Hayley Williams gets intimate and vulnerable in “Flowers for Vases / Descansos”

Hayley Williams, the leader of the rock band “Paramore,” embraced her folksy talent by writing and playing all her songs in her second solo album “Flowers for Vases / Descansos.”

This album is acoustic, contrasting with her previous album “Petals for Armor,” which sticks to pop.

“First Thing to Go” introduces the album with the lyrics “the first thing to go was the sound of his voice.” Williams is reflecting on a break-up, missing the voice of her ex-lover.

This resonates with the theme of the album: relationships, break-ups and nostalgia.

Her brilliant songwriting enhances the experience. One metaphor compares her ex-lover to a limb that’s been cut off of her body — “if you gotta amputate, don’t give me the tourniquet.”

“Trigger” continues the heartbreak theme. The somber lyrics over the melancholy guitar and piano leave the listeners feeling sympathetic for Williams.

Williams’ storytelling makes listeners feel the bittersweet combination of heartbreak and nostalgia.

“Inordinary” displays this best, as Williams reminisces about her and her mother moving to Tennessee, where she met her Paramore bandmates.
Williams emotes with slow-sounding guitar and piano, incorporated with the sound of a child laughing.

The album wraps up this feeling with “Just a Lover,” which starts with quiet piano chords, then ascends to harsh, electronic-rock sounds.

“My Limb,” though, is the best song on the album, as it detours from this acoustic sound with electric guitar riffs but keeps a slow rhythm.

As she takes her listeners on a journey, the talented songwriter both comforts and saddens them.

William makes this album unique by contrasting her clear, strong vocals with acoustic guitar, piano and occasional drum beats.

Williams continues her solo career by giving us a glimpse into her personal life, showcasing her growth with each album release.

Rating: 5/5 stars