and convulses at the lean yet explosive chorus. Guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro have never sounded more in step with each other, careening off barbed riffs and snapped snares in rapturous force. And while Paramore doesn't meet the totally made up (but generally accepted) definition, it's working as a power trio here: a singer, drummer and guitarist barreling ahead at the most thrilling heights of their musicianship.

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