The Paramore Exception

People often ask me why I love Paramore so much, especially considering how radically different they are to other bands I enjoy and how loudly I proclaim my love for them. It's a valid question, really, as "loudly proclaiming love for them" is a tremendous understatement considering my extreme enthusiasm for them. Both over the internet and in real life, I won't ever shut up about how much their music means to me and how perfect their music is. It's much more difficult to explain in real life, as many of the people I know has never heard of them before, as I'm located in the deepest and darkest pop culture black hole in New York. Even those who know Paramore are puzzled by my favorite band choice as they consider my music taste to be only consisting of screaming classic rock (If that makes any sense). People just naturally assume that I love Paramore only because of Hayley Williams, and as awesome as she is, it's just not true. Not entirely true, at least. Paramore as a whole represents everything I love in this world and explaining it will have to go deep into details on my own perspective on life. Everything I've experienced in my life, all of the love, loss, and hope manifests itself into their music. Their music, which I've never heard of until 4 years ago when I started jumping into the music game genre. To be fair, I didn't listen to anything before 4 years ago when the music game genre exploded in my face.

Growing up as a kid, I hated music. I hated everything about it. My parents pretty much listened to the same 15 songs and kept playing them on repeat all of the time which got old FAST. What made it worse was that my parents loved to travel, so road trips consisted of said songs (which I hated) playing during the whole bibically long car ride. Music class in elementary school and middle school was no better. I had no interest in music; I didn't want to play or listen to it or even worse: learn about music history. Even to this day, I purposely flushed away all of the memories regarding the ancient creation of music making and reading sheet music. I was a nice and obedient kid, though, so my rebellions were small and personal ones that made me pretty cynical towards all of the other kids. I never learned to ride a bike, my favorite color was pink, my favorite baseball team was the Boston Red Sox, I liked Pokemon over Yugioh, and I didn't listen to music. The latter was the only aspect of that list which I grew out of, so I guess I'm still a pretty cynical bastard. Anyway, my refusal to listen to music crumbled right beneath my eyes in high school. The catalyst was, of course, a girl.

I started listening to music so I would have a conversation topic with a girl. I'm not proud of it, but that's how it all started. But where to begin?!? My life with my fingers stuck firmly in my ears was over and I had 14 years of catching up to do. I began with songs that I remembered over commercials and recommendations from friends, but my music collection wasn't really going anywhere. Then something strange happened. For my 15th birthday party, a friend of mine brought a music game over and a guitar and... well, it looked pretty damn awesome. Using the money I scraped up from my party and from my summer job, I went to GameStop and bought my first music game and my first band kit... I was ready to rock. I first listened to Paramore during my playthrough on the music game, but like every other song I immediately forgot it after playing because the lack of a rating system which reminds me of which songs are awesome enough to go back to. But even though I forgot it, I did enjoy it when playing and found it a lot of fun. But nevertheless, the song was thrown into the memory recycle bin to allow for the enjoyment of the next soon-to-be-forgotten song. However, one day my cousin came over to jam and he picked the Paramore song... and I loved it. It was quickly added to my music collection and only that song. I officially entered the world of Paramore... But my jump into the world of Paramore ended right there. I only listened to that song and that's it for some time. I listen to music in a different way, which confuses people quite a bit.

My music listening habits and my enjoyment of certain music reflects my personality, just like how it does for most people. I crave control and variety in my music listening sessions, which causes me to stray away from entire albums. I love the feel and excitement of something fresh and new with every song I listen to and the control to choose one song over another when I crave a different experience. Individual songs are the same way, I love songs that grab my emotions and displays complete control of them and twists them masterfully. Solos are an easy way to do this, but I feel that inspiring vocals pay off more in the long run. This desire to have variety in everything I do represents my outgoing and freedom loving self. This quality of feeling fresh and impactful appears in every song I listen to by Paramore. Every. Single. One. Paramore's discography reaches the emotional wreckage of my adolescence and hits the exact chords of my emotional persona.

As I continued my jump into the music game genre, I was ready to play Rock Band 2's Paramore track "That's What You Get" and this time actually remember it the first time. Just like the first Paramore song I got into, the power that "That's What You Get"'s tone moved me. But unlike its predecessor, "That's What You Get" drove me to listen to more of Paramore's discography. With every song I listened, with every second that passed, I knew that this was the band. Everything I've ever experienced manifested itself in their music. Their music hit all of the right notes for me: themes of love, loss, and hope, positive memories of jumping into the music scene, incredible emphasis on vocals that are no less than perfect, and most importantly... fun. Listening to Paramore is not only an emotionally breathtaking experience, but it's fun! My fondness for Paramore grew exponentially as I grew more appreciative of more music. When I got into more complex genres, such as progressive rock and heavier metal, I found myself loving and appreciating their work even more. I found the qualities I love in the other genres to not only exist in their work, but flourish in Paramore's work.

However, the road to being a complete Paramore fan was not without its bumps. Although I love all of their work now, it took some time for me to "digest" certain songs of theirs that I didn't like initially, which is understandable considering how picky I am. I found it most apparent with their biggest hit "The Only Exception." No matter how many times I tried, I couldn't get into the song. It played on and on in vain. The slower pace compared to their other work and the softness of the vocals didn't sit right with me at first. Then one day, I listened to it with my then-girlfriend and it clicked. Everything about the song and Paramore's work made sense to me in that very moment and then I realized what about Paramore I liked so much. That they manage to connect with me in an emotional level that no other band can achieve. Even with my pickiness or dislike of listening of full albums, Paramore is the only exception (pardon the pun) and manages to transcend my music tastes and habits into an experience I can only gush on for 7 paragraphs.

Writing this little post about my fondness for Paramore wasn't easy, especially considering my constant gushing at how amazing they are. Sure, I've explained my enjoyment of them on a smaller scale, but I never explained the entire scope of it. This may have explained more about me than it did about Paramore, but that's the thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I could have taken the time to explain why every individual song of theirs is amazing, but if you're not into them then it's all for nothing. By explaining how their topics reach me on an emotional level and why their music affects me in the way it does, I can demonstrate my own perspective of the world and of the band that represents everything I love in my life. And what's not to love about life? Sure it has its downs, but there's always something out there that the universe seemed to have made just for you. Paramore is my gift from the universe which I have the great fortune of sharing it with others and I intend to do so for as long as I live.


To paraphrase a line from the movie "The Soloist" ... I don't think I love ANYTHING the way you love Paramore, Cipher. And that's a good thing....for you :p I'm glad they, and the DLC pack, made you so happy :)

I'm very glad you guys liked it and I feel flattered over the comments. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate your encouragement :)

Nicely done Cipher! I tend to be more of a lurker on the forums than I am an active poster, so you might not recognize my user name. Your musical tastes, or even lack of knowledge of different bands, have always led you to be somewhat of a curiosity for me. I have, however, always considered you to be a brave poster, in that you are never afraid to admit that you've never heard of this big name band or that, and you like what you like and make no apologies about it. This blog was an awesome read, and it gives great insight about the way you feel about music. Keep in mind, of course, that your tastes will continue to grow, as you discover more and more music that you enjoy, and impact you in other ways. Always keep an open mind about it. Anyway, nicely written, and thanks for sharing. Great job man!

Sorry but I have to disagree with BLOODWOLF0013 I'm not a one band girl I'm not even a one genre girl though PUNK I owe a lot to so no one band makes me feel a connection and if I have to cut it down then 50 bands from at least 3 different genres/sub genres really punch me in the face like a kangaroo and it would take way too long to list them all and another thing bands don't "eventually" make a connection to me, they always do any year of my life

Nicely done, Cipher. I want to write one of these if we get Iron Maiden!

Props to you for having the guts to post that. Everyone goes through that "OMG that band is ME!" thing... Doesn't matter if it's at 14 or 20 or even later, eventually there is one band that strikes the resonance chord with your being. I like some Paramour, but for the most part they just don't do it for me, so to each their own.

Very cool read, I can relate to HMX doing the same thing for me with the band The Material. I'm sharing this on my Facebook and Twitter and hope you all do the same.

You feel for Paramore what I felt for Prince. I'm with you. :)

I won't take long getting to the point but if HARMONIX really wants to hear my 1 sentence on why I love PUNK, music/culture/phenomenon/spirit/scene I would do it once and then never again!

This is the greatest thing that Ive ever read. I literally couldn't agree with you any more. This did it for me "Paramore is my gift from the universe which I have the great fortune of sharing it with others and I intend to do so for as long as I live"

I just don't get it at all!

Lol, my username is in the blog =P Anyway, this was a cool read. I'm not a fan of Paramore, but I am the guy if Harmonix wants to know why someone would love blink-182 =)

I don't like Paramore at all but I understand the sentiment behind this post completely. And if you ever need someone to write one about AFI, I'm your man Harmonix...

Seriously, this was a good read Cipher. When you connect with a band, for whatever reason, no one can ever take away that connection. That's what makes a band your favorite band: that connection to something that speaks to you on some level.

Hey Harmonix, if you ever need someone to write a blog post about Muse, let me know.

Awesome job, Cipher. Made me rethink my views on Paramore.

Paramore is my gift from the universe which I have the great fortune of sharing it with others and I intend to do so for as long as I live.

Your right I don't like that band but based on how you like it, why you like it and what it means to you I appreciate you explaining yourself, in a way I love how much you enjoy it, if that makes any sense take care!