Petals for Armor is the highly anticipated debut full length record of artist Hayley Williams. The artist has put off doing solo work for many years, but this album feels so authentic and perfectly timed that I couldn’t be more glad that she waited until now to work on and release the project. This record feels incredibly personal and shows the growth Hayley has experienced as both an artist and a person.
The way Hayley went about creating and releasing this album really added to how personal and authentic the record feels. Having close friends and family help in the production and recording of this record really shows what drove the artist into this project and why the timing couldn’t have been better. Another unique aspect of this record was the roll-out process. The release of separate EPs and the split of the record in three CDs really made the 15 tracks feel cohesive, less overwhelming (then it would’ve been in one full release), and let the unique themes of the record stand out and shine in their own time.
The debut solo ‘Simmer’ was the first taste of this record we got, along with it’s video. Lyrically and conceptually it seemed to pick up where after laughter left off as far as a slightly pessimistic and reflective theme. It was a refreshingly new sound from the artist, being darker and more blunt then we’re used to hearing from the artist in past Paramore records; especially since we got our first explicit tag from the artist. The bass was strong, a theme we see a lot in this record, and the one liner ‘give in’ just makes it something that sticks long after the first listen. As I’ve said before this album feels very honest and transparent; I feel as if the artist is very open to sharing her recent life experiences and really opens up about what she’s learned about love and friendships. This is especially prevalent in tracks like ‘Taken’, ‘Pure Love’ and ‘My Friend’. We really get a taste of the artists values and reflection process.
This album is also full of variety: featuring shifts in tone, lyrics and even genre bending. Though it still feels like a strong and solid unit. The album has a bit of a minimal feel, but it has a wide variety of instrumentation with keys, guitars and a standout bass. Of course, it’s impossible to bring up this artist without mentioning her incredibly strong vocals. Hayley’s voice is outstanding and she really knows how to balance her talents on this record. There are moments, in tracks like ‘Sudden Desire’, where she really lets her strength power through, but these moments are never overdone.
Some stand-out tracks from this record are: the power anthem I mentioned above ‘Sudden Desire’, the catchy hooked ‘Dead Horse’, the very personal and adorable ‘My Friend’, the perfect ending ‘Crystal Clear’, and my favorite at the moment ‘Pure Love’.
I could go on about this album for a very long time… Actually, I am going to. On an upcoming episode of the Get Psyched podcast, our general manager Laura (aka DJ Beowvlf) and I, will be discussing the record, so be sure to keep it locked.
Until Next Time, Let’s Stay Psyched about Music
– DJ Psyched