All We Know Is Falling

by: Paramore

On their debut, Paramore still hadn't fully found themselves. The early-2000s pop-punk boom was over and the offspring of that ilk was taking over the scene. My Chemical Romance corralled the Hot Topic crowd that might have been into Marilyn Manson a decade earlier, while Fall Out Boy filled the niche vacated by a waning blink-182 and an evolved Green Day. Fortuitously, Paramore could slide in as one of the few female-fronted acts on the Warped scene. All We Know Is Falling (Fueled by Ramen) is formulaic in its pop-punk-ness: head-bobbing drums, straightforward riffs, and a midtempo sameness throughout ("Conspiracy," "Brighter," "Franklin"). Expertly executed and totally befitting its time, it was alright, but it just existed as an adept collection of straightforward rockers without much differentiation, excitement, or the brightness that would be found on later albums. The Farro brothers -- at the time, the core foils to fiery vocalist Hayley Williams -- provided ample muscle, especially on single "Emergency" and the driving "Never Let This Go." Some hints of the expert hooks that they'd craft on follow-up Riot! shimmered through on "Pressure" and "Here We Go Again." However, the fun, ferocity, and polish from that sophomore success (which, in turn, lifted this debut from relative obscurity and helped it hit gold) were just a glimmer in the band's eyes. This is a heavier, darker, and angstier affair, which has helped it stay relevant for fans who may not be as enthusiastic about their evolution into poppier, Grammy-winning territory. Listening closely, hints of future glory can be heard here. If Paramore had only released this album, they might have been lost in the shuffle of the times. Thankfully, they continued to evolve. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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