Hayley Williams, of Paramore fame, transitions into a solo career with her debut album Petals for Armor. As a veteran of the punk-pop scene, Williams shows she remains full of fresh and creative ideas, despite an already seasoned career.
The opening track “Simmer” is outstanding, and is a fun listen with its creative and high-energy melodies. Williams explores the psychological turmoil leading to her separation from her ex-husband; with lyrics like ‘rage’, ‘fucker’ and ‘gut him’, her words aren’t exactly a lyrical puzzle. On another note, one can only wonder if this is what Carly Rae Jepsen’s eventual breakup music will sound like.
Her anger doesn’t really subside further into the album either; tracks like “Creepin’” and “Dead Horse” are jarring, in-your-face tunes that don’t really have the same musical charm as “Simmer”, and really only end up coming off a little aggressive and weird. Then there’s the “Cinnamon” track, which is just lyrically incoherent.
But then in the second half of the album, Williams embraces her inner sentimentality, and boy if it doesn’t pick itself up again. “Pure Love” and “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” are a lot more optimistic and instrumental. I guess if I had to be a music critic and make an observation, the album probably reflects her journey of learning to love herself again, through all the self-hate and conflict of a breakup.
It’s an overall nice album with some bottled-up aggression – aren’t we all that way? Plus, “Simmer” alone will have you wanting a relisten.
8/10: A breakup with Carly Rae Jepsen, but Punkier