Emo’s great hopes attempt to expand their sound. They blow it
Producer David Bendeth has ironed out their every crease with a very expensive iron. The result is that Paramore sound lost under this slick miscalculation. Galloping lead single ‘Misery Business’ is deceptively brilliant: angsty lyrics, a kiss-off riff and an undeniable chorus. It’s everything the rest of ‘RIOT!’ should have been but isn’t. Its attempts to branch out further than emo are ridiculously misjudged this time. Witness ‘When It Rains’ – a ‘slowie’ that by dint of its sonic perfection ends up sounding like ’80s power-balladeers Heart. Shudder in horror at ‘crushcrushcrush’, which is what you’d imagine Shania Twain would sound like if she ‘went emo’. It’s all too clear that despite being on the Wentz-affiliated Fueled By Ramen label, the band don’t have Fall Out Boy’s self-knowing pop nous as displayed on ‘Infinity On High’. In the end, whether it’s a cynical bid for the mainstream or an experiment gone wrong, ‘RIOT!’ barely registers as a minor disturbance.
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