Ever since the release of their Brand New Eyes album, much has been made about [artist id="1968732"]Paramore[/artist]'s evolution from DayGlo-clad pop-punkers to rock artistes (OK, maybe it's not that severe), which Hayley Williams summed up best: "We've matured, not ma-toored."
Anyway, a key step in that transformation is their "Brick by Boring Brick" video, which premiered on the band's site on Monday. As the band went to great lengths to point out, the clip is a bit of a departure for them: The story-driven fairy tale, co-written by the band and director Meiert Avis, is special-effects heavy and features absolutely no footage of the band performing the song (a first for them).
Instead, we get to see Paramore playing actual roles — Williams as the narrator, Josh Farro as a gravedigger, etc. — while a plot unfolds around them. It's a very ma-toore production, and the fans' jury is still out on whether or not it actually works.
Case in point: the rather alarming number of "meh" reviews from fans on Paramore.net, which is odd considering they are usually overwhelmingly supportive of everything the band does (in all fairness, there are still plenty of "ParamOre u RoCk , Hayley ! LuV u SOo MuCh oO" comments, too). The naysayers seem to have a few key gripes: that Paramore's other members — Zac Farro, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York — are barely in the video, that the storyline is rather confusing and that the special effects sap the video of much of its energy.
And, yes, those critiques are understandable. The other three members of the band appear in the clip for just a few seconds. The story — something about a young girl (who might be Williams as a child) wandering through a magical land of butterflies that suddenly becomes evil — is a bit convoluted. And the special effects (this is a world created predominantly on green screen) make the video feel more like a Pen & Pixel album cover brought to life.
What makes Paramore so great is their energy, whether it's live onstage or in their frenetic, performance-based videos ("Ignorance" and "Misery Business" in particular), and that energy is largely absent here. Perhaps we can chalk this up to growing pains, a slight misstep on the road to maturity. Growing up is hard to do, after all.