Paramore - 'Crush Crush Crush'
It's important, in a field of music as formulaic as popular song, to have a go at mucking about with song structure from time to time. This will not only raise you to the level of 'visionary' or 'genius' among your peers, but will also make the act of writing songs a lot less boring once you've worked out how the first verse and the chorus goes.
Paramore have discovered this all by themselves, and so have elected to write a song which contains not one, but TWO choruses (and lots of other little musical fragments too). The first is a dramatic, multi-harmony affair where a wall of blank-eyed Hayleys attacks a faceless 'they' for, among other things, putting tape over your mouth and then scribbling on it (the meanies). The second is a proper belting riff-rock swaggering thing, which follows a moody bit in which Hayley whispers the song title a few times, and is introduced by a proper screamo "234!"
I have to say, the "234!" bit just made me fall over laughing, cos it's not like the band can't know where they are in the song at that point. The moody bit is only four bars long, that's like getting lost in your own back garden. So, it's there for effect, and the effect is kind of silly. But there's nothing wrong with silly, especially in a song as deliberately loaded with seriousness as this is.
In fact, what makes the song work is that it's a patchwork quilt of little bits, some dark, some glassy, some scary, some daft, which create the sense that this is a band whose approach to storytelling is to pick random fragments of things, focus on them with total intensity, then drop them and move on. It's less "Once upon a time..." and more "UPON! UPON! UPON! TIMEONCE! A! A! A! WOLFPIG!"
Hints as to what it is which has brought about such a unique narrative style may be found in the songs latter moments, where Hayley repeats the mantra "rock and roll, hey, don't you know baby, we're all alone now. I need something to sing about". And even though I'm almost sure I'm wrong, it's nice to wonder if that bit didn't come out of the manner in which the song seems to have been put together, piling fragment upon fragment in a haphazard fashion until your three minutes is filled with music.
And in the end, it's that edge of ADHD skittishness which elevates this above your average super-dramatic American pop-rock bluster. I tell you, they're VISIONARIES, MAAAN...