The Most Underrated is a meme in which I discuss the most underrated songs by an artist or band. Occasionally I may branch out, but this is the main theme. Today’s artist spotlight is on Paramore!
I’ve been a Paramore fan since 2008. I’ve watched the band grow and change, seen members leave and return. But the main thing I’ve noticed in over a decade of following this band are the songs that get paid dust.
It’s time to get emo and then suddenly retro. These are the six most underrated Paramore songs (in my oh-so-humble opinion):
Because this song is from the rare RIOT! B-side album, I almost left it off the list. But I just couldn’t. This song is a masterpiece. And, hey, YouTube is free.
The heavy guitar and minor key make this song deliciously dark. Lead singer Hayley Williams isn’t just afraid to fall in love— she is petrified. She feels like prey, helpless to stop the agonizing death to come. This isn’t a story of mere reluctance. No, Williams is utterly devastated to find herself in this position.
The motif of love as a song should feel cliché, but the defiant, terrified atmosphere balances that out. If Williams acknowledges the song, she can better fight it. But, alas, it “creeps in like a spider” and “can’t be killed.”
Some compare this song “The Only Exception,” which I kind of understand. Both songs are about how Williams is afraid of getting hurt. However, Brand New Eyes’ take is far softer. Williams is willing to make an exception for this man. In “Stop This Song,” she is emphatically not.
This roaring anthem deserves far better than it gets. Where else can you find someone literally begging to not fall in love? Sadly, this song is so underrated, it’s not even on Spotify or iTunes. And that, well, is just sick.
No matter how many times I listen to each Paramore record, I keep coming to the conclusion that Brand New Eyes is their best. Therefore, it greatly pleases me that most of the tracks on this album are beloved by both fans and the band (especially “All I Wanted,” which is perhaps their absolute best song).
Of course, that’s not the case for all the songs on this album. Case in point: “Feeling Sorry.” Where’s all the love for this fantastic track? This is the most savage callout I’ve ever heard.
Technically, it’s a self-empowerment song (according to Williams, at any rate). But it’s the tough-love version. Imagine getting told “I feel no sympathy/You live inside a cave/You barely get by, the rest of us are trying/There’s no need to apologize/I’ve got no time for feeling sorry.” Like… shit, man.
Williams comes in with a one-two punch by pointing out that the person in question also has musical aspirations and talent. The only thing that seems to be holding them back is themselves. Yeah, Paramore’s commentary is harsh. But sometimes tough love is what you need.
Everything about this song is great, from the subject matter to the instrumentation to the vocals. I didn’t love this song nearly enough as a teenager, but as an adult I get it. If you haven’t grown into this song, I feel sorry for you.
Everybody loves “Decode,” Paramore’s offering for the Twilight soundtrack. But nobody pays any attention to “Monster.” Maybe it’s because it was for a Transformers sequel. Maybe people just have no taste. Either way, this song is amazing and vastly underrated.
It’s heavy and dirty, a modern grunge masterpiece. It’s a post-apocalyptic nightmare-scape, but you trust that these monster slayers will make it out alive.
If any song in Paramore’s discography nails why they keep surviving every band shake-up and near-breakup, it’s this one. They are able to adapt and change, while still keeping that indefinable thing that makes them Paramore. Make no mistake, this song is monstrously good.
Once upon of time, this was one of three songs that was available for purchase only on Paramore’s website. So I wouldn’t expect most people to have known about it back then. But now it’s on Spotify, so there’s no excuse.
Until the release of their self-titled album, this was one of their happiest-sounding songs. Interestingly, this comes across in the lyrical content as well. Sure, it’s about being betrayed. But it’s also about embracing the things about you that others have twisted into something evil. In the most Paramore of ways, this is an uplifting notion.
Being a renegade isn’t often thought of as a positive thing, but Williams spins it into a way to be the bigger person. Not only does that make her totally punk rock, but it makes the song a renegade in and of itself.
This self-titled cut is similar to “Feeling Sorry” in that they’re both callouts. However, “Grow Up” takes a broader approach. This is a song about maturity and cutting out all the fakes and hangers-on. It’s about being done with all the high school bullshit and saying, “We’re fucking grown-ups now. I refuse to waste my time on people who won’t act like it.” And you know what? I feel that.
It feels wrong to call a Paramore song funky, but there’s really no other way to describe this song. It’s got a stuttering groove, bursting with heady guitar riffs and kick snares inspired by early ‘90s music and Rick Rubin. It’s both messy and clean at the same time, the very essence of adulthood.
This song works especially well because Williams acknowledges that she doesn’t have it all together. But she’s still trying. She’s making the effort to grow up, and I think it’s time you all did too. You don’t like this song? Grow up.
Did you know there was a genius way to use wind chimes? Because I didn’t until I heard this song. Add in some ‘80s synths and a killer guitar riff and you’ve got yourself a musician’s dream.
I’d argue that “Pool” is one of Paramore’s best songs lyrically. Using water as a motif, Williams dives into what it’s like to love someone who’s bad for you. It’s a sick hopefulness, the colloquial definition of insanity.
If any song on After Laughter deserved to be a single, it was this one. The record is an exploration in forgiveness and nostalgia, and this song encapsulates it all like a gem-encrusted shot through the heart. Do yourself a favor and take a swim in this luxurious pool.
What Paramore songs do you think are underrated? Let me know in the comments!
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