Review: Hayley Williams – Petals For Armor I

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Petals For Armor I is a groovy, musically driven mini-album that is perfect for when you want to both dance and cry.

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Petals For Armor I follows Hayley Williams‘ string of releases over the past few weeks, and gives fans 2 new songs in this 5-track EP. The sequential half of the album will follow on the 8th May, as announced on Williams Instagram.

Explaining the choice to separate Petals For Armor into parts, Williams stated that she wanted fans to have time to “digest” some of the songs and themes before “we move along to others”. However, it’s clear that this separation is most likely for her more than fans, with the solo-attention that #PetalsForArmor is bringing the star seeming somewhat overwhelming. For instance, this tweet was shared on Paramore’s twitter, not hers, and her Twitter name still appears as ‘Hayley from Paramore’ – showing Williams is still clinging onto the safety net of having a band alongside her.

Announcements aside, Petals For Armor I certainly seems to be a narrative mini-album/EP. With ‘Simmer’, Leave It Alone’ and ‘Cinnamon’ creating a short story through their connecting music videos, this narrative theme becomes ever clearer. As with many conceptual albums, it will definitely take you a few listens of Petals For Armor I to come to a conclusion on how you feel about it. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means you will have to take time to “digest” the tracks, as Williams herself stated.

Lyrically, ‘Simmer’ is certainly the strongest on the album – but you can read more about that in the single review here. ‘Leave It Alone’, though alright with lyrics such as “now that I finally wanna live / the ones I love are dying”, and its expression of grief, it is a very repetitive song. However, Petals For Armor I should definitely be considered as a musical album, with a focus on its instrumentals that differ from Williams career to date with Paramore. That said, both ‘Sudden Desire’ and ‘Creepin” are very old-school Paramore, fitting of their albums Riot! (2007) and Brand New Eyes (2009) but just slightly toned down.

The lack of lyrics in songs such as ‘Cinnamon’, mostly made up of ‘ahh’s and ‘ooo’s, along with groovy backing tracks, makes this mini-album one to dance to. Due to the variety and complexity of some of the instruments and sounds that make up these songs, it’s also definitely something that should be listened to both on speaker and in earphones. Whether you’re blasting the tracks whilst you shower, or listening as you walk, Petals For Armor I will get you grooving for sure. This means the songs will be amazing live (when Hayley inevitably tours them), most importantly because you’ll get to see Hayley busting her infamous moves that fans adore.

Overall, Petals For Armor I showcases what Hayley has to offer fans as a solo artist – and we haven’t been disappointed. Williams has created her own unique song outside of Paramore, whilst keeping just enough traces of her roots in this band evident for long-term fans to be happy. Each song, though having hints of similarity, are individual in their own way. Whilst certain songs have important lyrics and meanings (‘Simmer’ and ‘Leave It Alone’ in particular), this mini-album as a whole should be considered as more of a musical than lyrical combination of tracks. Petals For Armor I will get you grooving, crying, and most importantly fangirling for the release of Part II!

Hayley Williams’ Petals For Armor I is available now via Atlantic Recording Corporation.

 

 

 

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