Deep Album Cuts Vol. 17: Paramore

About a year ago, Paramore released my favorite album of 2013, and last week one of its singles, "Ain't It Fun," became the band's biggest Hot 100 hit to date. And I'm pretty excited about the tour with Deep Album Cuts alumni Fall Out Boy, so it seems like a good time to give Paramore's relatively small (but frequently great) catalog the same treatment.

I've always been more willing than the average music critic to lend an ear to the increasingly dismissed world of rock bands who get played on mainstream radio -- I even used to write a column about the topic. But more and more I'm just grateful that a band like Paramore exists at all to lob songs like "Misery Business" or "Still Into You" into pop culture. Whether they came out of the Warped Tour circuit, whether they were a prefabricated star vehicle for Hayley Williams, whether they can be rightfully called 'punk' or 'emo,' all those questions of credibility kinda mean nothing to me because I love the sound of their songs. And as a lot of their contemporaries have flamed out quickly or revealed themselves to not have a lot going on beyond the hit singles, Paramore's albums have gotten better, and thicker with great deep cuts.

Paramore Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. Proof
2. Born For This
3. Looking Up
4. Grow Up
5. Conspiracy
6. Miracle
7. Misguided Ghosts
8. [One Of Those] Crazy Girls
9. Fences
10. I Caught Myself
11. Anklebiters
12. Where The Lines Overlap
13. We Are Broken
14. Here We Go Again
15. Fast In My Car
16. When It Rains
17. Let The Flames Begin
18. Part II
19. Never Let This Go
20. All I Wanted
21. Last Hope

Tracks 5, 14 and 19 from All We Know Is Falling (2005)
Tracks 2, 6, 9, 13, 16 and 17 from Riot! (2007)
Track 10 from Twilight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2008)
Tracks 3, 7, 12 and 20 from brand new eyes (2009)
Tracks 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18 and 21 from Paramore (2013)

As much as I loved Riot! when it came out and put it in my year-end top 10 in 2007, the self-titled album really does tower over the rest of their catalog for me now. And given that that album ventures into a lot of sounds not found on the previous albums, and was made by a dramatically different lineup of the band, it sometimes felt a little odd to find away to piece all the eras of the band together. Of course, there were some obvious bridges, like Paramore's "Part II," a sequel to Riot!'s "Let The Flames Begin." And the earlier albums do have interesting outliers, like "Misguided Ghosts," which is still one of the strongest and most unexpected moments in their discography to me.

One aggravating thing about an exercise like this is that Paramore is one of those bands that releases a ton of singles for every album but only maybe half of them are hits of any kind. So there are songs I really like on brand new eyes that were just barely singles that I otherwise would've included here, or likewise "Daydreaming," which was recently a UK-only single.

It was nice to have an excuse to delve into the band's first album, All We Know Is Falling, which I'd never really spent much time with. A lot of the band's pop smarts that crystallized on Riot! weren't quite there yet on the debut, which is a little too dour and emo for me sometimes, but there's a few really strong songs on there, some of which were singles and some of which weren't.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
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