Paramore, "Brand New Eyes"
Paramore has flirted with rock stardom in the past few years, thanks to hits like "Misery Business," "That's What You Get" and "Decode." But the band's new album, "Brand New Eyes," marks its full-fledged introduction to rock's elite class. Past efforts have ultimately fallen short of fulfilling Paramore's full potential, but the band has finally redefined its sound-a blend of fast-paced rock ("Careful" and the lead single, "Ignorance") and upbeat picture-perfect pop ("Brick by Boring Brick," "Playing God"), with both styles buoyed by monster singalong choruses. The best parts of "Brand New Eyes" come when the guitars and lyrical themes are heavy. But thankfully, very little here carries the same Hot Topic mentality that crept onto "Decode," Paramore's contribution to the "Twilight" soundtrack. Although the new set may lack the wide-eyed naiveté that made the group's past efforts so endearing, the newfound maturity makes for a compelling set of songs. --Evan Lucy