I don’t know about you, but Paramore music videos have always been one of my favorite things. There have been ones that are fun and colorful, and ones that have delved deeper with symbolic imagery. Hayley Williams should have a career in acting. Although, that might take time away from her music, which in that case, would be completely and utterly tragic. A world with less music from Paramore is a world that I don’t want to know about.
The “Rose-Colored Boy” music video dropped yesterday and it combined everything I love about the videos Paramore create. It’s colorful, meaningful, and puts a spotlight on Williams’ depth as a musician, songwriter and actress. The song comes off of their May 2017 album, After Laughter, that was praised by critics and fans alike. Their established alternative rock sound was given a twist with the new wave sound of the 1980s, of which garnered them the ability to be even more versatile than before.
In the music video, Williams is dressed up as a newscaster with big hair and red lips, and the set, fashion and general aesthetic of the video creates the idea that it is set in the ‘80s. The video jumps from her being in front of camera, reading her lines as a news anchor, to her being backstage and being made up to be the television personality that she seemed to have become. I say this because about halfway through the video, Williams’ character is in the midst of a breakdown. She is sick and tired of being forced to smile, drink coffee, be happy, and not do anything meaningful within her job position. An actress, who plays a much younger Williams, appears on all the television monitors, flashing back to her youth where she wanted to be an honest, hard-hitting journalist. In a way, she was once someone who looked at life through rose-colored glasses, but now all of her “optimism” has gone away.
Her character seems to have failed herself, as she was tired of the positivity, killing off her dream and turning to the negative things happening in her life and the world around her. She is depressed, anxious and has lost who she is. Williams dances on a table, throws her coffee mug and breaks all the chains from herself as she finishes the song and faces the music. The fake smile that she had to perfect closes out the music video and only further emphasizes the motif of After Laughter as an album, personifying it in the best and worst way possible. If you don’t understand what I mean by that, check out the video for “Rose-Colored Boy” below. You won’t regret it.