Album Review: Flowers for Vases/Descansos

Review by: Della Johnson

Artist: Haley Williams

Rating: 8.5/10

Hayley Williams, of the alternative rock band Paramore, purveys a vulnerable and gentle side to heartbreak in her album FLOWERS for VASES / descansos, surprise-released on February 5. She longs for past lovers, opening up about her insecurity with the question, “I wonder how you view me?” in the vocalization-riddled “HYD”,  waxing poetic on her previous toxic relationships on piano ballad “Trigger (“…all I really want is somebody who wants me/…Let ‘em debase me while keeping my chin up”). Produced entirely in the quiet isolation of self-quarantine, the album allows Williams to experiment with acoustic sounds, softly strumming guitars and harmonizations layering every devastating track. While the album seems to struggle with musical variety, the electric guitar on songs like “Over those Hills” and the extensive metaphorical meanings on “Asystole” and “My Limb” allow the record to find these moments where the changes seem stylistic rather than redundant.