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Paramore - Riot!.png
Studio album by Paramore
Released June 12, 2007
Recorded January–March 2007
Studio House of Loud, Elmwood Park, New Jersey
Length 38:58
Label Fueled by Ramen
Producer David Bendeth
Paramore chronology
The Summer Tic EP
(2006)The Summer Tic EP2006
Live in the UK 2008
(2008)Live in the UK 20082008
Alternative cover
MVI+CD re-release
MVI+CD re-release
Singles from Riot!
  1. "Misery Business"
    Released: July 15, 2007
  2. "Hallelujah"
    Released: September 10, 2007
  3. "Crushcrushcrush"
    Released: November 26, 2007
  4. "That's What You Get"
    Released: March 24, 2008

Riot! is the second studio album by American rock band Paramore. It was released in the United States on June 12, 2007 through Fueled by Ramen as a follow-up to their debut album, All We Know Is Falling (2005). The album was produced by David Bendeth and written by band members Hayley Williams and Josh Farro, with Bendeth, and fellow members Zac Farro and Taylor York co-writing on select tracks. The album is said to explore a "diverse range of styles," while not straying far from the "signature sound" of their debut album,[1] with several critics comparing it to likes of Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne. The cover of the album also resembles the cover artwork of No Doubt's Rock Steady. It is the first to feature guitarist Taylor York.

Riot! received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its sound, and noted its "crossover potential". The album was successful in the United States, reaching number fifteen on the Billboard 200 and achieving double-platinum status on March 22, 2016 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It was also certified platinum in the United Kingdom by the British Phonographic Industry, and gold in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The lead single, "Misery Business", reached top-thirty and forty positions in the US and is considered the band's "breakthrough" hit; credited with introducing the band to a mainstream audience.[2][3][4] The third and fourth singles, "crushcrushcrush", and "That's What You Get", were also successful with both achieving a platinum certification by the RIAA.


The album was produced and mixed by David Bendeth. Lead vocalist Hayley Williams, explained the album was titled Riot! because, "For us, the title ‘Riot!’ literally means an unbridled outburst of emotions. When we were writing, it seemed like our thoughts and emotions were coming out so fast that we couldn't control them. It felt like there was a riot within us. So the album takes our passion to a new level; it’s just all raw energy."[5] Williams also commented on the band's evolution with the album, stating "I think our intention for the first record would have been for it to be everything that Riot! is, but there wasn’t any time to make that record back then."[6]

During production, Paramore held an online contest, titled "The Last Song You'll Ever Sing", where fans submitted videos on YouTube for the opportunity to sing back-up vocals on the track "Born for This". The winner was Mary Bonney of McLean, Virginia.[7]

Music and style[edit]

The first track "For a Pessimist I'm Pretty Optimistic" comes from what lead guitarist Josh Farro reflects as "putting your faith in someone and they blow it." Farro composed the song and gave the demo to Williams. Farro stated "I wrote the music specifically to be awesome live and to be extremely energetic. It all came out at once. I showed it to Hayley and she just nailed it lyrically. She completely got the feeling I wanted the song to have."[5] The origins of "Misery Business" came from a message Williams posted on the band's LiveJournal, asking fans to post what they're ashamed of. "I found that people really were reaching out to someone to spill their guts to," she recalls, "so I did the same thing lyrically in the song and let everything out. It's more honest than anything I've ever written, and the guys matched that emotion musically."[5]

Discussing "Hallelujah", Williams recounts, "It's one of the oldest songs we've got, but we wanted to save it for this record, and it's the perfect home for it. It's a claim of victory for both ourselves and our fans."[5] The eleventh track "Born for This" contains the line "we want the airwaves back", from the song "Liberation Frequency" in the album The Shape of Punk to Come by the influential Swedish hardcore band Refused. Williams has explained that this song was written "about the fans" and "that the whole pre-chorus is actually inspired by that one line of the song."[8]

Ian Cohan of MTV Hive described the album as "classic alt-rock with a distinctly Fueled By Ramen edge."[9] Cam Lindsay at Exclaim! characterized it as "high-energy/high-emotion pop punk,"[10] while AllMusic's Jason Lymangrover states "[Williams] fills the majority of her punk-pop tales with emo angst and declarations of boy woes."[11] It is also declared as one of 2007's most popular emo pop albums by Andrew Leahey of AllMusic.[12] Johnathan Bradley at Stylus Magazine labeled it as "irrepressible power pop".[13]


On March 13, 2007, it was announced that guitarist Hunter Lamb left the group to focus on family.[14] On April 13, "Misery Business" was made available for streaming.[15] A week later, the album's cover art and track listing was revealed.[16] In April and May, the band went on headlining tour of the U.S. They were supported by the Almost, This Providence, Love Arcade and Quietdrive.[17] Riot! was released through Fueled by Ramen on June 12,[16] following the debut of "Misery Business" on the radio. From late June to late August, the band went on the 2007 edition of Warped Tour.[18] In October and November, the group went on a co-headlining US tour with the Starting Line. Set Your Goals opened the first half of the tour, while the Almost opened the second half.[19] The album was re-released in late 2007 as a U-MYX MVI CD/DVD. The album has yielded four singles, with "Misery Business" being the first. The album's second single was "Hallelujah". The album's third single was "Crushcrushcrush", released on January 15, 2008 in the US and January 23 in the UK.

The album's fourth single, "That's What You Get", was released just over a week after Paramore cancelled their European tour to work on "personal issues",[20] amidst media speculation of the band breaking up. Williams explained that, given the fragile state of the band, they all thought it best if they kept the shoot low-key, surrounding themselves with their friends and family, keeping it simple. Williams added, "We had tons of friends there, and it really just felt like a hangout session. And Marcos [Siega, the director] was so cool about it. He said, 'Bring your friends.' We shot it in some of our friends' houses, and it just felt so real... and I think it's the first time in a video you're gonna get to see who we really are."[21] Williams had stated "We're hoping to do one more tour across the States before we really get started with all the (European summer) festivals. Of course, I want to do more Warped Tour dates, 'cause it's, like, my favorite tour ever. We'll see what works out and hopefully just have another great year."[22] In early April, the band appeared at the Bamboozle Left festival.[23] In April and May, the band went on a co-headlining US tour with Jimmy Eat World.[24] In July, the band performed on the 2008 edition of Warped Tour for a week.[25] In July and August, the band went on a US tour with Jack's Mannequin, Paper Route and Phantom Planet.[26]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[27]
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk 71%[28]
AllMusic 4/5 stars[11]
Alternative Press 3/5[29]
Drowned in Sound 4/10[30]
IGN 7/10[31]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[32]
NME 5/10[33]
Spin 7/10[34]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5[35]
Stylus Magazine B+[36]

Riot! received generally positive reviews from music critics. According to Metacritic, the album holds a score of 67 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews" based on 8 reviews.[27] Jason Lymangrover of AllMusic stated "Filled with crossover potential, the songs are consistent and zippy with catchy hooks in the vein of Boys Like Girls fronted by a young Shirley Manson."[11] At Stylus Magazine, Jonathan Bradley opined that "Riot! is immediately appealing because it focuses on sounds that have been neglected by the genre's front-runners. This is an uncomplicated album of strikingly uncomplicated music, entirely lacking in 15 word song titles." Bradley also compared it to the "better songs" from Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne.[36] Gareth Dobson at Drowned in Sound observed "At 38 minutes long, it's mercifully brief, but still manages to feel like a double album for those who endure it. That is, those who don't manage to forget that it's on the stereo at all. People, get your pop-punk thrills somewhere else. At least somewhere where there are actual thrills to be had."[30]

IGN's Ed Thompson stated "This is by no means a must have album and is not going to be remembered as the band's defining moment by any stretch of the imagination. But what Riot! will do is serve as a foundation from which the kids can continue to learn, grow and improve." Thompson also commented that it shows more maturity compared to similar bands.[31] Lewis P. at Sputnikmusic described it as the best pop punk album of 2007, commenting "Paramore might not be tapping into anything new, but it has finally hit its stride, making pop-punk anthems that match the praise."[35] Alternative Press writer Scott Heisel commented "considering the median age of the band, the musicianship shown on Riot! is mightily impressive...while the record as a whole may not be a home run, it’s solid stand-up double that keeps Fueled By Ramen’s inning alive for their next clean-up hitter."[29] Justin Mabee at Jesus Freak Hideout declared "While this new album may lack some of the spiritual depth that rocked their debut, the whole record retains a very positive feeling to it" Mabee commented that the band "has come a long way" with the album since they have formed.[32]


The album was included in Rock Sound's 101 Modern Classics list at number 10.[37] The album was included at number 16 on Rock Sound's "The 51 Most Essential Pop Punk Albums of All Time" list.[38] Stylus Magazine listed it at number 49 in their top 50 albums of 2007.[39]

Commercial performance[edit]

Riot! entered the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart at 20 in late 2007. Riot! sold 42,000 albums in the U.S. in its first week and three months later the album hit its peak at 15 on the Billboard 200. The album was certified double-Platinum on March 22, 2016.[40] The album achieved some success in the UK reaching #24 on the albums chart sales and selling 250,094 copies to date. In New Zealand, the album peaked at number 15, and was certified Gold on February 1, 2009, shipping over 15,000 copies.[41][42] "Misery Business" became a hit, spending 22 weeks at #3 on Alternative Songs chart.[43] The song has been certified triple-Platinum by the RIAA.[40]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Hayley Williams and Josh Farro, except where noted[44].

No. Title Length
1. "For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic" 3:48
2. "That's What You Get" (Williams, Farro, Taylor York) 3:40
3. "Hallelujah" 3:23
4. "Misery Business" 3:31
5. "When It Rains" (Williams, Farro, Zac Farro) 3:35
6. "Let the Flames Begin" 3:18
7. "Miracle" 3:29
8. "Crushcrushcrush" 3:09
9. "We Are Broken" (Williams, Farro, David Bendeth) 3:38
10. "Fences" (Williams, Farro, Bendeth) 3:18
11. "Born for This" 3:58



Chart (2007) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[46] 47
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[47] 66
Belgian Albums (Flanders)[48] 59
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[49] 61
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[50] 63
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[51] 26
Irish Albums (IRMA)[52] 53
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[53] 31
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[54] 15
UK Albums (OCC)[55] 24
UK Rock Albums (OCC)[56] 2
US Billboard 200[57] 15
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[58] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[59] 4


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[60] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[61] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[62] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[63] Platinum 419,000[64]
United States (RIAA)[65] 2× Platinum 2,000,000double-dagger

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone



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  • Bird, Ryan, ed. (September 2014). "The 51 Most Essential Pop Punk Albums of All Time". Rock Sound. London: Freeway Press Inc. (191). ISSN 1465-0185. 

External links[edit]