A lot has happened to Paramore since 2009’s Brand New Eyes. The inexplicably huge emo-poppers (they’re sort of a rock band, in the same way that Angel Delight is sort of the ambrosia of the gods) were riding high on platinum sales when it all came crashing down after guitarist Josh Farro and his brother, drummer Zac, quit in a fit of religious pique.
So you’d think the remaining trio, led by singer Hayley Williams, would come back swinging. What we get instead, though, is a parade of beige pop by numbers that even Taylor Swift would turn down for being too generic.
There are moments that suggest they’re capable of more. Well, one moment, Future, an introverted soul-searcher that descends into a lengthy, pleasingly raw burst of angst. But it does little to help when tracks like Still Into You – a hideous, characterless love song that appears tailored purely towards future American Idol covers – serve as such a stark reminder that mediocrity sells.