Monday, October 12, 2009

The Hayley W's

That's Hayley Westenra the classical crossover singer and Hayley Williams of alternative group Paramore that I'm referring to. There's something about their voices that makes them each remind me of the other. Despite their quieter/louder styles, they both have voices smooth and soft and feminine, yet full and powerful. They're both so easy to listen to. My reason for this comparison: some of my music just seems so different, but I feel like I'm pulled to the same aspects in it all. Rock or classical or folk, I think music can still be speaking the same language. It's what it gets across just as much as how it does it.

That said, I also wanted to give a quick commentary on Paramore's new album, Brand New Eyes. It's been out a couple of weeks now, so I've been able to listen to it quite a bit, and I'm very happy with its direction. Though All We Know is Falling and Riot! have distinctive sounds, I was worried that with a third album, there wouldn't be enough space left to do much new. I was wrong. Songs like "Ignorance" and "Careful" have that same Paramore sound, but interpreted with more depth as the band has grown. There are also some quieter songs like "The Only Exception" and "Misguided Ghosts." The latter is one of my favorites. It lets you hear that Hayley has a compelling control over her voice; "All I Wanted" also does this. What Brand New Eyes confirms is that Paramore isn't the average alternative band; they can take their music beyond the standards, infusing it with all the richness of their experience. I think I've really keyed into them shining through their songs.

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