Zac Farro is still out to prove Paramore fans, that he is more than just a drummer. There is always an element of interest when musicians can take themselves out of the headspace of one band and place themselves inside another completely separate band without seeming like one project bleeds into the other. Now this is not a review for Paramore, but there is an argument to be made to see which artist has the most influence under a band’s album release. For example, When Zac Farro set out to write his first album under the ‘HalfNoise’, the album ‘Sudden Feeling’ had undertones of funk, but still was operating under the premise of pop. And though album ‘Sudden Feeling’ did have some signature songs, ‘Natural Disguise’ takes Funk to a brand new level.
Towards the beginning of the album there are three songs that could equally be the lead single for the album. And they are one, after the other, after the other. ‘Guess’, ‘Boogie Juice’, and title track ‘Natural Disguise’. Both ‘Guess’ and ‘Boogie Juice’ have an extremely catchy bass line that pair well with the drums and intermittent guitars and synths. ‘Natural Disguise’ has one of those signature riffs that if you knew how to play guitar seems to be something you would want to play again, and again. It almost falls apart towards the end of the riff, but then picks it self back up by the end. As if it stumbled into the next verse.
The short ‘Know Its Her’ is subtle and short. There are a few tunes like this on the record that are basically a set up for the next song. These tunes are probably front man Zac’s running thoughts he has to get the listener into the mindset of the next song. I like these tunes because they add a certain aesthetic to the album overall. But in the context of the album as a story, is also incredibly important to Zac to frame the songs track-listing in a certain way.
Overall, HalfNoise delivered a solid record. ‘Natural Disguise’ is one of those records that makes the listener listen from front to back. Something that is hard to do in the age of streaming music and short attention spans of today’s listeners. The refreshing minute long interludes between songs are great setup pieces for the song that follows. This creates a great flow. Paired with the funk on some songs, and the softness on others, it’s a solid record. Glad that Zac is doing something productive in his time off from Paramore. Maybe if the band is successful enough, he’ll stay with HalfNoise full time.
Try: 3, 6, & 12