For anyone unfamiliar with Paramore, the alternate/pop punk band revolves around the incredible vocalist Hayley Williams (note: Hayley Williams does more than sing; she plays guitar, keyboard, and writes/cowrites Paramore’s songs). Williams was discovered in 2003 when she was just fourteen years old. At the time, Atlantic Records wanted to sign Williams as a solo pop artist, but Williams refused, preferring to be part of a pop punk band. Atlantic Records decided to side with Williams, and Paramore was formed. Their first album All We Know is Falling was released in 2005 when Williams was sixteen. An interesting fact here is that Atlantic released Paramore’s music through a different label, Fueled By Ramen, because they believed it would give the band a better image; Fueled By Ramen is known more for those indie-punk bands (I read somewhere that they produce “emo-pop music”).
“Ain’t it Fun” is the fourth single from Paramore’s self-titled fourth studio album, Paramore, and has been their most successful song chart-wise to date, charting number ten on the Billboard Hot 100.
From the first second of this song, I’m drawn in. The mix of the drum beats, electric guitar, and xylophone is just intriguing. Overall, the song combines elements of pop, funk, gospel, and soul (I did read a critic commenting that it held elements of “new jack swing,” but I have no idea what that is…apparently it’s a sub genre of hip hop, but I just don’t have enough experience with it to write about it). Then Williams’ vocals come in. And wow. The fact that she’s able to convey so much sarcasm and sass in her performance and delivery is inspiring. In particular, I admire how she sings/pronounces the word “world” in the line “So what’re you gonna do when the world doesn’t orbit around you” (0:27-0:44 in the video below). This is just an instance where Williams is really showing her rage/frustration/sarcasm. It’s beautiful. Further, the gospel/choir in the bridge singing “don’t go crying to your momma ’cause you’re on your own in the real world” is just brilliant. It brings this already incredible song to a new level. It makes you want to get up, strut around, shake your head, and feel like the king of the world; it adds soul to this song.
Listen to “Ain’t it Fun” by Paramore:
I also like this song for the fact that it is a sarcastic song. It has to be. If you look at the first verse, it shows a person pretty much frustrated on life and sick of everyone:
“I don’t mind letting you down easy
But just give it time
If it don’t hurt now then just wait, just wait a while
You’re not the big fish in the pond no more
You are what they’re feeding on
So what are you gonna do when the world don’t orbit around you?“
Then you get to the chorus of:
“Ain’t it fun living in the real world
Ain’t it good being all alone”
We’ve all been there. Sick of life, frustrated, and hurt, feeling like you’re no longer “the big fish in the pond.” Well, this feeling is not fun at all. Reality and truth is hard to take. It’s not good to be alone. Thus the sarcasm. I think college kids at this point in the year are pretty much feeling this way, possibly why it was on repeat for the past week. Anyway, this song has inspired me to go back and listen to all of Paramore’s albums, so you may possibly see Paramore pop up again in #PhillipsSongOfTheDay. Keep your ears peeled.