An unpublished micro-review written as part of my Top 10 Albums of 2017 list.
Though “Hard Times” was the album’s first, higher-charting single, “Rose-Colored Boy” was the song of the year for me, both in quality and theme. “Just let me cry a little bit longer/I ain’t gon’ smile if I don’t want to/Hey man, we all can’t be like you/I wish we were all rose-colored too,” vocalist Hayley Williams sings in the year’s catchiest chorus, giving voice to those of us tired of pretending it’s all going to get better next year. And like the rest of After Laughter, it’s drenched in Paramore’s best 80’s synth-pop impression, disguising the less-than-shiny lyrics underneath. It’s an album full of bops, for those of us who needed an album full bops most.