"After Laughter" is the fifth studio album by American rock band Paramore. It was released on May 12, 2017, through Fueled by Ramen as a follow-up to their 2013 self-titled album. The album was produced by guitarist Taylor York alongside previous collaborator, Justin Meldal-Johnsen. It is the band's first album since the return of drummer Zac Farro, who left the band with his brother Josh in 2010, and the departure of former bassist Jeremy Davis, who left the band in 2015.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 81, based on 8 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim ".
Again working with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Paramore churn out anthem after infectious anthem, each euphorically designed to grab you where it counts -- melodically and emotionally. Where 2013's Paramore found the group tentatively transitioning from their pop-punk roots toward a multi-layered '80s synth-pop sound, After Laughter reveals them having beautifully completed the transformation. Much credit here goes to York, who co-wrote all of the songs and whose deft guitar and keyboard make up much of the album's distinct aural character. But of course, Williams still beats at the center of everything, her voice providing the album's warm, exuberant core.
Despite the album's buoyantly pastel new wave tones, it unsurprisingly contains a truckload of hard-won maturity and a growing sense of battle fatigue. You hear it on virtually every track, particularly on the yearning closer "Tell Me How" ("I'm getting sick of the beginnings"). Ultimately, each Paramore album thus far has been more or less another triumphant battle cry of a band having fought and survived a breakup. But After Laughter intersects this with transcendence: the realization that life is an ongoing series of new beginnings. --- AllMusic Review by Matt Collar