Revisiting this album is so strange to me because it’s one that I frequented during my (long) stint in the pop punk scene (which I’m still in, not gonna lie). But even after all this time, there’s something about it that still feels relatable and enjoyable, if not more so today than it did back then. Brand New Eyes for me was an escape, a fairytale in a way; there are so many themes contained on this record that I was too afraid to speak about and this was a major outlet for all of that. The torn apart butterfly on the cover resonated with me in such a strange way and even almost ten full years later, it’s surprising to hear me say that I still feel the same way as I did back then. Although times have changed and I’ve grown quite a bit, I think I’ve been able to grow with this record as well and adapt it to different situations and learn more from it than before. Brand New Eyes was such a step up from Riot! and an even bigger step up from their debut, All We Know Is Falling. This record is daunting at times while also being comforting; it’s mature while also reminding me of my younger self. It’s incredibly written, with every song telling a compelling story while staying consistent from the first song to the last. It’s a masterpiece to say the least and here I would like to present five of the most standout lyrics from Paramore’s third studio album.
“Careful” – verse 1
“I had it all / But not what I wanted / Cause hope for me was a place uncharted and overgrown”
Seemingly being on top of the world while actually feeling complete despair is a rather common thing to experience and this first verse on the first track of the record could not have been better written. The feeling of hopelessness is made all too real with the metaphor about it being a desolate and unvisited place and it brings a lot of thoughts to mind. Just think about how many times you’ve gotten your hopes up even when you knew there was no point in doing so, bringing up the question if you even had any hopes to begin with.
“Playing God” – chorus
“Next time you point a finger I might have to bend it back and break it, break it off”
A big eff you to anyone who’s constantly throwing you under the bus. This a great line to sum up those frustrations of people who blame others instead of admitting their own faults (we all know a guy like that).
“Brick By Boring Brick” – bridge
“If it’s not real/ You can’t hold it in your hand/ You can’t feel it with your heart/ And I won’t believe it/ But if it’s true/ Then you can see it with your eyes/ Oh, even in the dark/ And that’s where I want to be, yeah”
This song is a fan favorite and rightfully so because it is so beautifully written that even after ten years it still makes me emotional. This entire song is penned from the standpoint of fairytales not being real life and that to me is truly remarkable. A little cynical, of course, but sometimes we get so caught up in perfect people or perfect endings like in story books that we stress ourselves out looking for that perfection. This isn’t realistic nor is it normal. Essentially the biggest takeaway from these lines is that it’s better to live in the real world than it is to live in some dream like fantasy.
“Turn It Off” – chorus
“Before it gets any better/ We’re headed for a cliff/ And in the free fall I will realize/ I’m better off when I hit the bottom”
Initially I would have thought this song to be about being lost on your journey through life and hitting rock bottom and how things will always get worse before they get better. And while that still many be applicable, I’ve changed my mind on what it means to me. This song lyrically, and this part specifically, mean not avoiding your problems. And by problems this could be a project, a doctor’s appointment or even cleaning your room. Because once you’re there and doing what needs to be done, you’ll realize you’re gaining something from that experience, even if it may hurt sometimes.
“Misguided Ghosts” – verse 2
“Well, now I’m told that this is life/ And pain is just a simple compromise/ So we can get what we want out of it”
Sometimes the things we want most are the things that can also hurt us, but without pain we wouldn’t grow or learn.
“All I Wanted” – verse 1
“And when the world treats you way to fairly”/ Well, it’s a shame I’m a dream”
This record wasn’t very relationship focused and I think that’s why I liked it so much. But this song deviated from that and I can’t complain when it’s one of the best Paramore songs out there. I find this relatable to any kind of relationship, not just romantic ones. Basically, what I understand this line is saying is that when life is going great for you, please don’t forget about me. The vulnerability expressed here is something I didn’t frequently come across in music at this time and it felt reassuring to be able to acknowledge those emotions.