Like many other Paramore fans, I was first introduced to the band as an emotionally unstable and awkwardly rebellious teenager. While the band’s initial fan base are no longer the same emo kids they used to be, neither is Paramore the same emo band they used to be. While we could make arguments about the band selling out with their new found pop-rock style, that would be missing the point of their new single entirely. Ain’t It Fun takes the band in a surprising new direction, with a message that most twenty somethings will find particularly poignant.
Long term fans may be surprised at what they find in the Farro brothers’ place. They were a huge influence on Paramore’s early sound, and with them gone, the band continues moving in a more radio friendly direction. However, Ain’t It Fun isn’t just some generic pop-rock tune. Strong, 90’s inspired guitar riffs maintain the band’s rousing energy and rock edge. However, the funky beat, catchy xylophone melody, and uplifting gospel choir all come together in a surprisingly cohesive way. It works surprisingly well to send the song sailing into the stratosphere! Its makes it clear that not only has Paramore overcome their internal struggles, but they’ve moved past them as well.
And yet, the joyous sound and Haley William’s soulful vocals mask the song’s true intent. At this point, most of the band’s original fan base are entering the post-college “real world.” You know…bills to pay, kids to feed, making a living, that whole deal. Ain’t It Fun serves as a snarky reminder that life sucks pretty hard, and there isn’t much you can do about it but not let it get to you. Haley both snarls and smirks her way through clever lines like “You aren’t the big fish in the pond no more, you are what they’re feeding on.” The rapturous chorus will reminds all that its fun “living in the real world.”
Ain’t It Fun is pretty much the band’s best song to date. The song’s powerful message is only amplified by the unique blend of genres, and Haley William’s all too perfect delivery. Despite losing two of the band’s founding members, Paramore seems to have emerged victorious with a fantastic new musical direction.
Final Score: 5/5