The Bottom Line
In a pop marketplace dominated by uptempo dance-pop, Paramore's change of pace in this acoustic-oriented pop ballad may just be the ticket for a major hit. Hayley Williams' vocal performance here is stellar. She delivers the lyrics with strength and nuance. Paramore has matured to be a band at the top level of pop-rock groups. Look for pop radio to jump on this track for the summer.
- Hayley Williams' controlled and nuanced vocals
- Words that will register emotionally with many listeners
- The concepts may be too simple for some
- Written by Hayley Williams and Josh Farro
- Produced by Paramore and Rob Cavallo
- Released April 2010 by Fueled By Ramen
Guide Review - Paramore - "The Only Exception"
Is love worth the risk? Is there at least person out there worth taking a chance? Those are the questions underlying this meditation on fragile hearts. The concept is not new in the annals of pop music, but the control and intensity of the singing of Paramore's Hayley Williams does stand out. She will pull listeners in and have them singing along with her about that treasured "only exception."
"The Only Exception" first appeared on Paramore's Brand New Eyes album in September 2009. It was then released as a digital single in February 2010. A full push to pop radio just began in April 2010 and the gentle ballad now seems to be gaining some traction. With a strong focus on dance-pop on the radio, "The Only Exception" provides a change of pace. It has a gentle sway that begins in a mood of sadness that slowly builds to the suggestion that real love is possible. The song then closes with a hint that it all could still be an illusion.
All three of Paramore's studio albums have been certified gold or beyond. During the time from their first release to now the group members have grown from teenagers to adults in their early 20's. "The Only Exception" shows off a new musical maturity for the band. The questions and commentary about love in this song will not only appeal to teens. Many adults will register a sense of familiarity while listening to the words go by.