[This post is part of the College: Alphabetized by Album series]
My history with Paramore does not go as far back as this album might suggest. While I’ve had All We Know Is Falling on my iPod since sometime in 2006, I didn’t even listen to it until August of 2008. That may seem like a waste of an album purchase, but it ended up on my iPod because Carrie, the girl I was dating circa 2006, and I shared an iTunes library. This was really just her importing a few of her CD’s into my iTunes library since we had similar musical tastes, and most of her CD’s I think had been stolen. Anyway, that’s how Paramore got onto my iPod, where they would be ignored for the next two years.
I finally did give this an album a listen for the first time while sitting out by the pool at Washington Tower shortly after the fall 2008 semester had started and I had returned from a month long sabbatical in Florida. Though I had been living down the street from Dallas Seminary my first year there, now I was finally living on campus in the co-ed single student housing.
I was also coming off of a significant breakup, followed by a revelatory reunion with the girl I would eventually marry (which you can read about in this segment of our story). Things had settled down somewhat, but I was now trying to adjust to what would become a very interesting year in seminary, both relationally, and scholastically. Part of this adjustment included a failed attempt to resume friendship with Jillissa (the girl in the breakup I just mentioned)l. I was certain when I left we would not be getting back together, but she had other ideas about the matter, which I would be confronted with upon my return.
This then brings us to Paramore. Muscially, this album is not anything particularly outstanding. It is a very simple, yet, the guitar parts are well written and the overall song structures work very well. While there are musical hooks and catchy rhythms, what I think makes it is Hayley Williams’ vocals, both lyrically and melodically. This is actually what I think struck a chord in me. Given that Williams is singing about heartbreak in several of the songs on this album, I felt like I could see things from my ex-girlfriend’s perspective a bit better. In a way then, this album became part of the healing process, for me at least. Granted, I was the one who initiated the breakup, but this doesn’t mean it didn’t leave a scar. Part of hearing Williams’ pain on this album motivated me to be a bit more empathetic with Jillissa and led to a good conversation later in the early fall after some of the bitterness had settled.
Because of this, listening to this Paramore album takes me back almost immediately to the late afternoon sun by the Washington Pool. There’s a stack of books on the table and probably a Monster, or some similar beverage, and I’m studying Greek or reading ahead so I can study Hebrew, or something similar. The sunlight was only really useful at the Washington Pool in the afternoon since it was in the shade during the morning. But oh, what afternoon sun it was! If you stayed out there long enough studying, you could catch a pretty fantastic sunset behind the Dallas skyline, one of which looked like this:
I took surprising little pictures of all the sunsets I witnessed while studying out by that pool. This one in fact was not from the time period I am writing about, since I didn’t have an iPhone then. Of all the vistas though in Dallas, I think this one is the one most burned into my memory, so even without the visual aid, I can recall it fairly quick. It’s much easier though when I’m listening to Paramore.